Sunday, December 7, 2008

Classics Bookclub - A Christmas Carol

This month's selection for the Classics Bookclub (hosted by 5 Minutes For Books) was, appropriately, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I read this once before as a teenager, but didn't appreciate it nearly as much then as I did this time around.

This is a short story, not a full novel, but I don't consider it an easy read due to wading through the somewhat lengthy old English descriptions. Dickens' humor balances his frank look at the human conditions of poverty and heartlessness. I was struck by how, despite all modern advances since this was written, there is still a great need for kindness and generosity, for there is always someone around me in need. Overall, a worthy read this time of year.

When my kids get older, I think reading this aloud at Christmastime would be a nice tradition - it's just too heavy on the old English for me to do that now. In the meantime, I'll pop in
this video, which we watch every year:

Some might say that a movie version, especially one starring mostly puppet creatures, would be a close second to reading the book, but I disagree in this case. After reading the book, I am impressed with how much of the original Dickens dialogue makes up the script of the movie. Also, much of the storyline follows very closely. Bits that I thought were Muppet writers' humor were actual lines from the original book.

If you love the Muppets, you'll love Kermit as Bob Crachit, Miss Piggy as Mrs. Crachit, Fozzy Bear as Mr. Fezziwig/Fozzywig! And the delightful Michael Caine gives a talented performance as Mr. Scrooge.

The only things left out are things that are too heavy for children to understand (the dead body of Scrooge on the bed), or some of the longer sections that had to be condensed or eliminated to make the story fit a movie timeline. None of what was left out was, in my opinion, a great loss for children or adults watching this movie.

And to top it off, at the end, one of the characters can be heard saying,

"If you think that was good, you should read the book!"


vintagewindow said...

Hello, This is my first time visiting your blog, it is wonderful. Your photography skills are off the hook. Kudos!!

I've never watched the Muppet Scrooge movie, but I think I'll add it to my list of much watch Christmas movies.

Have a great day.


Joanne said...

I too love the Muppet Christmas Carol! It is a great movie.

~ANG said...

Love the Muppets! I haven't seen this movie in a while..I think my girls would enjoy it this year...and I just might have to cozy up to the book.