Monday, December 17, 2018

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (read by Jim Dale)

Reviewed by Christy
            In 2007, the tv show Pushing Daisies premiered on ABC. It was a whimsical take on the popular crime procedural genre. Ned, a pie maker, has a very special gift. With his touch he can wake the dead but touch them again, and they’ll remain dead forever. When a private investigator stumbles onto Ned’s gift, they team up to solve crimes together. Though it was only on for a short period of time, its pop of colors, eye-catching costumes, and fairy tale-like quality made a lasting impression. It even had a narrator. The narration of Jim Dale brought all the elements together, and this is where he first caught my attention.
            Though he has a long storied career as a singer and actor in the UK, in America he is known as the voice of “Harry Potter” because he narrates all seven audiobooks and the video games. (He also holds a Guinness World Record for creating 146 voices for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). He has narrated several other audiobooks as well including The Night Circus and A Christmas Carol.
            Though we probably all know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge by heart, I had never read the actual book. When I saw that Jim Dale narrated the audiobook, I put it on hold on READS and was excited when it finally popped up in my loans.  He does an absolutely wonderful job. His character voices are distinct, and his voice has a relaxed but dignified grandpa quality that is very cozy to listen to. There’s not much to say about the text itself since it’s so iconic but I enjoyed the story including the darker elements (I still think Disney’s A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey is one of the best adaptations. It can be quite dark for an animated movie – truly a Christmas ghost story). If you’re someone having trouble getting into the holiday spirit, I think listening to this book, a comfy blanket, and some steaming hot cocoa could work wonders.
If you like Dickens but aren’t interested in A Christmas Carol, he wrote several other short Christmas stories. We have a collection available at Main and another collection available on audiobook through READS.
NOTE: for those of you who prefer CDs to downloads, we also have the Jim Dale A Christmas Carol on CD.

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