Hodder and Stoughton Press Release: The Christmas Spirits by Whitley Strieber
November 30, 2011 Bane of Kings
Well, don’t you just love retellings of classic Christmas stories, particularly those with sci-fi/horror twists? I mean, I loved the Doctor Who episode A Christmas Carol, and now, we get to see Whitley Strieber’s take on the Dickens classic, an author whose works I’ve never read before, but nonetheless, I will look forward to reading this one. Check below for a trailer, blurb and a press release which I got in my inbox recently.
Click above for the Book Trailer.
Hodder and Stoughton Press Release:
We are publishing The Christmas Spirits by Whitley Strieber on 1st December in eBook format. Strieber is the bestselling author of the classic horror novels The Wolfen and The Hunger, and the non-fiction book, Communion. He also co-authored The Coming Global Superstorm, which inspired the blockbuster movie, The Day After Tommorow.
The Christmas Spirits is a retelling of Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol and brings the story to the 21st century. The book follows George Moore, a futures analyst, as he receives three visitors on Christmas Eve, just as Scrooge was visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. But these are not the ghosties and spirited that frightened Dickens’s readers. George’s visitors are more ambiguous and all the more frightening to the modern sensibility because of it. Can George make the changes that are needed to save his eternal soul, or will he die a premature death which his employees will celebrate with a party?
George Moore is a modern day Scrooge, a futures trader who drives his staff hard, and won’t let his assistant go home to look after her autistic son on Christmas Eve.Like Scrooge he is mean with money, but he is also mean with his sympathies and his time. He has to swerve to avoid putting money in a charity box and also crosses the road to avoid a family he thinks are probably gypsies on his way to dinner at a cheap cafeteria. An old man sitting nearby looks as if he might be looking for the warmth of some human contact. George refuses to meet his eye and hurries home.
Various slightly odd, even disconcerting things happen. He encounters a nun who looks like an elderly child. He sees a Santa in the window of a department store, who seems to emerge from his Grotto, look confused, and is then surrounded by small elf-like figures who drag him back behind the curtains. Finally, when he arrives back in his apartment the old man from the cafeteria suddenly appears and reveals himself as George’s old mentor in trading and in greed. Bill Hill reveals that he is dead and that he has come to give George a warning. He warns George he will have three visitors that night, and then in a flash he disappears.
So it comes about that, as Bill Hill said, George receives three visitors that Christmas Eve, just as Scrooge was visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. But these are not the ghosties and sprites that frightened Dickens’s readers. George’s visitors are more ambiguous, more frightening to a modern sensibility. They are visitors that will give even today’s reader goose bumps.
They take George on an emotional journey that like Scrooge’s journey – and the journey in another Christmas story, It’s a Wonderful Life - teaches him the true value of Christmas, the true meaning of life and finally … how to love. This new classic is both very scary and very Christmassy.
So, what do you think? At £3.99, it looks quite cheap, which is always a positive thing.
Bane of Kings is one our most senior book reviewers here at The Founding Fields, based in England. He’s a prolific reviewer that has contributed to many things here and around the internet.