Kelly and I are big Neil Gaiman fans, in case you didn’t know already.
Now we have yet another reason to love the guy. Last year he recorded a wonderful version of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: a version in which he reads from Charles Dickens’ own annotated copy, as Charles Dickens, complete with clothes and beard.
Now, I am a big fan of the original work by Dickens. It’s just so 19th century. And it is such a classic story, so much that it has been done on film something like two dozen times.
And Dickens loved to read his work in public. He “performed” it publicly for the first time in 1853, ultimately reading it publicly over 100 times. Here in the United States, the book did not really take off in popularity until around the time of the Civil War, so if I am not mistaken Dickens did not start reading it to the American public until the late 1860s.
So Gaiman as Dickens is just fantastic.
Last Sunday night we finally got the chance to listen to the recording in its entirety, so we bundled up together with all the kids: Thumbelina, Rerun and Scratch, and for a little while, even Bucky was there with us, at least for a while. All we really lacked was a crackling fire in the fireplace.
And then we set it to playing. And it was magical.
I cannot say this enough. If you like this sort of thing, you have got to listen to it. It is just… perfect. Go to the New York Public Library web site and listen.