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Marilyn Lightstone Reads A Christmas Carol

The podcast host gives a dramatic reading of Charles Dickens' classic holiday story of redemption and hope / BY Athena McKenzie / December 18th, 2020


>A Christmas CarolCharles Dickens

With its iconic cultural touch points — the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, Tiny Tim, and Ebenezer Scrooge himself — Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a perennial seasonal classic. Its cultural influence is so pervasive, most of us know the broad strokes of the story, whether we’ve read the novella or not.
Unlike some other classics (F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, to name just two), there was no slow build for A Christmas Carol. When the book was published on Dec. 19, 1843, it became a runaway hit, selling out its first print run before the holiday and an additional two printings before the New Year.
The book has been translated into virtually every language, and has seen innumerable adaptations for stage, screen and radio. And that doesn’t even account for countless homages, reboots and parodies, including an exemplary episode of The Simpsons, “A Springfield Christmas Carol.” Last year, Dolly Parton premiered her own musical take on the tale with a new stage musical Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol, setting the story in a Depression-era mining town.
While part of the book’s power lies in its economic and societal analysis, and its role reflecting Christmas traditions in Victorian society, the key to A Christmas Carol’s longevity and appeal rests solidly on Scrooge. Played by many actors, from Alistair Sim to Jim Carrey to Bill Murray in 1989’s Scrooged, the story of the miserly businessman’s journey from selfishness to redemption illustrates the hope and potential of the festive season — a chance, in the dimming of the year, for small measures of comfort and joy.
Hear Marilyn Lightstone bring this classic to life on her new podcast Marilyn Reads.

Photo collage: Bettman/Contributor (Illustration from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens); book cover; Marilyn Lightstone headshot 
Marilyn Lightstone Reads


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