By R. William Bennett
“Marley was dead to begin with…”
These chillingly familiar words begin the classic Christmas tale of remorse and redemption in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Now R. William Bennet rewinds the story and focuses the spotlight on Scrooge’s miserly business partner, Jacob T. Marley, who was allowed to return as a ghost to warn Scrooge away from his ill-fated path. Why was Marley allowed to return? And why hadn’t he been given the same chance as Ebenezer Scrooge?
Or had he?
This has got to be one of, if not the, best finds of last year. If you love Christmas Carol, you have to read this, just give it a chance. I was intrigued, but figured it would be somebody trying (and failing) to ride the coattails of Dickens. This is not only a great book in it's own respect, but it is a wonderful addition to a much loved Christmas classic that has been told and retold in more ways than I can count. It is the story of Marley, before Scrooge, with Scrooge, and after Scrooge. It gives readers a glimpse into the reasons for Scrooge's fall through Marley's past and mistakes. It takes us readers into the story we all know so well through a different perspective: dead Marley and the ghosts themselves. And most fantastically, we get to see what happens to Scrooge after Tiny Tim proclaims "God bless us, every one!" And what happens to Marley, who you will grow to love. This is a great story that will warm your heart.
I give it a 4 1/2 out of 5