Christmas books

by Charles Dickens

Paper Book, 1987




Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1987, 1954


Each of these short stories was written specifically for Christmas. They combine concern for social ills with the myths and memories of childhood and traditional Christmas spirit-lore. The stories include "A Christmas Carol", "The Chimes", "The Battle of Life" and "The Cricket on the Hearth". AUTHOR Charles John Huffam Dickens FRSA (7 February 1812 - 9 June 1870), pen-name "Boz", was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era and one of the most popular of all time. He created some of literature's most memorable characters. His novels and short stories have never gone out of print. A concern with what he saw as the pressing need for social reform is a theme that runs throughout his work. Much of his work first appeared in periodicals and magazines in serialised form, a favoured way of publishing fiction at the time. Dickens, unlike others who would complete entire novels before serial publication commenced, often wrote his in parts, in the order in which they were meant to appear. The practice lent his stories a particular rhythm, punctuated by one cliffhanger after another to keep the public eager for the next installment.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member jstuart
includes Dickens' short stories "A Christmas Carol," "The Chimes," "The Cricket on the Hearth," "The Battle of Life," and "The Haunted Man."
LibraryThing member isabelx
The Chimes
The Haunted Man
The Cricket on the Hearth
The Battle of Life
A Christmas Carol

I read this collection of stories 3 years ago for a Book Club and we all agreed that none of the other stories is a patch on "A Christmas Carol".

I did enjoy "The Cricket on the Hearth", a suspenseful story of
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possible infidelity, and "The Chimes", which was written a year after "A Christmas Carol" and has a similar story, with Trotty who has supposedly fallen to his death from the church bell tower is shown three future New Years by the spirits of the chimes and the ghost of a young girl who dies in one of those future visions.

The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain is the third story in this book in which various types of spirit show the protagonist the error of his ways.

And a final piece of advice - Don't start by reading "The Battle of Life" like I did, as it's possibly the most annoying story I have ever read!
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LibraryThing member Michael.Rimmer
The Christmas Books, while not always being set during the festive season, each exemplify some aspect of the spirit of charity and "goodwill to all men" that Dickens felt so important in the celebration of Christ's birth, and which he did so much to forge into what is now seen as "a traditional
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The Battle of Life: Self-sacrifice and familial love are the messages here. Some wonderfully drawn characters in Clemency Newcome (servant) and Messrs. Snitchey and Craggs (lawyers). Expectations are nicely confounded in this one.
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LibraryThing member AliceAnna
A Christmas Carol has been adhered to fairly well in the adaptations I've seen -- I was a bit surprised. All of the others had a disturbing bent as well. The Haunted Man, though, would be the one I considered to be the best. The basic premise is that one can not truly appreciate the good things in
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life unless one has experienced adversity and hardship. Otherwise the good just doesn't mean as much. Powerful imagery throughout. I liked the line, "My mind is going blind."
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LibraryThing member sf_addict
A Christmas Carol is a perennial favourite. The Chimes has its moments, but the rest of what I read is rather dull. Unfinished and now listed on bookmooch
LibraryThing member Ghost_Boy
Besides A Christmas Carol, the other stories in this collection are good to read during Christmas, but don't expect anything better. Most of these seemed like Dickens wrote for the money rather than actually wanting to write the story. Never read his other short stories, but I'm aware his novels
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aren't as fantastical as these stories. Maybe he was writing out of his element here. IMO, Dickens is a better novelist than writing short stories and novellas.

This edition contains A Christmas Carol, the Chimes, the Cricket on the Hearth, Battle of Life, and the Hunted Man. I still liked this book even though I really only liked 2 of the 5 stories. It's well put together and well organized. It says it's illustrated, but only a few for the first two stories and the others don't have any.

Each story is about 100 pages long, so you can read each one in a day I would think.
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