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More About A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens; Jonathan WintersOverviewThe enchanting NPR holiday favorite is finally on CD. "Old Marley was as dead as a doornail" and so, nearly, was Christmas itself when Charles Dickens published "A Christmas Carol" in 1843. Most traditions had been forgotten, and few if any employees got time off to celebrate. Dickens' story captured the imagination of a generation and transformed December 25 into a major holiday. For many National Public Radio listeners, it just wouldn't be Christmas without hearing Jonathan Winters perform "A Christmas Carol." The master comedian brilliantly re-creates Dickens' cast of colorful characters: Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley's spirit, and the three Christmas ghosts, Past, Present, and Future. His distinctive and charming reading uses a special version of the story prepared by Dickens for his own performances. The liner notes are by Winters, who clearly revels in the story's language and message: "Merry Christmas, every one "
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 83.
- Review Date: 2007-08-27
- Reviewer: Staff
Dickens's classic holiday tale, like many cultural touchstones, often falls into the trap of perennial reinterpretation. First aired in 1990 but only now available on CD, NPR's presentation serves to place the familiar story back in its historical context. NPR News anchor Susan Stamberg's introduction, along with background information in the liner notes, offers valuable insights regarding both Dickens's gritty backdrop and his role in reviving Christmas traditions otherwise forgotten amid rapid urban industrialization. The script being performed is the same one Dickens used to use at readings. Comedy legend Winters, who serves as narrator while also performing all of the male roles, juggles his duties seamlessly and demonstrates remarkable dramatic range. His portrayal of Scrooge before the ghostly visitations evokes discernable pain and loss beyond the over-the-top antics of an ogre figure. Veteran actress Mimi Kennedy voices the female parts with gusto. With its quality production, attractive price and one-hour length, this release offers the perfect gift and establishes a festive new annual ritual for families to share. (Sept.)BookPage Reviews
Stocking stuffers and beyond
When a classic comic, Jonathan Winters, meets a Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol, we get a golden oldie that really glitters. And we get Winters at his best, seeming to channel all the voices of Dickens' beloved characters. Available as an audio for the first time, this National Public Radio favorite is a very special holiday special.