Bah! Humbug! A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens narrated by Tom Baker

Christmas starts here…

santasantasantasantasanta

 

 

This little pre-Christmas Dickens mini-series started with one version of A Christmas Carol and is now ending with another. (Think yourselves lucky – I could be recommending the Complete Works. 😉 ) If none of the previous choices have tempted you, let me try one last time to persuade you to…

HAVE A DICKENS OF A CHRISTMAS!

 

51CWXmZKCgL._SL300_Like King Lear, every actor reaches a point in his career where he wants to stamp his mark on this classic, so you have to be really quite special to compete with the crowd. Fortunately, this reading by Tom Baker IS really quite special!

Forget your Peter Capaldis, your Matt Smiths, even your David Tennants – Tom Baker was THE Dr Who and there will never be a better! Who else could carry off a hand knitted stripy scarf and make it a cool fashion trend? But when he wasn’t saving the planet, Baker had time to play many other roles, including a stint at the National Theatre – not to mention being a very fine Puddleglum the Marshwiggle, beloved of Narnia fans everywhere. He is also an accomplished voice-actor both on radio and as narrator of several animated series.

Puddleglum the Marshwiggle
Puddleglum the Marshwiggle

I approached this recording of A Christmas Carol with some trepidation because, much though I like Baker, for me the definitive version is Patrick Stewart’s and I doubted Baker could match him. I was wrong – Baker brings drama, fear, sorrow and ultimately joy to the story just as much as Stewart does. As with all of the best of the Dickens’ narrators/performers, Baker has a huge personality and a powerful voice – necessary to fill the shoes of Dickens’ larger-than-life creations. Although this is a straight reading, Baker uses his fine acting skills to give each character an individual identity. Unlike the Stewart version where we hear only his voice, this one has occasional background music and other sound effects at the more dramatic points, and these work well with Baker’s performance.

tom1

I intended to listen in instalments but by the time the first disc ended, I was so hooked I ended up listening to the whole thing in one session. Not better than Stewart (not possible!) but as good, and of course this is the unabridged version. Three hours of pure listening pleasure – this set has now joined my select collection of Christmas Carols, to be brought out and savoured time and again over many Christmases to come. Just the thing to ensure that you Have a Dickens of a Christmas!

NB This disc set was provided for review by Amazon Vine UK.

Amazon US Link
Audible UK Link
Audible US Link
Currently not available as discs on Amazon UK.

31 thoughts on “Bah! Humbug! A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens narrated by Tom Baker

  1. If it’s not too much of problem, would you mind explaining what Dr. Who is all about? I can’t really wrap my mind around it.

    There’s nothing I admire more than a good voice actor. And this guy played Puddleglum, too! Stellar review. (When FEF’s pitching for someone they are very lucky!)

    • Oh that’s easy. He’s timeless and ageless – one might say older than the mountains yet younger than the stars – with the ability to visit different worlds. He has a variety of unusual weapons which he uses to fight strange creatures. And just when you think you’re getting to know him, he changes…most enigmatic…but very sweet!

      He was very good as Puddleglum from what I remember – it was a long time ago. I loved Puddleglum, he was one of my favourite characters. Thank you! It’s been a while since you found one of my reviews stellar…I though I was losing my technique! 😉

      • Hmmm….sounds like a dadblamery, for sure. But the professor always looks the same. And there’s only one.

        You would like Puddleglum…Let me see…I really liked Tash. Thought he was coolio looking.

        No, not at all. Practically every review interests me. You’d get sick of me saying stellar, so I take some breaks from it.

        • No, no, the Professor changes his look frequently – sometimes top hat and beard, sometimes dimples, occasionally full Samurai kit…a master of disguise – it’s all very confusing.

          I’m also very fond of Eeyore – a realistic worldview, I feel. I bet the Professor prefers Tigger, though…

          That’s alright then! Keeps me on my toes anyway! 😉

  2. Great review. I love tom Baker as a radio actor – did you ever hear “Longitude”? – and I’m sure he’ll be great at this. I agree with you that he was the definitive Dr Who, although I liked Jon Pertwee as well…… 🙂

    • No, missed Longitude – I must see if it’s available from Audible. I liked Pertwee too, though my memories are hazy, but Tom Baker was the one I loved – am I right in thinking he was the first one in colour? After him, it started going downhill…and has never stopped…

        • Just googled him and yes, a plum velvet jacket, it appears. However, I’ve realised he’s not who I was thinking of as Jon Pertwee – I think I’m confusing him with Patrick Troughton, who in my memory was much scarier than the later ones. Or maybe I was just more impressionable…

  3. You are absolutely right, Tom Baker was the definitive Dr Who. I actually had the full length scarf knitted for me by my Aunt Helen. It was great to see Tom in the 50th Anniversary episode of Dr Who.

  4. Hey FictionFan … Happy New Year. I just joined Audible.com one month ago. Currently listening to an author I think you would like a lot, Cara Black. Her 13th in the Aimee Leduc Investigation series set in France. Title: Murder Below Montparnasse. 1/2 through. I really fine writer. Thanks for stopping by my blog in 2013. Let me know how I can get on the Audible Vine program. That would interest me. Cheers from Gop and me at Thailand Footprint. And thanks for listing my blong among your favs. Much appreciated. :o)

    • I’ll look out for Cara Black – I’ve not come across her before, but it does indeed sound like my kind of thing. 🙂

      Sadly, no-one knows how to get on Vine. It’s invitation only and seems to be totally random. The only thing we’re sure about is that you have to have posted at least a few reviews on Amazon. I’d only posted four reviews when I got my invite but other people have posted hundreds and still no invite… NetGalley is better for books though, these days.

      Happy New Year, Kevin – hope 2014’s a good one for you and yours!

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