A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens, 1843
My favorite quote: The opening line: “Marley was dead, to begin with.” What a great way to start
Notable characters: Ebenezer Scrooge, a heartless miser who finds redemption
Most memorable scene: My favorite scenes have always been those early moments when the spookiness is just beginning to take shape. That first appearance of Jacob Marley’s ghost is the kind of stuff that made me a fan of ghost stories in the first place. I still can’t get enough of it
Greatest strengths: Character development, of course
Standout achievements: I don’t think the general public has any idea how profound a cultural impact this little novella really had — not only at the time of its publication in England, but even today, in America. One example of this is the fact that this book popularized the terms “Merry Christmas” and “bah humbug.” Before A Christmas Carol, no one really said those things. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re looking to have your mind blown, give it a Google
Fun Facts: Dickens originally intended A Christmas Carol to be a pamphlet called, “An Appeal to the People of England on behalf of the Poor Man’s Child,” which would be about child labor in the British society.
What it taught me: The importance — and the power — of character development. I mean, can you imagine how lame this story would have been if Ebenezer hadn’t changed?
How it inspired me: My collaborator, Tamara Thorne, and I have the honor of beginning a new venture called Horror Classics with Thorne & Cross, where we’ll be writing introductions for and giving our thoughts on classic horror-themed novels, stories, and novellas.We chose A Christmas Carol to kick it off because we can’t think of a more important, meaningful, and enduring classic in ANY genre. The ebook, paperback, and audiobook (narrated by Jamison Lee Walker) is available now at Amazon and Audible
Additional thoughts: Because his previous book didn’t sell well, Dickens wasn’t able to find a publisher for A Christmas Carol and paid for the printing himself … making him one of the early self-published authors
Haunt me: alistaircross.com