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Publisher's Summary

"The Cricket on the Hearth" is a novella by Charles Dickens, written in 1845. It is the third of Dickens' five Christmas books, the others being "A Christmas Carol" (1843), "The Chimes" (1844), "The Battle of Life" (1846), and "The Haunted Man" (1847).

John Peerybingle, a carrier, lives with his young wife Dot, their baby boy and their nanny Tilly Slowboy. A cricket chirps on the hearth and acts as a guardian angel to the family. One day a mysterious elderly stranger comes to visit and takes up lodging at Peerybingle's house for a few days.
©2017 Oregan Publishing (P)2017 Oregan Publishing
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Ruth Green on 12-12-17

This Narrator Makes the Difference

This lesser-known Dickens Christmas story was more popular in its day than "A Christmas Carol," though its sentimental depiction of a sweet wife and super-sweet blind girl borders on saccharine for modern tastes. Dickens is the master of characterization and delivers plenty of gentle humor in this tale of threat to hearth and home. Jumping to conclusions or creating a false reality provide the drama, which is -- as expected -- comfortingly resolved. I've listened to other versions, and what makes this one stand out is how lovingly rendered the narration is. Paulson infuses her reading with such warmth and affection that I kept imagining myself sitting by the fireside in Victorian England, with all the time in the world to get to know the gentle giant John, his eager-to-please wife Dot, clumsy but well-meaning Tilly, and the rest.

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