A Christmas Carol read by Tim Curry ★★★★✬

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Title: A Christmas Carol read by Tim Curry
Author: Charles Dickens
Narrator: Tim Curry
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Classic
Length: 3hrs, 31minutes
(Pages: 98)
(Words: 28K)


From Wikipedia.org

The book is divided into five chapters, which Dickens titled “staves”.

Stave one

A Christmas Carol opens on a bleak, cold Christmas Eve in London, seven years after the death of Ebenezer Scrooge’s business partner, Jacob Marley. Scrooge, an ageing miser, dislikes Christmas and refuses a dinner invitation from his nephew Fred—the son of Fan, Scrooge’s dead sister. He turns away two men who seek a donation from him to provide food and heating for the poor and only grudgingly allows his overworked, underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit, Christmas Day off with pay to conform to the social custom.

That night Scrooge is visited at home by Marley’s ghost, who wanders the Earth entwined by heavy chains and money boxes forged during a lifetime of greed and selfishness. Marley tells Scrooge that he has a single chance to avoid the same fate: he will be visited by three spirits and must listen or be cursed to carry much heavier chains of his own.

Stave two

The first spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes Scrooge to Christmas scenes of Scrooge’s boyhood, reminding him of a time when he was more innocent. The scenes reveal Scrooge’s lonely childhood at boarding school, his relationship with his beloved sister Fan, and a Christmas party hosted by his first employer, Mr Fezziwig, who treated him like a son. Scrooge’s neglected fiancée Belle is shown ending their relationship, as she realises that he will never love her as much as he loves money. Finally, they visit a now-married Belle with her large, happy family on the Christmas Eve that Marley died. Scrooge, upset by hearing Belle’s description of the man that he has become, demands that the ghost remove him from the house.

Stave three

The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to a joyous market with people buying the makings of Christmas dinner and to celebrations of Christmas in a miner’s cottage and in a lighthouse. Scrooge and the ghost also visit Fred’s Christmas party. A major part of this stave is taken up with Bob Cratchit’s family feast and introduces his youngest son, Tiny Tim, a happy boy who is seriously ill. The spirit informs Scrooge that Tiny Tim will die unless the course of events changes. Before disappearing, the spirit shows Scrooge two hideous, emaciated children named Ignorance and Want. He tells Scrooge to beware the former above all and mocks Scrooge’s concern for their welfare.

Stave four

The third spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, shows Scrooge a Christmas Day in the future. The silent ghost reveals scenes involving the death of a disliked man whose funeral is attended by local businessmen only on condition that lunch is provided. His charwoman, laundress and the local undertaker steal his possessions to sell to a fence. When he asks the spirit to show a single person who feels emotion over his death, he is only given the pleasure of a poor couple who rejoice that his death gives them more time to put their finances in order. When Scrooge asks to see tenderness connected with any death, the ghost shows him Bob Cratchit and his family mourning the death of Tiny Tim. The ghost then allows Scrooge to see a neglected grave, with a tombstone bearing Scrooge’s name. Sobbing, Scrooge pledges to change his ways.

Stave five

Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning a changed man. He makes a large donation to the charity he rejected the previous day, anonymously sends a large turkey to the Cratchit home for Christmas dinner and spends the afternoon with Fred’s family. The following day he gives Cratchit an increase in pay, and begins to become a father figure to Tiny Tim. From then on Scrooge treats everyone with kindness, generosity and compassion, embodying the spirit of Christmas.

My Thoughts:

Most people know the story of A Christmas Carol already. This review, therefore, is going to be more about the audio side of things, as I listened to this read by Tim Curry. When I did my Currently Reading post about this last month I was very excited to hear this in Curry’s voice.

So how did it turn out? Overall, pretty good.

Listening to this, instead of reading it, allowed me to focus on different aspects that what I’ve concentrated on before and brought to the fore little things. Like the fact that Bob and Tiny Tim attended church services, or that Scrooge began attending church as part of his changed nature. Descriptions of the surroundings or of secondary characters that I’d read over like a steamroller, were allowed a new lease on life due to the magic of Curry’s voice.

I liked Curry’s reading of this. Except for one thing. Scrooge’s voice. It’s a big thing and that’s why I kept this at 4.5stars instead of bumping it up to 5. Curry turns Scrooge into this whining voice that just barely avoided being annoying. While he still conveys the fear, the excitement, the remorse, that is in each of Scrooge’s talks to the various spirits, it is all done in that tone. It is a big enough thing that I suspect I won’t be listening to this version again but will try the one read by Patrick Stewart, or I’ll just read it myself.

I did find out, in the Currently Reading post’s comments section, that Curry had suffered a major stroke and was wheelchair bound. Reading his wiki page, that happened in 2012 and this was produced in 2016. I’d never have guessed it from his voice here though.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I am taking part in Anna the Book Critter’s Linkup Party with this review. Feel free to head over to her site and check it out.

35 thoughts on “A Christmas Carol read by Tim Curry ★★★★✬

  1. I wonder if the classic film version of CC is in the public domain, and if it was if they could have copy and pasted Alastair Sim’s voice into the recording for reading the Scrooge parts. That might have been an interesting experiment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t know a thing about movies and public domain.
      I know there are “productions” where they do a full cast for audio books, which is closer to what you are talking about. The thing is, did the movie do the book word for word? Because if it didn’t, then it wouldn’t be an audio version, but another version.


        1. Oh, I’m well aware of what copy right is, I just don’t know it works for movies (as opposed to books, which is all based on the author and their lifespan).

          I’m not a huge audio fan, so I know something like that wouldn’t appeal to me. Even this only got my attention because of Tim Curry 🙂


  2. I just rewatched the Muppet version and noticed that Scrooge there just shows up at Cratchit’s house and imposes himself on them. I am glad in the original he sent the turkey anonymously.

    If I ever actually read A Christmas Carol, it was years and years ago. With plenty of Audible credits lying around, maybe I will pick up the Patrick Stewart version.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Movies can take a lot of liberties for “insert whatever the director feels like is a valid reason, but isn’t” and I bet more people know this story through various movies than have read the actual story.
      But little details like what you mentioned are easy to gloss over when reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t heard it, but I bet the Patrick Stewart version is excellent. For a while he did a one-man production of a Christmas Carol, and his made-for-TV movie adaptation is almost perfect (the costuming for the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is terrible…looks like a giant jawa from Star Wars)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pretty cool that you were able to revisit this classic through a different medium and appreciated it all in the end. Based on your reply to another blogger, it sounds like you’ll be trying the audiobook of this classic again but with Patrick Stewart next? That sounds pretty exciting. Have you tried his movie? Or did you actually mean the movie and not some sort of audiobook that he voiced? 😮

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Curry reading A Christmas Carol sounds like a lot of fun! But I’ll wait for your review of the audio version by Stewart to decide which one I want to listen to 😉 As much as I like A Christmas Carol, I doubt I’d be able to listen to it twice 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, with this comment asking about the Stewart version, I just put a reminder to listen to it for next year on my google calendar.
      You know, google calendar is wicked helpful sometimes.

      You mean twice in one month? Or ever?

      Liked by 1 person

          1. LOL, I found I can’t focus on attentive listening when I’m doing something requiring my attention – I can listen to audiobooks while doing chores (alone) or driving, but there aren’t too many such occasions in lockdown 😉

            Liked by 1 person

    1. If you like Tim Curry, then this is a must listen.
      My only quibble is that it costs a full audible credit while not being a full novel. If you do some searching you might be able to find it elsewhere at a better cost.

      Good luck!


    1. I didn’t either until a year or three ago. Thank goodness for other book bloggers, right? 😀
      If you get a hold of it, I hope it works well for you.

      Thank you. And it is nice to see Anna’s booklink party working 🙂


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