1. Scrooge loses his love. Tiny Tim is going to die. Kind of standard Dickens really. If Caulfield is considered book smart, maybe he’s been reading the wrong books.

  2. Who would warn a 21 century kid that A Christmas Carol is “wet-your-pants scary”?

    Who’d even think it was even moderately scary?

  3. “Who’d even think it was even moderately scary?”

    The whole point of the story is that Scrooge gets scared straight.

  4. I read it as Caulfield knowing the outline of the story, but still being moved by Dickens’ actual writing (as opposed to the not-so-powerful TV/cartoon versions).

    Does anyone else find your fingers typing “Caulifield”? I type “cauliflower” far more often.

  5. Even though I knew the story of it, I didn’t actually read A Christmas Carol until I was well into my 50s. Knowing *about* something is not the same as knowing something.

    BTW, I thought it was obvious Scrooge was scared straight by the first ghost, and the second two were just “piling on”.

  6. “But…Dickens’ writing was frigging terrible.”

    I agree, in general. This one was different, and quite readable. In fact, it seems to have been written to read aloud.

  7. Well, when he gets around to reading Stoker’s “Dracula” he really better have a change of clothes !

  8. “But…Dickens’ writing was frigging terrible.”

    Mr. D was paid by the word, and it shows.

  9. Apropos of nothing really, have you noticed that the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” tells the ENTIRE story in only ONE standard-length verse? That makes it probably the most compact song ballad of all time.

  10. Marley’s Ghost and the Ghost of Christmas Future are pretty scary. Still, it’s hard to think a modern kid, who’s seen stuff like Nightmare on Elm Street, would find it so.

    Dickens writing is off-putting at first, but I think it’s fantastic once you get used to the style, and slow down and take your time.

  11. @Mark in Boston: Well, the Smothers Brothers version of “Hangman” tells the entire story in less than two lines. . .

    “Hangman, hangman, slack your rope,
    Slack it for a . . . GGGGLLLLLGGG”

  12. Stories used to be like that – Cinderella’s sisters end up cutting off a toe and a heel, the little mermaid turns into sea foam, and so on, the little match girl dies. We are used to the happy ending Disney versions not the original dreadful ones. They were to teach children things not to entertain them.

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