Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Abducted by Marly's Ghost

It is now time for my third post in my...

Levithan Love-a-thon!!!
(you can also check out my reviews of The Lover's Dictionary and Are We There Yet?)


Marly's Ghost is a retelling of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, but with a Valentine's Day spin. David Levithan filled the story with his own romantic and beautiful style. God, he is such a fantastic writer! The more I read his books the more I never ever want to have him read anything I ever write because I would die of embarrassment! 

Ben is the main character in the story (aka E"Ben"ezer), and he is grieving the loss of his longtime girlfriend Marly. Marly and Ben met when they were ten and became a couple when they were thirteen. However, they only got to spend three short years together before Marly died of cancer. 

The story picks up on the first Valentine's Day after Marly's death, and we find Ben to be cold and distant from all of his friends and family. Marly's death has affected him greatly and he can't seem to get past it, nor does he want to. In the original story, Ebenezer is just this grouchy old man. But Levithan does an amazing job of portraying Ben in such a way that in spite of how cruel he can be, you feel for him and how much pain he is in.

Marly's ghost comes to Ben and basically says that because Ben can't let her go, she cannot rest in peace. Then the three ghosts come. You know which three ghosts I'm talking about; The Ghost of Love Past, Love Present and Love still to come. They remind Ben of what he had with Marly, show him the truth of how he is hurting the people around him, and show him what will happen to him in the future if he continues down this past of isolation.

I loved all the ways that Levithan mixed his writing with the original work of Dickens. One of my favorite parts in the original is when a young Ebenezer's love, Belle, his breaking off their relationship because she feels he in unsatisfied with her. Levithan did an amazing job of having that conversation play out with the same tone and feeling, but instead of her saying "You would now, never choose to love someone who is poor" she says to him "You would now, never choose to love someone who is dying."

However, I will say that there were a few lines that were too close to the original and therefore felt odd and strange in the modern setting. But other than that, I truly LOVED this book! It had such beautiful writing and I loved the way that Levithan included all the original characters in their own special way. My favorite, was of course Tiny Tim, who in this novel became Tiny and Tim, a young gay couple that are just starting their relationship. 

I loved this book so much that I couldn't put it down. If you aren't a huge fan of the original story, I'm not sure how much you would appreciate this book. But seeing on how I LOVE the original story, I was completely absorbed in this version of it. I'd give Marly's Ghost an abduction rating of... 


Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

I wondered from the title if it was based on Dickens! It sounds like a wonderful read. :)

Laura BurgandyIce said...

Cool! I was wondering what was going on with the Leviathan writer!

Um... I TAGGED you!! *ahem* If you'd like to play along, hop over to my site!! :-)

Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase said...

This sounds like a really cool story! I'll have to read this one! Great review, Courtney!

fakesteph said...

I didn't love the original, but I'm intrigued by your review. I'd love to see how he transformed Tiny Tim into Tiny and Tim.

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