Every year I dig out A Christmas Carol and every year I fail to finish it just before Christmas. Simplicity. It is an extremely simple story and told in the way every modern novel should be. Dickens is effortless and spare in his tale of Christmas Redemption and of course the fable is that he wrote it purely for money and that is why it is so short and simply written. But of course we know now that a well told story is really all you need and the literary ornaments of Dickens time got in the way of story nine times out of ten.
So you may think it is too early to read Dickens but if you do the math Christmas will be over before you know it. There are three weekends before Christmas this year and of course Christmas falls on a Saturday. So that runs along at one weekend for the tree, one weekend for a Christmas party, one weekend for out of town family Christmas, then Christmas. Boom. That's it. As always the season will blow by quickly and that is why I have to start Dickens now, because I have a curious habit of putting down the book.
Not that it is not readable. It's just I know it so well that many nights I start and drop off to sleep. And like every great procrastinator I leave it to Christmas Eve to finish. So like Scrooge I am in a race with the morn and trying to get my redemption before the light of day. I'd like to say I always get to the end but most times I don't. The book is the last thing after gifts and festivities and like any parent I am up very late. So I always get to the book after midnight with the great determination to finish and have it stand for another year, another Christmas.
Usually it is during the final spirit, the ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, that I start to nod off. It is usually as Scrooge is swearing he is a changed man, crying on his tombstone. My eyes shut and then I wake with the book open on the bed and the light of the new day streaming in; a covetous old sinner going to Christmas with all great things still undone.
Rocket Man will be out in January