Book Review: The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge

The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge
Charlie Lovett, 2015

After my first two forays into expansions on A Christmas Carol, I was worried that I would never find something enjoyable that respected the source. Happily, this one was a delight.

Set ten years after the events of the original story, this sweet and playful novella takes the form of both a loving parody and a thematic expansion. Scrooge is still the subject of gossip in the street, only now the consensus is that he's taking this whole keeping-Christmas-all-the-year thing a bit too far. He's generous beyond his means, affectionate to a fault, and comes off as more than a bit eccentric, wishing people Merry Christmas in July.

I was a bit worried early on that the story would conclude on a wishy-washy moral of moderation in all things. I could not have been more wrong.

Instead, Scrooge realizes that as one man, he can only do so much to help the world. So he proposes a scheme to the Christmas Spirits to multiply his impact, by visiting other Carol characters with midsummer visions that convince them to use their positions (as a government worker, a bank manager, and head of a large family) to magnify charity, reform, and goodwill toward all humanity.

I suspected that sections of the visions (portraying, for example, the plight of people in asylums or slums) were borrowed/adapted from other Dickens works before this was confirmed in the author's note. That choice works well and maintains the authentic feel.

This is a book that is more fun the more you are familiar with the original: it takes phrases from the text and turns them on their heads or places them in new context.

With both a classic feel and a modern message, I recommend this one to all the Carol lovers.