Wednesday, December 18, 2013

REVIEW: A Christmas Carol 2

A Christmas Carol 2: The Return of Scrooge
By: Robert Elisberg

Genre: Christmas, Parodies
Year published: 2012
Pages: 156

Date read: 12.18.2013

Summary:  A #1 best-seller on Amazon for Humor Parody.  "A Christmas Carol 2: The Return of Scrooge" is a continuation of the beloved Christmas tale, that quickly goes flying off in its own comic direction. It begins five years after dear old Ebenezer Scrooge has passed away and left his thriving firm to his former clerk, Bob Cratchit. However, Bob's overly-generous benevolence with lending and charity-giving has driven the company into the ground, on the verge of bankruptcy. And so the ghost of Scrooge returns one Christmas Eve to teach Cratchit the true meaning of money. Making the swirling journey through Christmases past, present, and yet-to-be all the more of a chaotic ride for Cratchit are the dozens of characters from other Dickens novels woven throughout the story, together for the first time. God bless them, most everyone.

My thoughts

I'm a big fan of A Christmas Carol.  It started in 6th grade at St Michael's Catholic School in Houston, Texas.  My English teacher has us read the book aloud, then showed us every version of the movie that she could find - having us compare the movies to the book.  We then had to write a paper about the differences, plus our likes and dislikes of both.  Little did she know that she was starting an obsession that day, an obsession that has stuck with me my entire life, not only with the story, but also the NEED to read the book, then watch the movie.  (In case you're wondering, the one that stars George C Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge is not only the best rendition, but also the closest I have found to Dickens' original story.)

Last month, while looking for something on Amazon, I came across this story - how did I not know about this?!?!  I decided to borrow it with Amazon Prime and read it this year instead of the original story.

It's a few years after Scrooge has died and Bob has the company, is lending up a storm, helping the needy ... and running the place into the ground - and a lot of the people he trusts and tries to help are not what they seem.  How best to take care of the problem?  Have him visited by three ghosts - but they are not the ones of Past, Present and Future - but Scrooge himself (who also comes as the second ghost because he couldn't get anyone else to volunteer), a Jewish man and someone who was taken away from his celebration with his wonderful wife. 

It's cool how Cratchit is the exact opposite of what Scrooge was at the beginning of A Christmas Carol and how, with Scrooge's help, he learns the errors of his ways.  A very interesting take on the original story.

I also like that they used characters from other Dickens' novels throughout.  The footnotes are cool (and helpful for anyone who reads this and is not very familiar with other Dickens' novels) - I especially liked the ones talking about the relationship between Dickens' and his publisher.

There are a lot of funny bits but, alas, there are sometimes where the narrator is trying to be funny, but falls a little flat - you know, a couple of "heh" moments.  Yeah, those.  But all-in-all a good book.

My favorite line: "Cratchit was jolly as St Nicholas, merry as Christmas and nutty as a fruitcake."

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