I am so glad I decided to read this book again. This one is the original first edition text from 1843. This edition was reproduced from the original by Dover Publications in 1991 with the following note added:
“The Christmas gift presented to the English-speaking world in 1843 by the preeminent novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870) has never lost its power to delight. Adapted in numerous ways and for a great variety of media over the yeaars, this modern Christmas myth, which is linked to every Christmas celebration and whose characters have become household names, is still best enjoyed in its inimitable original wording. The text in the present volume is that of the first edition (Chapman and Hall, London, 1843)”.
I quote this from the Dover Classics Edition because it is very true. Much as it wouldn't seem like Christmas without "A Christmas Carol" in one form or another, nothing tells it as well as Charles Dickens' original. My favorite movie version is the second made, with Alistair Sim, which sticks to the original fairly well. But the last time I read the book was in 1952. I loved it then and I love it now.
Dickens' descriptions of mid-1800s London are so real and so chilling one wonders how the English survived those times. The attitudes are spot on, as Dickens' characters always are. What makes "A Christmas Carol" different is the absolute fear that Scrooge feels upon seeing his old "dead as a doornail" partner visit him on Christmas Eve. The feel of Dickens' writing is so powerful nothing can be ignored.
The visits of the three spirits are amazing in the depth they are given and in what they accomplish and how. As most people do know the story in one form or another, I won't go into the visits other than how imaginative the story is in the way Scrooge's background and Scroogeness is dealt with so succinctly. This book is a must-read at least once in a reader's life, even if seen as plays, movies, even cartoons and remakes. Nothing is so satisfactory as the book itself.