A Christmas Carol

  • by Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • 2 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens first published by Chapman and Hall and first released on 19 December 1843. The story tells of sour and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge's ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation after the supernatural visitations of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. The book was written and published at a time when Britain was experiencing a nostalgic interest in its forgotten Christmas traditions, and at the time when new customs such as the Christmas tree and greeting cards were being introduced. Dickens' sources for the tale appear to be many and varied but are principally the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and the Christmas stories of Washington Irving. The tale was pirated immediately, was adapted several times to the stage, and has been credited with restoring the holiday to one of merriment and festivity in Britain and America after a period of sobriety and somberness. A Christmas Carol remains popular, has never been out of print, and has been adapted to film, opera, and other media.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

One of the best

There are so many wonderful recordings of this wonderful book - how could you possibly pick one over another? Simon Vance is one of the most reliable narrators in the business, and he delivers the goods here as well. His voices form a miniature orchestra, taking us through the story with speed and clarity. I often pick up details in one of Vance's narrations that I missed in reading the book or listening to other readers. Here it was an emphasis on the smells of London that I hadn't noticed before; and my mouth watered at the descriptions of the food. I loved it.
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- Tad Davis

The Best "A Christmas Carol" Out There

If you could sum up A Christmas Carol in three words, what would they be?

Tragedy, Warmth, Redemption


Who was your favorite character and why?

But of COURSE it's Scrooge! Who else has a lonely boyhood, chooses the security that he thinks only wealth can provide, passes up on love, and seeks a closeness to humanity, damn the costs, at the end?!? Dickens really came up with a character we can all revile, relate to, and hope to become by the journey's end.


What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Simon Vance is why, in my opinion, this is the best "A Christmas Carol" you'll find. He brings warmth, sensitivity, excellent characterization skills, and a sense of pacing and drama to his narration of this classic. Some male narrators have difficulty with female voices, but Little Fan and Belle are safe in his hands. This is a smooth and heartfelt performance all around, truly a delight to the ears!


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Now, now Audible! Everyone knows the story! Don't make us feel like we're undergoing a pop quiz...!


Any additional comments?

"A Christmas Carol" has always been a part of my Christmas season, and I thought I'd found a good one with Tim Curry's "Signature Performance." Alas, his version was over the top, and he made Little Fan, who's so much a part of Scrooge's history and emotional development, laughable. Simon Vance is perfection here. This is a virtuoso performance of a well-loved classic. I'll listen to it every year. With pleasure!

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- Gillian

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-10-2011
  • Publisher: Mission Audio