>> Friday, December 23, 2011
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Publisher: Sound Room Publishers
Publication Date: Originally 1843 (this edition 2002)
Read by: Ralph Cosham
The Short Version:
A well done audio version of a classic read by one of my favorite audiobook narrators.
Why I Read It:
I started hearing about a variety of audio versions of this book that people I know were listening to so I browsed my library website to see what they had. As soon as I saw one read by Ralph Cosham, it was an easy choice for me.
Most people know this story. Most people have seen a variety of adaptations of it either on TV or in movies. The story isn’t new. Even the original Dickens version isn’t new to me. I’ve read it before a few years ago. This is the first time however, that I’ve listened to this as an audiobook.
Scrooge, Marley, the Cratchit family the spirits of Christmas past, present and yet to come are all well known. The moral for both individuals and society is about as subtle as a thwack on the head with a two by four but it’s not meant to be subtle.
The story is divided into five staves as in musical staff notations that relate to the title carol. In Stave One the background is set. Scrooge is a miserly grump. Class distinctions are clear. The poor are miserable with no way out and workhouses are a reality of the time. Marley’s ghost visits Scrooge. The next three staves are the visits of the spirits and the final one is Christmas Day and afterwards showing Scrooge’s changed perspective and attitude with hope that others will find the same consideration for the less fortunate that he does.
I’ve read this before so it’s not my first exposure to the story as written by Dickens. It’s not a new story but if you haven’t read the original, I recommend it. It’s dark and quite depressing in many places. Dickens portrayals of the different spirits and Marley’s ghost are vivid, interesting and varied.
The familiar characters were not anything surprising as originally written, but I will admit to kind of wanting to smack Tiny Tim a couple of times for his exaggerated goodness and positive outlook.
I loved hearing Ralph Cosham read this. He’s got a great voice that has a way of making the story feel like I was sitting in a room with a warm fire listening to a fatherly voice read the story. It’s just the right kind of narrator for this one in my opinion.
I listened to the first part of this while driving around town with The Hubster. I enjoyed hearing him laugh hear and there and the humorous moments in that first part. I like that a story this old can still have the funny moments be funny. It’s a nice balance to the darker portions.
If you decide to give the audio of this one a try, I definitely recommend hunting up this version read by Ralph Cosham.
SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.