• Constance M, A Well-Read Wanderer

A Christmas Carol (Audio)book Review & Holiday Tea Pairing


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Audiobook star rating: 5/5

Tea pairing: Holiday Tea by Harney & Sons



We are continuing Dickens December this week! In case you missed it, last week I told you all about touring the Charles Dickens Museum in London, either in-person and virtually.


This week, we will be discussing what is perhaps Dickens' most famous story.


"Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge's name was good upon 'change for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.”

So begins the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, which by now has been made into so many adaptations it's hard to keep track of.


If you haven't read it, it really is a delightful, worthwhile read that will bring a smile to your face and an undeniable warmth in your heart. It's sentimental, yes, but in all the right ways. Plus, I love those little clever turns of phrase like that quoted above. They are so quintessentially Dickens.



But rather than going on and on about a story we all know so well, today I've decided to review one specific audiobook rendition of A Christmas Carol.


The Christmas season is a busy one, particularly for those of us who are parents and by default in charge of making all the "magic" the season is known for. Sometimes it's hard to find the time to sit down and read, even a book as short and sweet as A Christmas Carol. Enter, the audiobook.


This year, I chose to listen to A Christmas Carol. I listened while I baked my annual Christmas goodies, cooked dinners, and cleaned the kitchen. I listened in bits while I drove the car and did laundry. It was a fun way to keep my head in the holiday spirit, amidst bustling here and there getting things done.


This particular audiobook version, directed by Cherry Cookson, is an Audible exclusive, and though there are many, many audible versions available, I chose to listen to this one this year because:


1. It features a full cast, which is really fun when done right, and


2. It is available as part of the new and cheaper Audible Plus membership (in other words, it doesn't use one of your monthly credits for Audible Premium Plus members, and it's free to listen to for those with no credits at all).




Having listened to and enjoyed the full production, I can give it my recommendation unreservedly!


The voice acting is wonderful. There aren't any I can point to as falling below the others.


The voice actor credits include:


Sir Derek Jacobi as the narrator (a classical British actor you might recognize from Gladiator or Gosford Park)

Kenneth Cranham as Ebenezer Scrooge (catch him in Valkyrie or Oliver!)

Roger Allam as Jacob Marley (harken back to V for Vendetta)

Brendan Coyle as the Ghost of Christmas Past (this is a fun one for all you Downton Abbey fans)

Miriam Margoyles as the Ghost of Christmas Present (Professor Sprout to you Harry Potter fans)

Tim Mcinnerny as The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (from one of my favorite Rom Coms, Notting Hill).


and many others.


One standout voice performance for me and one I think worth mentioning is that of Roger Allam as the ghost of Jacob Marley. His lines chilled me to my bones! Talk about a spooky ghost voice!


In addition to the excellent voice performances, I loved the strategic incorporation of sound effects. When it mentions Scrooge slurping his soup, you hear Scrooge slurping his soup. There are Christmas bells, jangling chains, and music. While this could easily be overdone and become annoying, they do it in such a way as to enhance and not detract from the listening experience. The product is a really enjoyable and immersive listening experience.


Whether rereading A Christmas Carol is an ancient annual tradition for you or you want to begin a new one, I recommend mixing things up with this really fun audible edition, by yourself or with the whole family.


You can get your audiobook copy of A Christmas Carol by purchasing it on Audible or by joining the Audible with a Plus ($7.95/mo) or Premium Plus Membership ($14.95/mo). Either way, your first month is free.



As a side note, I love the new lower priced membership option. Half the normal monthly price, you don't get monthly credits, but you do get access to hundreds of audio titles like this one included in your membership.





Tea Pairing: Holiday Tea by Harney & Sons


I've been thoroughly enjoying this Holiday Tea all month long. If you were to fill your home up with the scent of Christmas, this tea would be that scent. It's a black tea warmed with dried fruits and Christmasy spices.


You can buy it either loose leaf or in sachets, whatever your preference. I always go for loose leaf when I can.


It makes the perfect cuppa for enjoying this Audible rendition of A Christmas Carol.


Tip: I've found that I enjoy this tea on the longer end of a black tea steeping time — about 5 minutes, and although I usually take my black tea with milk, I like this one better without milk or sugar.


I think I'll keep enjoying this tea through January, and then pull it out whenever I want to infuse a little holiday cheer into my life during the year.


Harney & Sons currently has free shipping on all US orders, which is a great deal! You can check out all their tea selections here.


Happy sipping!




Don't forget to watch a movie adaptation!


What's your favorite movie adaptation of A Christmas Carol? I love Mickey's Christmas Carol, Scrooged, and the more recent The Man Who Invented Christmas.





Drop your favorite in the comments!




[Head's up that I won't be posting at all next week in observance of the holiday and so that I can focus fully on enjoying time as a family. Wishing happy holidays to you and yours, and I'll see you again the following week!]



Pin this now to reference for all the Christmases to come:








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I'm an avid reader and traveler, writing all about literary travel, books, tea, and chocolate.

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