A Christmas Carol
Public Domain Books
DESCRIPTION: In all of England, no man is as cold-hearted and miserly as Ebenezer Scrooge. Cynical, friendless, abusive of his good-hearted clerk, he broods on his fortunes like a latter-day dragon. Not even the bells of Christmas can soften his heart of ice... until the night he receives an unwelcome visit from an old business partner - a man who died seven years ago. Bob Marley was cut of the same selfish, greedy cloth as Scrooge - and, it seems, the latter may share the former's eternal torment in the afterlife. Ebenezer's only chance at salvation lies with three ghostly visitors, who seek to teach him the errors of his ways and the true meaning of Christmas.
REVIEW: Not a holiday season passes without half a hundred remakes, homages, and other blatant knock-offs of Dickens's original tale, so I figured I ought to try reading the original. Though somewhat wordy (as one might expect of an author for whom verbosity was money), it holds up reasonably well today. No real reason is given for Scrooge's youthful turn from generosity to selfishness - and, given how many decades of his life he has dedicated to cultivating such miserly tendencies, he reverts to a feeling and caring human being a little too easily. Since it's basically a dressed-up fable, though, I don't suppose I ought to be too critical. (Fable or not, Tiny Tim makes a tooth-rottingly saccharine plot device.) While a little sappy for my personal tastes, I can certainly see why this tale remains a holiday classic.