Sunday, December 12, 2010

Book Review: A Christmas Carol

Everyone has them, a book or movie you feel you know so well that you don't really need to check out the original story. There are a lot of stories out there that I'll probably never read simply because I'm already familiar with the story and don't necessarily see the benefit to reading something that holds no surprises for me.

A couple years ago I happened to pick up a paperback version of Robert Bloch's Psycho, the one that was made into one of the most famous horror films every made. Having seen the movie during my teenaged years I assumed that the book didn't have any extra to offer me... until I read it. Stepping away from my main point for a second, the novel Psycho is seriously one of the most scary pieces of fiction I've ever read, and I knew what was going to happen before I turned to page one.

Since my reading-related epiphany 4 years ago, I've tried to work my way through a classic every couple of months to see what all the fuss is about. Last week I decided to check out Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, and you know what? It's really good. From a horror fans point of view, the sequence with Marley's ghost in the beginning is really creepy, and the floating clouds of ghosts Scrooge sees in the skies above London? I don't remember any of those in the movie versions.

The story itself is pretty short, not even 200 pages, and yes you almost definitely know the entire story going in to it, but you know what. It really got to me, as a fan of Horror and Fantasy, I loved all the bizarre and strange concepts that the author had come up with and I really felt a lot of sympathy for Scrooge as he is forced to examine his own life.

Would I own the book? Yes, but only if I were to read more of Mr. Dickens work and decide to purchase it all. Will I read any more of his works? You betcha.

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