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No, I actually hadn't read this.

I have something I refer to as an obscurity curse. It guarantees that whatever I pick up by an author/musical group/director will be the least well known of their works; I never know this when I take the thing off the shelf. As a result, I think of Michael Chabon as the author of Summerland, Tim Powers as the author of The Drawing of the Dark, and Terry Jones as the author of Nicobobinus (it took me fifteen years to find out that he'd been in Monty Python instead of just writing great children's books). Therefore my acquaintance with Dickens is the first quarter or so of Bleak House, because that is how my life works. (A book I ought to go back to sometime-- I was enjoying it when circumstances interrupted.)

But I have seen over the years so very many deadly adaptations of A Christmas Carol that it certainly felt as though I'd read the thing. I can think of four stage productions I was forced to by various schools, all of them impressively terrible, plus one misbegotten ballet version (also school) and an unthinkable number of movies (in my youth whenever a new one came out my family blessed it as Suitable For Everybody, quality no object).

It is always unfair to judge a book by its movie, or even its movie and movie and movie and endless holiday specials and Hallmark card collection. (Hell, [personal profile] sovay says the 1951 movie is perfectly reasonable.) Our house is full of guests, our table is full of cookies, our refrigerator has been impossible to wedge anything into for three days solid, and I got given Johanna d'Arc of Mongolia on Region 1 DVD for Christmas, an object I honestly did not believe existed.* So why not.

Not bad, not bad at all. I was amazed how much of the dialogue had gotten thrown verbatim into some film version or other, but of course none of them have the descriptions of things and people, and those passages were interestingly cognitively dissonant to read because most adaptations just ignore them completely. I am totally incapable of judging anything aesthetic about the plotting etc. because of overlong familiarity, but it did not make me want to scream or wince or secede from holidays for life, which is much better than I had been fearing. I can, I guess, see why it's lasted.

... though honestly whoever came up with the bright idea of making a ballet out of it needs to be haunted by a pragmatic and vicious set of ghosts post-haste, thank you. I still get traumatic flashbacks.

Merry Christmas, if you celebrate it, and if not, I hope you had a good day and good people and good food and pleasant weather and the ability to avoid the whole thing if you wanted to. Me, I had a fine one, thanks.


*Thrud is the sort of person who calls phone numbers listed on film director's websites, even when the website is in German. I am the sort of person who is terrified of bothering film directors. This is why she is better at present-buying than I am.

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