In his memoir “My Reading Life,” the great Pat Conroy states that “War And Peace” should be required reading in every military college (I’ve actually said the same about “The Art Of War”).
In this spirit, “A Christmas Carol” should be required reading for anybody working towards their MBA or law degree.
My wife and I have joked that the perfect holiday would be an amalgam of Halloween (my favorite) and Christmas (her favorite). In a way, “Carol” captures this spirit (later to be bottled and sold by Tim Burton). What’s striking about “Carol” is that the spooky parts, even with the dated language, are REALLY spooky-everybody loves a good ghost story, even during the celebration of Jesus’ birth, and Dickens doesn’t hold back.
Dickens’ language is wonderfully descriptive: you can practically taste the sage and onion at the Cratchits’ dinner table, you’ll shiver at the cold in Scrooge’s office (to hear tell, offices in this day and age aren’t heated much better) and all the joy and loneliness of the holidays.
The overriding theme is generosity in the face of economic inequality: maybe this novella should be required reading for Congress as well.
One of my favorite TV shows this fall has been “Sleepy Hollow”…I’m waiting for the day Scrooge will be resurrected for a cop show. Come to think of it, the book doesn’t give a year…maybe Scrooge’s birth can be delayed forty years and he can fight Jack The Ripper. I’m not sure there was a huge difference between the London of 1843 and the London of 1888. Okay, I’ll stop now…read it!