A proud stink bomb in the season’s egg nog, Kiss My Carol has been crafted for—maybe it’s better to say “spritzed at”—readers open to giddily ribald language and comedy. Rose’s Scrooge is quick to lob insult-comic one-liners targeting gay Londoners, the overweight, and on and on, the offensiveness wide-ranging but also rote. The other characters get their new spin, too: Tiny Tim is portrayed with a profane take on Tourette’s Syndrome, the Ghost of Christmas Present is “black and looked like an eighties funk star,” and Scrooge’s nephew Fred is secretly hoping for Scrooge to die so he can inherit all the cash. Scrooge takes his time, as always, learning his lesson—but once the Ghost of Christmas Present fashions metal leg braces on him, he starts to develop some empathy.
Rose inserts some twists into the madness—Scrooge’s parents pay him a visit hoping for an eleventh-hour change—and delivers a pleasantly surprising end, but here, unlike in Dickens’s original, the lesson about redemption is less convincing: Scrooge’s behavior throughout has been presented as uproarious, an affront to the prim and the politically correct, rather than a warning about inhumanity. Despite the absurdity, there are moments of genuine wit, though readers not charmed by the Bad Santa-ification of Scrooge may not get to them.
Takeaway: A proudly crude comic reimagining of Dickens’s Christmas classic.
Great for fans of: Amanda Clover’s Gropelins, Joshua Miller and Patrick Casey’s Oh, the Places You’ll Eff Up.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B
"Christmas parody at its finest - I haven't laughed so much all year! This is a must read for those of us who are at least one bubble off center!"
"Excellent - Very modern and inclusive. Better than Star Wars and such claptrap any day."
"Outrageously hilarious! - Get ready for a bellyful of laughter and embrace the Christmas spirit like never before with Nicholas Rose's Kiss My Carol! A novella parodying A Christmas Carol, this book follows the famous Ebenezer Scrooge and all the other beloved characters of Charles Dickens's timeless story with a slightly adult narrative twist to make things spicier. It's the year 1843, and Scrooge still hates Christmas and all it entails. On Christmas Eve, he refuses to pay something extra to his clerk Bob Cratchit, pees on carolers, and by and large continues to be a stain on humanity. But after a ghostly visit from his former partner Jacob Marley and a couple of other ghosts, Scrooge slowly begins to learn the lessons he should have learned ages ago. Now can he redeem himself? If you're an adult, this outrageously hilarious rendition of A Christmas Carol, with a foul-mouthed version of Ebenezer Scrooge, is just what you need for this year's Christmas. Author Nicholas Rose puts a fresh twist on the beloved characters of Dickens, taking their character quirks to new heights and creating a thoroughly entertaining narrative in the process. Rose wastes no time setting up the characters and the plot, and it's a blistering wild ride from start to finish. The colorful characters leap off the pages, and as a reader, you can't help but see them in a new light. If you're looking for a Christmas tale to leave you in stitches, Kiss My Carol! is just the book for you."