Book Review: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

What a wonderful novel!

It tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly man who has a very bad personality. He is rude, cold, cruel, uncaring, cynical, overly-frugal, and downright unloving. He lives alone, and that’s not a surprise. He has no wife, daughter or son. We only know one relative of his in the story — Fred, his nephew. He has his own business, employs a clerk, Bob, and we may suppose that he is quite rich, but he is very stingy with his money (“Kuripot” in Tagalog). He is mean to everyone — even to his own nephew, and especially to his clerk.

Then, on Christmas eve, his old business partner, Jacob Marley, who died seven years earlier, appears to him in his house. He warns him that three spirits will appear to him soon, and that they have important messages to impart to him. The three spirits are the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. They each accompany Scrooge to several scenes in his life — from the past, present and future — and along the way, he undergoes a radical self-transformation.

It’s a beautiful story: simple yet moving. It reminded me about what is really important in life — people, to always show kindness and compassion towards them. I needed to hear or be reminded of that truth, and I was surprised to realize while I read the story that I was becoming a bit like Scrooge in my own life. I need to change that, and it’s a wonderful thing to realize that I have the power to do this.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Date Read: November 29 – December 30, 2012


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