Charlie Lovett. The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge. New York: Viking, 2015. Print.
If you like A Christmas Carol, you might like The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge. It is not terribly original, but many Christmas stories are not. In this story Scrooge has become almost a buffoon, but it may do for a short Christmas tale.
Over the years there have been many tales which are variations of A Christmas Carol such as the film Scrooged. I am not talking about adaptations of the story like the Muppets’ or Mr. Magoo’s versions, but slightly different stories that tell of someone’s conversion by a series of dreams or supernatural visits.
In The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge, our protagonist has his ghostly partner Jacob Marley arrange for his three Christmas ghost friends to visit his nephew, Bob Cratchit, and a couple of bankers. Scrooge believes that they all have something that they need to learn, and with the help of the ghostly visions of Christmases past, present, and future, they do.
Alas, Scrooge comes across as a kindly fool. He wishes people Merry Christmas and Happy New Year even in the middle of June. Amazingly, he seems to have forgotten how to balance a checking account. There is a sense that The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge is becoming a parody, more like something by Monty Python than a tribute piece or sequel.
If the reader can overcome this aspect of the novella, The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge may satisfy. Same plot, different people. Oh, there is just a touch of It’s a Wonderful Life—considered by some a variation of A Christmas Carol. Marley’s ghost is still wandering the earth with the chains he forged in life, but significant good deeds resulting from his visitations may result in losing a link. Scrooge’s conversion caused him to lose five links; perhaps these three conversions can help him to lose a lot more.
The best part of The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge was its afterword. The author was not trying to be cute or clever with that. Indeed, it was direct and heartfelt. His personal tribute to Dickens’ story and his description of a Christmas in England and in Episcopal (i.e., Church of England) churches in America do make us appreciate Christmas celebrations and the original A Christmas Carol a bit more.
See also the review of Inventing Scrooge.