Saturday, February 09, 2013

A Christmas Carol - Special Book Review


Why hello there. Here I have another book review, but not just any book review. This book review is special. No only did I critique the book, I reviewed a peers review of the book. Crazy, hey?!?!?

This wonderful review is on a wonderful book, A Christmas Carol, which is of course by the legendary Charles Dickens. 

My first paragraph is responding to a peers review, which you can check out here
My second paragraph is simply a review of the book and how awesomely awesome it is!!!

*I didn't write a summary, so check out the Goodreads Summary




A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens

Most everyone has heard of A Christmas Carol before, be it the play, movie, or original book. Azhar says it could be considered a classic tale, I say it IS a classic! As Azhar said, A Christmas Carol touches the hearts of its audience by showcasing the true meaning of Christmas: giving and joy. To further the idea of messages and meanings, Azhar states in his review that the theme is “don’t be greedy”. I agree that this is a prominent message in the book, but I don’t think it is the main theme. In my mind, the theme is in this phrase: “…that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour.” (Pg. 84). An aspect that I really agree with Azhar on is the detailed setting. My favourite instance of this was on pg. 18, where Dickens tells us the journey of Scrooge walking through his house looking for the ghost, meanwhile giving us a superb description of the setting. Detail was in abundance throughout the whole book, to the point that both Azhar and I question if there was a bit too much. This caused the story to move slower, and I often found myself having to read over parts to understand the message being told. Overall, Azhar and I both believe A Christmas Carol is a phenomenal story, and I support his recommendation of the book to anyone wanting an entertaining story and not minding an overload of description.

Since it was such an intricate story, there are obviously many more elements that should be touched on. One aspect that was quite noticeable was the archaic writing, which was super detailed and foreign in comparison to what I normally read. An intense example of this is on pg. 13: “If the good Saint Dunstan had but nipped the Evil Spirit’s nose with a touch of such weather as that, instead of using his familiar weapons, then indeed he would have roared to lusty purpose”. Similarly, elements such as punctuation and sentence structure were different than what we are used to today: ““He fastened the door, and walked across the hall, and up the stairs: slowly too: trimming his candle as he went.” (Pg. 17).  This created a challenge and often required me to read over parts, but it also created the chance for me to see rich, deep, classic literature, which was phenomenal! Having seen theatre and movie versions of the story, I already had visuals of the characters and all, and yet the book was still able to enhance the way I saw each character: “With ghostly spectacles turned up upon its ghostly forehead. The hair was curiously stirred, as if by breath or hot-air; and though the eyes were wide open, they were perfectly motionless.” (Pg. 16). Another positive was the way Dickens communicated the character descriptions, as well as the details of the setting. He was discrete and didn’t push the information right to you, but rather Dickens tied it into the plot and story as a whole to create an awe-inspiring masterpiece. None of the elements were superfluous, and if you read this book, I am sure you will find the experience to be anything but superfluous too.

6 comments:

  1. Hey, I really enjoyed how in-depth you went into Azhar's review and your own! just curious is this your favourite book?

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    1. It was awesome, but not my absolute favourite book. My favourite book is Harry Potter!

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  2. Your Review kept me Interested throughout the Entire Thing, especially your descriptive language and variety of word choice. I also thought that your Litspiration challenge was really interesting. From your blog maintainance I can really tell that you love literature and I am curios as to why you decided to keep it going and post beyond the Expectation. Great Blog!

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    1. I love literature so I decided to take advantage of that and use this blog for more than just the school requirements

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  3. Hey Julia,
    I think this review should be THE example review for Grade 8 Litspiration! I can tell that your review was well thought out, and I really like your word choice. You never made a phrase or word sound too repetitive, which made this review highly enjoyable. I also like how you aren't afraid to express your opinion that the theme isn't what Azhar said, although I slightly disagree with you on your opinion of the theme. I think that Azhar and you are both moderately correct, although maybe if you combine your themes together you'll get the right one?

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    1. Thank you for your comments :) I totally agree with what you are saying about theme! I always think that if it is a really good book, there are multiple themes and multiple ways to interpret it and connect to the story, so yeah

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Thanks for acknowledging my blog and love of literature!