Thursday, December 6, 2007

BOOK: The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens

The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens

Christmas Book Challenge, book #2

Fiction or non-fiction? Genre?
fiction, genre would be classic novel, and Christmas!

What led you to pick up this book?
I saw booklogged and 3M chose it for the Christmas Book Challenge and I know they pick great books. Also, a person should read Dickens at Chrismas, right?

Summarize the plot, but don't give away the ending!
John, the Carrier, brings home a stranger to his little cottage, of wife, Dot and Baby. The grumpy owner of a toy factory is planning to marry a pretty young thing.

What did you like most about the book?
Dickens is remarkably readable, and humorous. There was a lot of emotions, and interesting characters, including the secondary ones, and there was some supernatural/fairies and recognizing the values of home. (and it wasn't too long)

Have you read any other books by this author? What did you think of those books?
I read a short story by Dickens, and I really don't know if I've ever read A Christmas Carol, because it is so ubiquitous, but that story is also in my collection from the library, so I might get around to it as well. Dickens wrote some huge-ass books that scare me in their volume.

What did you think of the main character?
I liked John the Carrier. I guess he's the main character. He was an older man who married a young girl and he adored her. He may not have been educated, but he was a solid, good man who appreciated what he had in life, and faced everything with a very good nature.

Any other particularly interesting characters?
Tons. Dickens had the best imagination for names: Tilly Slowpoke, the nanny; Baby; the Cricket; Gruff and Tackleton, the toy owner; and the narrator! Who was that guy?

Share a quote from the book:
I never remember to write those down.

Share a favorite scene from the book.
The scene with John and Gruff and Tackleton after John had his eventful night with the Cricket. John makes all the right decisions, for all the right reasons, and it is why this book is so heartwarming and famous.

What about the ending?
Excellent. It's a Christmas book, and famous for being heartwarming, so it's all about the ending. Dicknes comes through, for sure.

Anything else?
Don't read wikipedia before you read this book, because I accidentally found out the plot and what happens before I read it. Don't do that. I still enjoyed it, because it was still enjoyable to read how Dickens would get us there, but I think I missed out a bit on the revelation.


  1. I haven't heard of this title before. You're right about him having some pretty intimidating books though.

  2. Oh, Raidergirl, you are making me wish I had stuck to my original list. At the last minute I switched from The Cricket on the Hearth to an Anne Perry Christmas story. You made this sound like one I need to seriously consider for next year.

    I can highly recommend Dickens' Christmas Carol. It really wasn't intimidating after the first few pages.

  3. john - I had only vaguely heard of this one before.

    booklogged - I would have picked an Anne Perry if there was one nearby - I love her books. I think I've read one of her Christams books before.
    This book was a little strange in the beginning; it took me a while to figure out what was going on, but it was cute.

  4. Wikipedia really does tend to have spoilers. I had never heard of this book! And I am a Dickens fan, too. It's funny sometimes how many lesser-known books by famous writers there are. I recently discovered piles and piles of Louisa May Alcott novels, but most people haven't read more than Little Women.

  5. I saw this one on several of the Christmas challenge lists. It sounds wonderful, but not on my shelves. Must get it there by next year...
    Good review, thanks!

  6. dewey - It was in the book 'A Christmas Carol and Other Stories', also including The Chimes.
    I read an Alcott this year that had only been published in the last few years. It was a lost manuscript.

    paula - It is quite short, so not hard to get through.


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