In the second part of this series on “The Essential Dickens Christmas”, Raconteurs narrators look at “A Cricket on the Hearth”, “The Haunted House” and “The Chimes.”
Isn’t it extraordinary how ‘Bah Humbug!’ has entered our vocabulary? Not to mention the name of Scrooge – as the epitome of a skinflint; we echo the Cratchett family’s ‘oohs’ and ‘aaahs’ as our own Christmas pudding is served, and play Christmas party games just like the Fezziwigs.
A Christmas Carol is only one of the novellas that Dickens wrote to celebrate the festive season. In the audiobook The Essential Dickens Christmas there eight more stories that showcase the range of the author’s writing talents. In the first of this two-part series, some of the Raconteurs narrators talk about the stories in this collection that they recorded.
Greg Wagland writes: Our Raconteurs version of A Christmas Carol is very different to most others in that each section or stave, as Dickens has it, is read by a different narrator. I get to read the fourth of these in which Ebenezer Scrooge is brought face to face with the stark reality of his own actions (and inaction), by the creepiest of the Spirits. It is fantastically dramatic on the page and I hope I did it some justice!
Malk Williams writes: If you think of a traditional Christmas, it won’t be long before Charles Dickens comes to mind. A Christmas Carol, his all-time classic tale of yuletide redemption provided many of the building blocks of what we still see as a traditional Christmas, and many versions of it have been created over the years, for stage, screen and of course audiobooks! In our rendition of A Christmas Carol, each “stave” is enhanced by specially arranged traditional music, and read by a different narrator to draw out the different character of each part of the unfolding tale.
Celebrating the ultimate triumph of good over evil, the Devi Mahatmyam is an epic poem to the Divine Mother, a song of praise that echoes through the ages. Nearly 1500 years after its creation, the Devi Mahatmyam remains a firm favourite among millions of people across the world, of equal cultural significance within Indian Sanskrit literature to the Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata and the Ramayana, and forms the focus of much of the devotion taking place during the Indian festival of Navaratri (from 17-25 October 2020).