Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Book 63 of 2014: The Christmas Story from David Harum, by Edward Noyes Westcott

You'll be pleased to know, what with it being halfway through August, that this is the last of my Christmas book review posts for the time being. It's also the second to last book that I read last year. I don't normally read Christmas books after Christmas Day, but this one was okay because I read it on Christmas Day and Boxing Day; after that point I like to get back to my regular reading schedule.

The Christmas Story from David Harum by Edward Noyes Westcott is available as a free Kindle ebook. First published in 1900, it tells the story of a man who has a bit of a bad reputation but, in a show of true Christmas spirit, does a little good at Christmas. This is an extract from a longer work.

On the whole it was a nice festive little read for Christmas. I didn't want to start something too long on Christmas Day as it would mean I could end up reading it well after Christmas. Not necessarily a bad thing, but once the festive period is over, I like to start thinking about the new year (and last year that meant gearing up for the start of the Popsugar Reading Challenge). Plus I hate to end the year on an unfinished book. A new year is a new start (in the past it meant a new book journal as well, so carrying a book forward from the previous year could be untidy and awkward).

I was expecting it to be in a similar sort of vein to A Christmas Carol though in an American setting rather than a British one. The basic gist of the story is that David Harum decided to be generous to Widow Cullom at Christmas, mainly because Widow Cullom's husband had been kind to David as a child. I guess it's the same sort of the general message as A Christmas Carol; Christmas is the time to be good to others. That said, I'm not sure why Harum decided to be kind to her at this point rather than earlier.

I did struggle a little with the dialect at first. Some words were written as they were said, which made it hard to fathom out the meaning. It took me a moment to work out that 'hull' meant 'whole'. It didn't spoil my enjoyment at all, but it did slow me down a fair bit.

I'm not sure it's a book I'll read again at any point, but it does make for a quick little read if you're looking for a bitesize Christmas read.

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