I read A Christmas Carol as a part of my bookclub reading list, even though I didn't actually end up going that particular week. We had decided to read it because not only does it show up in a lot of pop culture (Doctor who!) but one member had heard that week that it was a good Dickens to start with.
Being short I was keen (you would think by now I would have learnt about short books) and wanted to be able to say "I've read some Dickens" whether or not "A Christmas Carol" was *actually* on the list.
I did not like this book. I suspect that was because I was very familiar with the concept. When I was a kid one year we went to the Myer windows and the story was A Christmas Carol (check year?) and while I never really watched any donald duck-type cartoons I knew about "scrooge mcduck" and him diving into his monies.
Knowing the plotline of a book is not necessarily a dealbreaker (I still enjoyed A Picture of Dorian Grey) but I found myself eager to get on with it: "okay okay, next ghost, let's get a move on".
Perhaps because I knew what the ending would be, or perhaps it is a kids book - is it a kids book? - I found the story too simplistic. Dude gets visited by 3 ghosts and then loves Christmas.
Aaaaaand perhaps it is a little because I am not actually the biggest fan of Christmas in the world. I misliked the overarching theme of "you must like christmas and be agreeable because: CHRISTMAS"
There were definitely flaws with the way that Scrooge was living, and people need to be loving and caring ALL year around, not just at christmas.
I just didn't think that the arguments the ghosts made really would have convinced someone so set in his ways as scrooge.
That being said, there were times when I really appreciated the writing. Despite me not being a big fan of the book, I think that perhaps my fellow bookclubber was correct, it was a good entry-Dickens. What it did do was make me interested to read a story of his in which I am less familiar with the plotlines so that I can appreciate both story and writing. Provided it is, in fact, a good story!