A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Stories by Charles Dickens

#65 in my book challenge for the year was this Dickens collection of Christmas stories. I find it interesting how thoroughly the tale has pervaded our lives that it was completely familiar to me though I’d never read it before. I found it well worth reading. The main points of the story are well known, but I was glad to experience the writing and the details. And though I generally avoid them, I found the introduction by the late Frederick Busch–a writer I admire a great deal–to be insightful and helpful. Marley’s ghost starts scary, then becomes sympathetic. A scene from Christmas yet to come echoes Shakespeare’s witches in Macbeth. On the surface, it’s more about the culture of the holiday than its religion. Yet there is a steady tension throughout between the joy of children and the inevitability of death that mirrors the bittersweet note in the joy of Christmas, that the death of Good Friday is not far off.

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