Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Review: A Christmas Carol 2: The Return of Scrooge by Robert J. Elisberg

It would be hard to keep me away from a seasonal title, but when I saw this one, I knew I had to read it. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens has long been a favorite of mine. I was thrilled to learn my daughter is reading it this year for English Language Arts.

A Christmas Carol 2: The Return of Scrooge by Robert J. Elisberg opens five years after the actual death of Ebenezer Scrooge. Bob Cratchit, patriarch of the Cratchit family and Scrooge's former clerk, now owns Scrooge and Marley. In the years since Scrooge's death, Bob's generosity has run amok; not only leaving him the unwitting victim of shysters and the Cratchit family distanced from each other, but Bob's poor management skills have left Scrooge and Marley teetering on the verge of ruin. Scrooge makes a ghostly appearance to Cratchit, warning him he will be visited by three spirits.

In as much as A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is an indictment on capitalism, A Christmas Carol 2 is a humorous commentary on what happens when money is handed over to people or causes without first applying good judgment and common sense. The three spirits aim to show Cratchit the error of his ways and how even though his intentions are admirable, his actions often create more problems than real help. Readers find sprinkled throughout this tale, characters from other Dickens books and numerous footnotes about these characters or supposed conversations between Dickens and his publisher.

A Christmas Carol 2: The Return of Scrooge by Robert J. Elisberg is a real treat. While many retellings of Scrooge's transformation have come to us over the years, this is perhaps the most unique twist of the story I've seen, and it certainly is one of the funniest. I'm hoping I might be able to sneak in another reading of it before the year ends. Some of the text will be familiar to readers of A Christmas Carol, and though the style has a modern feel to it, it also captures the essence of Dickens. This reader feels that while this is a light and humorous story, it highlights an issue that plays itself out in political and social circles today. If you enjoy tales of the season, you won't want to miss this one.

Paperback: 156 pages
Publisher: Third Road Press (November 28, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615727573
ISBN-13: 978-0615727578

I received a paperback copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Tours. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.


RobertElisberg said...

Cheryl -- Well, I must say I certainly appreciate your enthusiastic words about "A Christmas Carol 2: The Return of Scrooge." Thanks very much. I'm so glad you enjoyed the humor and affectionate parody. And I'm glad to hear that your daughter is reading "the original." Good timing!

Susanne Drazic said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book. I'll have to add it to my wish list.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by, Robert. I'm glad you like the review. This is a great book.

Susanne, it's definitely worth the time to read, and it doesn't take too long at all.

Thanks for the comments.