In a way it’s a good job that Charles Dickens is long dead otherwise I’d be lobbying him to grant Jacob
Marley a reprieve.
Poor chap. He’s as mean and miserly as his mate Ebenezer Scrooge but, because he has the
misfortune to die first, is condemned to hell-fire and damnation while Scrooge, thanks to the interventions of Christmas past, present and future, gets a second chance.
Normally, I don’t get so worked up about Dickens. His episodic cliff-hangers, OTT characterisation and the interminable length of many of his novels are a big put-off. But A Christmas Carol - shorter, fast-paced and minimal back-story - is a gem.
And it's easy to forget - because the story, first published in 1843, has been around so long - just how clever it is of Dickens to weave the fantastic - time travel and ghostly apparitions - into a world that is so real you can almost smell the dirt and poverty of Scrooge's London streets.
I love it.