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Mr. Dickens and His Carol: A Novel of…

Mr. Dickens and His Carol: A Novel of Christmas Past

by Samantha Silva

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12411138,862 (3.67)8



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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
[In the interest of full disclosure: I almost stopped reading this book at page 135, which is way past my 50-page-or-so limit for determining whether I like a book or not. Which may tell you all about this book that you might need to know...] Wildly popular novelist Charles Dickens is a bit down on this luck: the sales for his latest serial novel 'Martin Chuzzlewit' have fallen off dramatically (one local shop is giving it away with any purchase of a tin of tea), he is surrounded by requests and demands for money (not least of all from his shiftless father, his feckless brother, and his growing brood of children), and, worst of all, his publishers are about to invoke an obscure clause in Dickens's contract with them, requiring a monthly payment to them...unless he turn out a Christmas book in a short period of time. The novelist manages to alienate his wife, quarrel with his best friend, and wander aimlessly around London, wondering how to make ends meet without writing the demanded book -- until he encounters the mysterious Eleanor Lovejoy, who captures his both his imagination and his heart, becoming something of a muse to him and inspiring him to move ahead with the Christmas story for which Dickens is to become most famous, 'A Christmas Carol.' -- I did not find this book very engaging -- until close to the very end, when the mystery of Eleanor is revealed...and the story intersplices portions of the text of 'A Christmas Carol' with scenes of various people reading and reacting to it. It was amusing to see how Dickens meets incidents and peoples' names that will be incorporated into the 'Carol.' But it is probably a case of too little too late so far as I am concerned. As the author admits in her concluding Note, she is not bound by the actual events of Dickens's life, which also serves to undercut my appreciation for her accomplishment. Ho-hum. ( )
  David_of_PA | Jul 14, 2018 |
I would have liked it better if there hadn't been so much effort made to point out how much "the more things change, the more they stay the same" regarding the book business. This is probably not something that would bother—or even be noticed by—someone outside of the book business, but, for me, it just got...tedious. ( )
  BillieBook | Apr 1, 2018 |
So, I really wish I'd read this before Christmas, but right after isn't bad, right? Dicken's A Christmas Carol is so culturally pervasive that practically anyone can enjoy this re-imagining of how the classic came to be. I liked how the author portrayed Dicken's fondness for interesting names and I'll admit my heart nearly stopped with the final realization about Dicken's muse Eleanor Lovejoy. I also loved the early chapters when Dickens displays his own inner Scrouge. Overall, this is a fun read and perfect for getting in the holiday spirit. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Jan 5, 2018 |
Storytelling at its best. Every winter holiday should begin with this book. The writing is excellent. The choice of facts on Dickens woven within the overall story as tempting as a plum pudding. By the time I finished, I felt as if I had known Charles Dickens, his family, and his distraught worries on writing and success as an author as well as any of his friends. This is not a children’s book. Although it could be enjoyed by 12 . It is a comic, insightful look at the creation of the most famous Christmas story written.

Le Coeur de l'Artiste
( )
  DJadamson | Jan 4, 2018 |
This was a charming and perfect book to read before the holidays. As a Dickens fan, I loved the vivid descriptions of London and the publishing world during this era. It was a great way to get in the mood for the holidays. ( )
  jmoncton | Jan 2, 2018 |
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On that unseasonably warm November day at One Devonshire Terrace, Christmas was not in his head at all.
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"Charles Dickens is not feeling the Christmas spirit. His newest book is an utter flop, the critics have turned against him, relatives near and far hound him for money. While his wife plans a lavish holiday party for their ever-expanding family and circle of friends, Dickens has visions of the poor house. But when his publishers try to blackmail him into writing a Christmas book to save them all from financial ruin, he refuses ... On one of his long night walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets the mysterious Eleanor Lovejoy, who might be just the muse he needs"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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