Tag: Charles Dickens

The Signalman: A Ghost Story by Charles Dickens

Author: Charles Dickens
76 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating:  5 stars

Book Description:

“The Signal-Man” is a horror story by Charles Dickens, first published as part of the Mugby Junction collection in the 1866 Christmas edition of All the Year Round. The railway signal-man of the title tells the narrator of an apparition that has been haunting him. Each spectral appearance precedes a tragic event on the railway on which the signalman works. The signalman’s work is at a signal-box in a deep cutting near a tunnel entrance on a lonely stretch of the railway line, and he controls the movements of passing trains. When there is danger, his fellow signalmen alert him by telegraph and alarms. Three times, he receives phantom warnings of danger when his bell rings in a fashion that only he can hear. Each warning is followed by the appearance of the spectre, and then by a terrible accident.

Kim’s Review

Ivan took me to London and of course I had to visit several bookstores while there. We went to Hatchards, the oldest bookstore in London. Founded in 1797, and with several floors filled with books, I geeked out. It was pretty funny to watch Ivan, he might have geeked out a little more than I did. I’m used to bookstores so my passion is little more subtle but he was gaping with his mouth hanging open! He could not get over the multiple floors and he just stared up the spiral staircase with eyes filled with wonder!

All that said, I bought a cute little booklet edition of The Signalman by Charles Dickens. I had already seen his burial place in Westminster, so it just felt right! The Signalman is a simple, straightforward read. It’s creepy without being scary. In the same style as A Christmas Carol, Dickens conjured up a spectre that chills the reader and imagined railway accidents that convey true tragedy (my gosh, who the heck is writing this review???? lol). I really liked it! The story was spooky and the characters engaging. It took me all of half an hour to read it so pretty much anyone can read it. I actually think this is a good classic to give to younger readers. It won’t overload their brains and they’ll find a ghost story appealing. An excellent little story!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Merry Christmas! A Christmas Carol Double Review

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope today is a wonderful day for you. Whether you are spending time with friends and/or family, or are having to work, it is hard to believe that this year is almost over. I am in the middle of a four day weekend and hope to make the most of it.  These last few days of the year will go by quickly.  2017 has been a difficult year for many, myself included and 2018 will continue to have challenges.  I hope these challenges ends quickly and positively with things going back to normal. Until then I have this site and all of you!  For 2018, I’m hoping to get caught up on my reading and reviewing…..  It’s never ending though!  If only I could do this full time! I hope to get more books in to share my thoughts on with all of you!

I hope you all enjoy this site as Kim and I love doing it. It may not have the hugest following and that is fine by us. We run this site out of love of books and reading. Yes, we are total book dragons!!!

I hope Santa brings you some books to enjoy reading!! To celebrate Christmas Kim and I are sharing a double review of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, which will be below.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

This year has been one of the best so far for me! A big thanks to Jessica for letting me write for her blog. Allowing me to be a guest reviewer has helped me to grow as a reader and as a writer, and I enjoy reading more now since I get to really think about the books and put my thoughts down on paper.  So far, I have read 157 books since January of this year. There have been so many amazing books and I wish I could say a personal thank you to each of those great authors who impacted my life so much! But that’s unrealistic, so I’ll just say a blanket thank you to all those authors out there. I found many new favorite books, several books that were different genres for me, some books I didn’t like, and a whole lot of newly discovered friends. Instagram has become a huge part of my life and I now get to think of myself as a big, bad book photographer (think, not know! Lol)

I try not to set too many strict goals for myself, but in 2018, I want to read all those series that I keep putting off because of my fear of commitment. I also have one New Year’s Resolution: I will only buy one book for every five that I read. My TBR pile is way too big and I keep buying more and more books to add to it. So, 2018 will see a cut back in the number of books I buy . . . unless I pick a bunch of short books to read, in which case I’ll still be getting a lot of books. LOOPHOLE! I hope y’all had a great year with lots of time to read, a Merry Christmas, and an awesome New Year!


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (Performed by Tim Curry)

Originally Published: December 19, 1843

Description from Amazon:

Tim Curry performs this timeless holiday story in a deliciously dark tone, returning it to its Dickensian roots with a vivid imagining of Victorian London and just the right touch of outrageous fun. A Christmas Carol has constantly been in print since its original publication in 1849, and has been adapted for stage, television, film, and opera. It has often been credited with returning the jovial and festive atmosphere to the holiday season in Britain and North America, following the somber period that emerged during the Industrial Revolution. The story opens on a bleak and cold Christmas Eve as Ebenezer Scrooge is closing up his office for the day. As the story progresses and Christmas morning approaches, Scrooge encounters the unforgettable characters that make this story a classic: Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and, of course, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.

Kim’s Review:
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars

What is there to say about this timeless Christmas classic? All the different movies and dramatic adaptations can never do justice to the original book. I’ve seen scary versions in cartoon and live action form, but the book holds a creepiness that cannot be replicated accurately. It’s been a while since I’ve read, or in this case listened to, A Christmas Carol and it might just be my new Christmas tradition. Tim Curry only adds to the experience! We’ve all seen Tim Curry in everything from Annie to Home Alone 2 to Criminal Minds, and his voice lends such credence to the story that you really believe Scrooge and the ghosts are all truly speaking their parts.

Scrooge is the typical cynic who cares for nothing other than his own monetary gain. He’s the man you love to hate and pity at the same time. How a man can act the way he did in the presence of Fred’s good nature, I’ll never understand. Fred’s spirit of joy and cheer is nothing short of inspiring. Bob Cratchit’s quiet patience impressed me during this reading, as he hasn’t before. I’ve had nasty bosses before, but Bob’s soft nature and peaceful spirit is something I can only aspire to possess. Reading of the Ghost of Christmas Present’s torch that spreads good cheer made me so happy! ? I love Christmas and thinking that an angel-like being is standing guard of days like Christmas brings a smile to my face. And then Scrooge, his amazing transformation was a joy to behold. When Mr. Curry read that Scrooge knew how to keep Christmas well, I began to tear up . . . while I was driving! This is the perfect Christmas story to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas and the necessity of selflessness and kindness throughout the year!

Jessica’s Review:
Dates Read: December 6-12, 2017
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

We all know the story and grew up with it in one form or the other. For me it was the Disney animated movie. I had never read the short story and I had the opportunity to listen to Tim Curry narrate the original and he is brilliant! He was the perfect narrator for this story.

Scrooge and Marley run a business in a partnership.  Marley has already passed away before Christmas Carol began.  Scrooge is just that, a penny pinching grumpy old man. One night Marley’s ghost visits Scrooge as a warning to change things. He is visited by three ghosts.  Will Scrooge see what he needs to see and make things right before it is too late?

I had some difficulty with the writing style, Dickens prose style may not be for me. I might have gotten lost if I did not know the story.  Even with Curry’s narration I found myself tuning out.  Classics just may not be for me.

There are lessons in this story that everyone should see.  Think about what you do before you act. Be kind. Don’t be selfish and grumpy. Remember the importance of Christmas.

There is no Bah Humbug here!  A Christmas Carol is recommended.


First Line Friday #44

I’m going “old school” with this week’s First Line Friday! I can’t remember for sure, but I think I read this when I was in school. I have actually shared more than the first line as the second flows well with the first.

My father’s name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS is Charles Dickens’ thirteenth novel and his penultimate completed novel; a bildungsroman which depicts the personal growth and personal development of an orphan nicknamed Pip. It is Dickens’s second novel, after David Copperfield, to be fully narrated in the first person. The novel was first published as a serial in Dickens’s weekly periodical All the Year Round, from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. In October 1861, Chapman and Hall published the novel in three volumes.

It is set among marshes in Kent, and in London, in the early to mid-1800s, and contains some of Dickens’ most memorable scenes, including the opening, in a graveyard, where the young Pip is accosted by the escaped convict, Abel Magwitch. GREAT EXPECTATIONS is full of extreme imagery -poverty; prison ships and chains, and fights to the death-and has a colorful cast of characters who have entered popular culture. Dickens’s themes include wealth and poverty, love and rejection, and the eventual triumph of good over evil. GREAT EXPECTATIONS is popular both with readers and literary critics, and has been translated into many languages, and adapted numerous times into various media.

Upon its release, the novel received near universal acclaim. Thomas Carlyle spoke disparagingly of “all that Pip’s nonsense”. Later, George Bernard Shaw praised the novel, as “All of one piece and consistently truthful.” During the serial publication, Dickens was pleased with public response to GREAT EXPECTATIONS and its sales; when the plot first formed in his mind, he called it “a very fine, new and grotesque idea.”

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK