Book Review: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

I wasnt sure that I would be doing one more Christmas review this year but after recently diving back into the Charles Dickens library I thought I may as well do a quick book review in celebration of the holidays.

A Christmas Carol was written by Charles Dickens in 1843, it is a short story otherwise known as a novella, but regardless of the books length it has been adapted to screen many times and is Christmas classic known by all.

The story is about an angry elderly man who has a cold heart and not a drop of love within himself, he is cruel to his employee Bob Cratchet who he underpays and has little sympathy for, he refuses to donate to charities and says that he would rather the poor die instead of help them and generally is a very unlikable character.

Throughout the story Scrooge is visited by ghosts one is his old partner Jacob Marley and the others represent the past, present and future who take him through time to see his life flash before his eyes and showing him the error of his ways.

If you cut apart all of the film adaptations and stitched parts together you would get a page for page perfect adaptation of the book and there not a is single part of the book that hasn’t included in any of the on screen tellings of the story.

there are few things in the book that are not often shown, one is the spirits in the air after Marley visits, in the books this shows ghosts all sorts of people who have done wrong and now carry the chains of their sins.

The other is Ebenezer’s sister Fanny who is very rarely put to screen and in the book it is told that she dies young and is the mother of Ebenezer’s nephew Fred.

Funnily enough one of the only adaptations to correctly depict the Ghost of Christmas Past was the muppet version as in the story and that version the spirit is said to be a glowing light.

What really surprised me was that in the original Charles Dickens story there is no part where Scrooge goes to Hell, in fact the story seems a lot more straight to the point than any version that came after it and I think it works better that way, so many of the re-tellings added this part and now I see that it really wasn’t needed as Dickens wrote the story so well without it.

It’s not easy to review this because while the book is really well written and very educational the later adaptations are definitely more memorable, in fact there are so many adaptations of the story that it is quite insane, if that doesn’t go to show that this is one of the most important stories every written I don’t know what does.

A wikipedia link which lists all adaptions of the original story

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptations_of_A_Christmas_Carol

I think I want to end this review by saying that I really enjoyed this book, I didn’t think that I would because I didn’t enjoy Oliver Twist another popular story from Dickens, back then I put it down to his writing style but I have to take that back because this story was wonderful. Perhaps I should check out his other stories in the future but for now I am very happy to say I will be reading this one every single year.

Merry Christmas and God Bless us Everyone !

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Book Review: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Please sir can I have some more?

1402754256So I have always wanted to read a classic Christmas story around this time of year and since the many Oliver Twist films always air near the end of December the original novel seemed to be the perfect choice but honestly after reading it I don’t think this is a Christmas story at all or at least I don’t recall the book ever referring to Christmas so it makes we wonder why so many people associate it with the holiday but unfortunately I read the entire thing so……. Merry Christmas?

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This beautiful man is none other than Charles Dickens the world beloved author of such classics as A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations and well Oliver Twist

yhobpdnesiupuajk5pjrOliver Twist was released in 1838 and it follows the adventures of a young Orphan called Oliver who is sent to a private juvenile home after his mother dies in child birth, any one who has seen one of the many films based on the novel knows that Oliver is met with a lot of bad luck throughout his adventure and a lot of this bad luck causes him to seem like a bad kid which results in him being sent to live with many different characters throughout the book since each one of his new masters eventually dumps him on someone else but none of these people are as manipulative and genuinely cruel as the homeless man Fagin who has taken on homeless children to steal goods for him to sell for profit, one of these children is none other than the Artful Dodger who is fan favorite character of the many renditions of the classic tale, the book does have some very graphic scenes, one scene where the character Sikes Murders his prostitute girlfriend Nancy is very grizzly and I have been told that it is one of the most terrifying scenes that Charles Dickens ever wrote.

To be honest apart from two characters Oliver and an old man he gets caught stealing from, I didn’t care for any of the other characters in the book, now just because these two are some of the only nice people in the story that is not the reason why I didn’t care for the others, every one else I found to be boring and not very interesting which is a shame because I love a good villain and I just couldn’t bring myself to love any of the sadistic or more horrible characters in the book and before anyone goes nuts in the comments I am aware that a lot of people love Fagin and Sikes and I do like them in the made for TV movies I just found that they work better on TV than they do on paper but that is only my opinion so take it with a pinch of salt and please take this next opinion with that in mind, I dont like this book very much, I was really bored throughout my entire reading and honestly I think it might have been Charles Dickens writing style that didn’t work for me but I wont really know that until I read another one of his books so until then, Merry Christmas and I hope that you have an amazing day, remember to think of those less fortunate than yourselves when you are opening all of your presents and eating your home made Christmas Dinners because just like Oliver there are children out in their in world who have nothing to live for and would give anything to have just a bed to sleep on and someone to love them so this year lets make a toast to all of those amazing people who are making the most out of their lives even though they they have suffered such hard times.

Thanks for reading this review of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

By the way my two favorite versions of this story are Oliver and Company and the 1968 musical Oliver so if you get the chance this year I highly recommend you check them out also in Oliver in Company instead of an orphan its a kitten which is just adorable and its Disney so you know its gonna be good

Happy Holidays from Raggle Fraggle

A Carol Christmas (2003) Review

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Carol is a talk show host who is obsessed with herself and hates anyone who gets in her way, Carol’s bad attitude affects her family and co workers at Christmas time and it isn’t long before she gets a visit from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, two of these ghosts are played by the late Gary Coleman and everyone’s favorite Star Trek actor William Shatner.1525-2

In case you haven’t figured it out yet this is just another version of a Christmas Carol but with a modern day twist.

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There really isn’t too much to say about this movie, you’ve seen it all before its just Scrooge which is a concept that I think has been put into film far too many times for it’s own good, don’t get me wrong some versions of a Christmas Carol are excellent (Mickeys Once Upon a Christmas, Scrooged).

Carol Cummings is the hottest thing on television—and the most heartless. It’s got her where she is today. But as the holidays approach, she’s paid a visit by three spirits determined to show her the error of her ways. Can they really help the irresistibly beautiful, unfathomably rich, and impossibly rude modern-day Scrooge find her heart and soul? It’s Christmas. Miracles can happen.

This is not by any means a bad film, its just the same old thing we see every year, there are a few things I really like about this version of a Christmas Carol that I find really help it stand out among the others.

The biggest difference is that the antagonist is a woman and I like this its good to see that it’s not just males who are lacking the Christmas Spirit, I also enjoyed the celebrity cameo’s I thought they were well cast and added a good amount of charm to the film.

What I didn’t like was the jokes, a lot of the time they felt forced and not necessary I don’t know why they tried to make this a comedy in the first place, originally due to the title I thought this would have been a parody of a Christmas Carol and I think that would have been great, it would have been a new and fresh idea that could of been really funny if it had good writing.

A Carol Christmas is not the worst version of a Christmas Carol I have ever seen but it’s definitely not the best either.

with 11 out of 12 reviews finished I think it’s time to see what the last Christmas movie review of 2015 will be.

The Final Review is

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you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) Review

There will be spoilers, so keep that in mind

“Every time a bell rings an Angel gets it’s wings”

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It’s a wonderful life follows the life of George Bailey, as a young lad George enjoyed a regular childhood of playing in the snow, climbing trees and trying to find adventure in his every step, unfortunately for George after he saved his brother from a near death experience he went death in his left ear.

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As an adult George is married with three kids and has taken over his fathers job as a bank manager and everything is going absolutely fine until eight thousand dollars goes missing just when the Bank inspector arrives, this causes a warrant to go out for George’s arrest and at this point he’s lost it.

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George runs to nearest bridge and hes about to jump when he sees another man fall into the river, George jumps in and saves the screaming man, the man tells him that his name is Clarence and that he is George’s Guardian angel.

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George tells Clarence that he wishes he had never been born, Clarence decides to grant George’s wish and he shows George what life would be like if he had never existed.

Every time I watch this movie I cant believe that there is a Christmas movie about a man wanting to kill himself and yet it is so good, It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most iconic Christmas classics out there and and with good reason, it manages to send a serious message about suicide while also having enough charm and character to keep it’s audience thoroughly entertained.

The film surprisingly has quite a bit of well written humor on offer and lets not forget it’s brilliant cast, James Stewart (George) and Henry Travers (Clarence) have a really good connection not only as their respected characters but also as actors, throughout the film both of their personalities bounce of each each other perfectly and it’s this connection that really helps the film maintain such a wonderful atmosphere for such a dark subject matter.

The film is runs for over two hours and unfortunately Clarence doesn’t make an appearance until near the end which is a real shame because as much as the rest of the film is still brilliant at maintaining an interested audience I always felt that he should have been in the film more often than he is.

It’s a Wonderful life is and always will be my Favorite Christmas movie of  time and I most defiantly recommend to any fan of classic Christmas films.

Thanks for reading this review of I’ts a Wonderful Life

Next film I will review is

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You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com