Welcome to the latest of The Mark Steyn Club's Tales for Our Time. This month's entertainment is a seasonal classic, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Founding Member Jamie Marsh was minded to dip his toe in the water:
This is the first Tales for Our Time I've listened to. If they're all this good, then I've been missing out. Perfect for Christmas time!
Actually Jamie, the others are all way better, and this is by far the lamest reading I've ever done. You can check them out here.
On to tonight's episode. In Part Two Ebenezer Scrooge comes face to face with the ghost of his long dead business partner:
The bells ceased as they had begun, together. They were succeeded by a clanking noise, deep down below; as if some person were dragging a heavy chain over the casks in the wine-merchant's cellar. Scrooge then remembered to have heard that ghosts in haunted houses were described as dragging chains.
The cellar-door flew open with a booming sound, and then he heard the noise much louder, on the floors below; then coming up the stairs; then coming straight towards his door.
"It's humbug still!" said Scrooge. "I won't believe it."
His colour changed though, when, without a pause, it came on through the heavy door, and passed into the room before his eyes. Upon its coming in, the dying flame leaped up, as though it cried, "I know him; Marley's Ghost!" and fell again.
And, as Scrooge discovers, Marley's ghost is here for a reason. To listen to the second episode of A Christmas Carol, please click here.
Tales for Our Time is an experimental feature we introduced as a bonus for Mark Steyn Club members, and, as you know, I said if it was a total stinkeroo, we'd eighty-six the thing and speak no more of it. But I'm thrilled to say it's proving very popular, and looks like it'll be around a while. If you're a Club member and you incline more to the stinkeroo view of it, give it your best in the Comments Section below.
We launched The Mark Steyn Club this summer, and I'm immensely heartened by all those SteynOnline supporters across the globe - from Fargo to Fiji, Vancouver to Vanuatu, Surrey to the Solomon Islands - who've signed up to be a part of it. As I said at the time, membership isn't for everyone, but it is a way of ensuring that all our content remains available for everyone - all my columns, audio interviews, video content, all our movie features and songs of the week. None of it's going behind a paywall, because I want it out there in the world, being read and being heard and being viewed, and maybe changing an occasional mind somewhere along the way. So I thank those longtime readers, listeners and viewers who've volunteered to be part of that.
If you've enjoyed our monthly Steyn Club radio serials and you're looking for a Yuletide present for someone special, I hope you'll consider our limited-time-only Christmas Gift Membership, which includes your choice of a personally autographed book or CD set from yours truly. And, aside from Tales for Our Time, The Mark Steyn Club does come with other benefits:
~Exclusive Steyn Store member pricing on over 40 books, mugs, T-shirts, and other products - plus this year's Santa Steyn Christmas specials;
~The opportunity to engage in live Clubland Q&A sessions with yours truly (there'll be another this Monday);
~Transcript and audio versions of The Mark Steyn Show, SteynPosts, and our other video content;
~My new quarterly newsletter The Clubbable Steyn;
~Our new video series of classic poetry;
~Advance booking for my live appearances around the world;
~Customized email alerts for new content in your areas of interest;
~and the chance to support our print, audio and video ventures as they wing their way around the planet.
To become a member of The Mark Steyn Club, please click here - or sign up a pal for that limited-time seasonal-offer Christmas Gift Membership. And do join us for Part Three of A Christmas Carol tomorrow.