About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Seasonal Ghost Story

A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas
by Charles Dickens
Project Gutenberg e-book edition
based on J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY edition (1915, printed in England)
Illustrated by Arthur Rackham
Approximately 148 pages
Rated: 4.0 of 5 stars possible

I chose to re-read A Christmas Carol at this time of year (2008) for several reasons.  First, because of the seasonal nature of the story, and second because I was feeling in need of the "lesson" learned by Scrooge.; also to study the illustrations. There are (at minimum) three illustrated editions of this novella, each done by a different artist; the illustrations accompanying each version are quite different than the illustrations for the other versions. Mr. Rackham's style is simple, comical and comfortable... some illustrations are merely line drawings while others are a little more complex and in full color.  They add an incredible amount of enjoyment to reading this book, but are not distracting as some illustrations can be.

Dickens' prose stands out - as usual - partly because of the Victorian phrasing and cadence, partly because of the differences between British English and American English. For a modern-day American scholar, this makes Dickens a challenge to comprehend, but none-the-less an enjoyable challenge. A Christmas Carol deals with two themes which you see frequently occurring in Dickens' work: social injustice and poverty. There's an abundance of symbolism employed in this tale of Christmas, enough so that analysis of the short text is not quick and easy to accomplish. On another level, A Christmas Carol can simply be enjoyed for the excellent tale it is - which is what I wound up doing despite my original intentions.  Deeper analysis will have to wait for another day - and probably not one close to the season depicted in the story.

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