Original book from 1843, as performed by Patrick Stewart in 1991, a reading of a Simon and Shuster abridged version.
I’m not usually into abridged versions of books, but jumped on this in order to hear Patrick Stewart blow this away in every way possible. He’s one of those actors that I’m sure would make a reading of a phone book somehow an engrossing listen. Casual listeners would not notice much difference, as this is only missing some of the nuance of the original text. Granted, it has been quite a while since I’ve read it, so I may be biased. One of these days, I might have to find a literal version, but for right now Patrick Stewart was the main reason I chose this.
“Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and Ebenezer Scrooge come to marvelous life in Patrick Stewart’s critically-acclaimed solo interpretation of A Christmas Carol. The star of X-Men and The Royal Shakespeare Company, Stewart has performed his one-man stage production of this holiday classic to sell-out audiences. Now, in this Grammy-nominated studio recording of the dazzling achievement that has thrilled audiences in New York and Los Angeles, Stewart invites listeners to rediscover the timeless story at its source: Dickens’ own words, presented in a soaring, virtuoso solo performance in which Stewart plays all parts.”
Patrick Stewart doesn’t so much as read this book, but acts the hell out of it – adding voices, sound effects and other things you would not normally get in a typical reading of an audiobook. This is almost done in the style of a one-man show, and I literally wouild pay to see him read this live as it sounds like quite the experience. This was recorded in 1991, during his tenure as Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and all of the gravitas handed to that character is present in spades. This is pretty low-tech, as there isn’t any music, digital sounds or anything I normally love in things like this, but it’s not needed in any way – Stewart owns this.
I think listening to this may become a Christmas tradition for me, as this is possibly one of the best audiobook experiences I’ve had. Normally I watch Muppets Christmas Carol, but I think I can pencil this in, seeing that just over two hours isn’t really that much time at all. I know this review wasn’t for the story or anything, considering I would hesitate to review a book in an abridged state, perhaps I will also read the book if I have time this weekend. Have a very happy Holiday everyone, whether you celebrate Christmas, Yule, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or some Holiday I am unaware of or none at all – I just hope everyone has a great weekend!
For information on how to listen to this, click HERE, otherwise it is readily available on CD for very cheap considering the age.