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A Christmas Carol
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About the Author

Charles Dickens (1812-70) is one of the most recognized celebrities of English literature. His imagination, wit, mastery of the language and huge creative output single him out as one of the few people who genuinely deserve to be called genius. He had a poverty-stricken childhood and was determined to improve himself. By his early twenties he found a job as a parliamentary reporter and in his spare time wrote sketches of London life for newspapers and magazines. The publication of Pickwick Papers (1836) brought him the fame and fortune he craved. He wrote many other famous books including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities.

Reviews

Gr 5-8-Lynch's dark and brooding, ethereal illustrations are pitch-perfect in this beautifully imagined version of the tale. The artist moves from full spreads of breathtaking landscapes to framed views of quiet interior scenes with ease, echoing the pace of the tale as Scrooge is whisked from place to place across time and then pulled into quiet, intimate moments. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Few of the many interpretations of Dickens's holiday parable can match this handsome edition for atmosphere, mood and sheer elegance. Innocenti's full-page watercolors are striking, full-bodied evocations of 19th-century London, particularly the life and vigor of the city's streets: merchants sell their wares, urchins tumble and play, the gentry ride in their carriages, and the destitute huddle in doorways and keep warm at makeshift stoves. At the same time, the paintings' realism, dramatic intensity, occasional luminosity and almost microscopic observation of detail strongly recall the exquisite art of the Italian Renaissance. Their stateliness is carried through in the book's design: each page of text is boxed with fine sepia rules, overlaid with a delicate, gradually fading wash, and topped by a single, modest ornament. The effect suggests an old manuscript or parchment--one that, every so often, opens a splendid pictorial window on the world of this classic narrative. For all its elegance, however, this is a somber and unsentimental view of Dickens's world. The beautiful and the sordid, the good and the malevolent, are never far apart--a concept that is powerfully suggested through the frequent use of high, oddly angled perspectives, as if readers, along with Scrooge and the spirits, are privy to telling glimpses of life skimmed from above. All ages. (Oct.)

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