Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Book Buff's Halloween Countdown: In Which I Discuss Christmas, The Jolly Green Giant, and Big Budget Musicals

Well Book Buffs, it's getting to be one of my favorite times of the year..... Halloween!  I love creepy stuff (not too creepy, I suffer from night terrors) and to celebrate this fun time, I'm going to be highlighting a few of the spookiest books I've ever read leading up to the big day.

Up first is one of the creepiest books I've ever read.....

...............drum roll please....................

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Wait...Whaaaah?  Yup.  I said it.  A Christmas Carol is straight up creepy.  First of all, there are the ghosts.  Here are some of the representations of the ghosts over the years...

See. Creepy.  I told you so.  
Here is The Book Buff's synopsis of the plot.  Rich man takes cheap to a whole other level, let's his miserly ways ruin his life, having complete disregard for his family, his employees and their very sick children.  Man gets a nighttime visit on Christmas Eve from his long dead business partner.  Partner tells him in a super creepy way that he'll be doomed for eternity if he doesn't change his ways and that he'll be visited by 3 spirits to b-slap him into learning the error of his ways (I don't Dickens used that term, but I'm just going to go with it)  So the first ghost to visit him is the Ghost of Christmas past, a he/she candle looking ghost described thus:

"being now a thing with one arm, now with one leg, now with twenty legs, now a pair of legs without a head, now a head without a body: of which dissolving parts, no outline would be visible in the dense gloom wherein they melted away."

Right.  So.  This weirdo ghosty thingy shows him past Christmases that were happy, as well as the Christmas Eve where he was (rightfully) dumped by his rockin' fiancee he was totally in love with.

Moving on, the Ghost of Christmas Present, who seemed to be a borderline functioning alcoholic, and is described to be a "jolly giant" which, naturally, to my 11 year old brain the first time I read this story looked like this in my head...

Jolly Green Giant, or JGG as all the cool kids are referring to him, shows Scrooge what's happening in the present.  He shows Scrooge the depressing little Christmas scene unfolding at Scrooge's clerk, Bob Cratchit's, house.  He sees Cratchit's infirm child, Tiny Tim, who is deathly ill because his father cannot afford treatment on his awful salary.  The spirit tells Scrooge that if he remains untreated, he will die.  Scrooge's heart begins to crack.  *Sniffle sniffle*

Enter Spirit the Third.  More like Spirit the Creepy.  The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come is the dude who really pushes this story over into my creepy list.  

"The Phantom slowly, gravely, silently approached. When it came near him, Scrooge bent down upon his knee; for in the very air through which this Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery. It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand. ... It thrilled him [Scrooge] with a vague uncertain horror, to know that behind the dusky shroud there were ghostly eyes intently fixed upon him, while he, though he stretched his own to the utmost, could see nothing but a spectral hand and one great heap of black."

Here is a clip of one of the things Scrooge was shown by this ghost from my favorite version of A Christmas Carol (Scrooge, Albert Finney, 1970)...

You know you're a bad dude when a whole town dances on your coffin, jeez...The ghost also shows him that Tiny Tim kicks the bucket in a most decidedly depressing manner.  He also sees himself going down to the big bad place that starts with an H and ends with an E DOUBLE HICKEY STICKS.

After these harrowing encounters, Scrooge awakens a new man and changes his miserly ways, leading to the reprise of Thank You Very Much (and my favorite musical number in the whole movie).  The town dances off into the distance and all is well, but not before Tiny Tim proclaims, "God Bless Us, Every One".  The End.

Sorry guys, I grew up doing musical theater and I am a sucker for big musical numbers. Got an empty street?  Well fill it up with people dancing and singing and waving I always say :)

So that's that.  I'm not the biggest fan of Mr. Dickens, but this is one I really love.  Honestly, I think it is jolly enough for Christmas and creepy enough for Halloween.  What do you think?

What do you think of A Christmas Carol?  
What is your favorite creepy book?  
What creepy book do you think I should feature on my blog?  
Sound off in the comments!

Stay tuned for more spooky stories in the weeks to come!


The Readdicts said...

nice post :)new follower :)

here's our FF
Janhvi @ The Readdicts

Liesel K. Hill said...

Hi there! New follower via Alison Can Read's blog hop. Following via GFC. My FFs are at Musings on Fantasia and LKHill if you want to follow back. Happy Friday! :D

Unknown said...

New follower, I'm jealous that you get to celebrate Halloween by dressing up and stuff, living in Australia it's not a holiday we really celebrate.
Thanks for stopping by.

Kate the Book Buff said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone! I'm excited to be making all of these new connections :)


Joie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)
new follower

Joie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)
new follower

Lauren B said...

Thanks for stopping by last week. Sorry it took me so long to get back - it has been one of those weeks.
Happy Friday!

Tales of Whimsy said...

I read it a few years ago and loved it. I'm with you. One of my favs and I loved the creepy ghosts. Especially the one with the dark cloak and the little childlike representations.


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