Considering I've reviewed this book before, I'll keep this one short.
You should probably be familiar with the story of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol even if you've never read the book. You'll probably have seen at least one adaptation, if not more, and even if it's the one which is full of Muppets, you'll have a really good idea of what it's about. Basically, Ebenezer Scrooge is a bad man until three ghosts visit him one night and force him to view the world in a different way, thereby changing his outlook on life.
It's a tradition for me to read A Christmas Carol in the run up to Christmas Day. In the past it was the book I read on Christmas Eve but since I got married on Christmas Eve a few years back, my December 24ths are somewhat busier now. These days I have to read it a little earlier in the month. Last year I decided that it had to be the first book I read in December; started it one day and finished the next.
It's a lovely little quick read and if you've not tried it before, get it now ready for Christmas this year. It's the perfect book to read to get you into the spirit of things. I like to try and read a different edition of it each year. This last read was The Original Manuscript version of the free Kindle book. It's an ideal book to read on the Kindle, or some other eReader, because it's nice and short and very seasonal so you might not want a book-book version taking up room on your shelves.
The edition I read this time was a little bit odd. It had weird breaks in the text showing the pages as they were in the original manuscript. It was something that I got used to but which was a bit weird and distracting in the beginning. Unless you're into that kind of thing you might want to look at a different version for your first read.
A side effect of the numerous versions of A Christmas Carol I've watched in the run up to Christmas each year (we've got quite a few now) is that as you read the book you can't help but be reminded of them. You know how when you read a book like The Lord of the Rings you can't help but picture Elijah Wood as Frodo, well I imagine a strange mishmash of all those versions I've seen. I can almost hear Gonzo narrating the book, picture Michael Caine as Scrooge, expect to come across songs from the musical versions and see scenes that don't actually happen in the book.
I'm never sure if the vivid Victorian imagery that I get when I read is from the book or from the fact that the settings in all the film versions are so similar. Whatever it is, it's a book that plays out very clearly in my mind as I read.
For the last few years I've been reading electronic versions of A Christmas Carol and I can't help but feel like the time has come to get a book-book edition. Perhaps something with a pretty cover and lots of nice illustrations inside, an early Christmas present to myself.
If you know of any nice editions, let me know in the comments.