My rating: 5/5 stars
About this book:
Charles Dickens wrote four Christmas ghost stories, of which the first was “The Goblins Who Stole a Sexton” (ch. 29 in The Pickwick Papers). A Christmas Carol, the second, largely followed its outline. In Goblins, a surly, malicious sexton (gravedigger) is kidnapped by goblins on Christmas Eve. They take him to their underground cavern and through various scenes shown him, redeem him from his evil ways.Utilizing character names from other Dickens’ stories, Kenneth Chumbley and Tonya Clarkson McCain used the outline of the original Goblins to create a 10,000 word novella, The Goblins and a Gravedigger. The drama involves child abuse (a classic Dickens’ theme) and is a darker story than Carol. In writing fantasy, any mythical character can be used (elves, dwarfs, goblins, etc.), but the story must be real and human. This is exactly what authors tried to do in their adaptation.
What a fantastic adaptation! I must say I have not read the original Dickens’ story this was based on but I am still quite familiar with A Christmas Carol and other works of Dickens. I know his characterization, theme and writing very well which is why I was so impressed with this adaptation. The authors never leave the essence of Dickens but do make this novella their own with the plot and the writing.
The novella tells the story of a Gravedigger who is kidnapped by Goblins but there is much more to the story than just that. Since it is quite a short read, I won’t spoil it all for you but I did enjoy the Christmasy feel of the story and when it took a darker turn, I was half prepared and half anxious. All I would say about this book is that it made me want to read the original Dickins story about the Goblin, not so I could draw a comparison, but just so I could have more of it. Overall, it was a great read.