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“Marley was dead to begin with . . .”
These chillingly familiar words begin the classic Christmas tale of remorse and redemption in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Now R. William Bennett rewinds the story and focuses the spotlight on Scrooge’s miserly business partner, Jacob T. Marley, who was allowed to return as a ghost to warn Scrooge away from his ill-fated path. Why was Marley allowed to return? And why hadn’t he been given the same chance as Ebenezer Scrooge?
Or had he?
Written with a voice reminiscent of Dickens, Jacob T. Marley is a masterfully crafted story of remorse and redemption, sure to become a Christmas favorite.
Book on CD read by Simon Vance
- Size: 5x7
- Pages: 192
- Published: 10/2011
- Book on CD: Unabridged
- Number of Discs: 4
- Run Time: Approx. 4.3 hrs
About the Author
R. William (Bill) Bennett grew up on the New Jersey shore and in New England. He spent more than thirty years in business, including many years as an executive of various technology companies, and most recently, as a division president of Franlkin Covey. He is also the author of the award-winning novella The Christmas Gift. Bill and his wife, Loree, have been blessed with four wonderful children and two grandchildren and reside at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Alpine, Utah.
Marley’s death was but a beginning. To those of us still mingling with the living, death may seem quite a terminal affair, yet in its vacuum new possibilities spring forth, not just for those left behind but for the dead as well. Marley’s death did, in fact, represent a beginning for several people. As the grand old narrator has so deftly and pleasantly informed us, it was at first a long, slow beginning of the transformation of one Ebenezer Scrooge. Indeed, he needed to percolate for seven long years, steeping himself in the boiling liquid of greed and avarice, before he was ready for that dreadful, wonderful night that began with Marley’s ghostly visit. It was a beginning for many kind souls who surrounded Scrooge’s life: Bob Cratchit, Nephew Fred, Tiny Tim, and even the boy who tried to sing a carol for Ebenezer outside the countinghouse on that Christmas Eve. For in each of those good folk, small seeds of ideas, known by some as inspiration, by others as compassion or goodly character, moved them to play a role in the redemption of the old, miserly Scrooge. And finally, it was a beginning for the detestable Jacob Marley himself.
Now, I suppose that one might be convinced, after some debate on semantics, of the nature of this event being a beginning for each of those aforementioned. Each, that is, but Jacob Marley. True, we know from the account of Scrooge that Jacob was doomed to wander the earth, visiting those he had not helped and feeling the anguish of what might have been, had he been the man he might. But that feels a bit more like an eternal ending rather than anything that deserves to be placed at the start of a conversation.
However, it was a most remarkable beginning for Jacob. For there was a great deal more happening to him than Scrooge could see from his chair by the fire in his bedroom. In fact, the greatest effect Jacob Thelonius Marley would have on this world would begin on Christmas Eve in the moments before he would leave his corpse behind and would stretch until . . .
Well, this is our story . . .
A new tradition for me!
by Evelyn - reviewed on November 03, 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and definitely plan to add it to the annual reading tradition in my family. I have been a life-long fan of Ebeneezer Scrooge, and this book did not disappoint! Loved it!
A New Christmas Tradition!
by Kay - reviewed on November 06, 2011
A tradition I have is watching A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens every year. My favorite is the one with George C. Scott as Scrooge - although I also really enjoy the 1951 version with Alastair Sim as old Ebenezer. So when I saw this title coming out, I thought - "Yes I always wanted to know a little more about Jacob Marley!" and Jacob T. Marley by R. William Bennett did not disappoint. The writing is very "Dickenish" -- and when looking at Marley's life with the aid of some "spirits", it caused me to pause and reflect on my own life and wonder how many opportunities I've passed up by not following a simple little prompting or just not paying a little more attention to people around me. Here are a few quotes I pulled out of many that struck me as I read: "Jacob, love does not prosecute. It seeks neither revenge nor dominance. It does not win at the cost of someone else's loss. Love only accepts, completely and without reservation." And "If we find we lack faith in ourselves or in others, we can at least have faith in the trustworthiness of nature, that at the appointed time, the horizon will lighten in grand prelude to the sun throwing its morning shafts into our lives." Read my full review at: http://tinyurl.com/JTMarley
by jan - reviewed on December 30, 2011
One of the best books I have read containing profound principles of living that can change the world as we each embrace and act on the wisdom, soul by soul.
Will become a NEW Christmas Classic!
by Stephanie - reviewed on December 03, 2011
In the beginning of Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol you read, "Marley was dead...to begin with." But...what really happened to Scrooge's old partner, Jacob T. Marley? Why was he allowed to come back and haunt Scrooge? Even more so, why was he so concerned that Scrooge meet a fate that was more pleasant than being weighed down eternally by chains of sin? In R. William Bennett's book, Jacob T. Marley, he gives you Jacob's story, from his happy childhood to his miserable adulthood...and beyond. Running parallel to A Christmas Carol you can enjoy an understanding of perhaps why Marley made such condemning choices in life...and witness his chance for redemptive choices in the after-life. If you love the seasonal classic A Christmas Carol, you will enjoy this story! I really did!! (and I am NOT a fan of 'classics')
A great Christmas Read
by Christine - reviewed on November 21, 2011
I am going to admit something: I have never actually read the book A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (I have seen multiple movie version of the story, most often the Mickey Mouse version) I am not really sure why, to be honest, but after reading Jacob T. Marley, you can be certain that I will be reading the classic Dicken's tale this December. Jacob Marley is the ghost who ushers in Scrooge's night of redemption, by visiting and warning him of the fate that awaits Scrooge if he does not change, and telling him of the visitors who would be visiting him that night. But, what do we know of Marley other than his being much like Scrooge in his business practices. Why was Scrooge given a change for redemption, but Marley was doomed to an eternal life of torment? In the book Jacob T. Marley by R. William Bennett we learn more of Marley, his life, and his death. We see his side of what happened that Christmas Eve night. I truly enjoyed this book, written in a style that echoes Dickens (even though I have not read A Christmas Carol, I have read Dickens :) ). It is a tale of heartbreak and sorrow as well joy and changing hearts. Jacob T. Marley is quick read that is certain to put you in the Christmas mood.
Must Read for Christmas
by Customer - reviewed on October 17, 2011
Jacob T. Marley conveys a wealth of Holiday spirit, while celebrating the gift of possibilities that lie in all of us.
An instant classic!!
by Darrin - reviewed on November 11, 2011
Written in the classical style this book answers the age old question “what about Marley?” Who doesn’t know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge? Who hasn’t wondered about the man who saved him? This is a book of the highest quality with a genuine story that will touch the hearts of all who read it. It will be the new Christmas Classic that everyone will want in their Christmas collection!
Worth reading any time, not just at Christmas.
by Frank - reviewed on January 03, 2012
I worked all my life in Law Enforcement. I mingled with some hardened people and became a tough person. After living 63 years, few things bring tears to my eyes. This story of Jacob T. Marley has touched my heart and reached deep into my soul. You better have a box of tissues handy.
A Christmas story of mercy, love and redemption
by Monica - reviewed on October 18, 2011
Jacob T. Marley is a congruent story to the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Compelling narrative from Scrooge’s dead partner, Jacob Marley; how did his life lead him to haunt Ebenezer Scrooge on that fateful Christmas Eve? Ironically enough, Jacob is allowed to help Scrooge see the errors of his ways when Marley himself was dumb to the opportunities presented in his mortal life that would have eliminated the immortal chains that bound him in death. Jacob reflects on his past life and decisions that doom him to eternal wanderings of misery. As he wanders, he is faced with the consequences of his greed and the effects on everyone he inflicted his ‘goodwill’ on. A twist of fate on his death bed sends Marley on a mission to rediscover what he missed learning of mercy as a mortal. In conclusion, the stories of Marley and Scrooge are much the same though each finds his own way to find mercy, love, and redemption. I appreciated the ending of the book that tied Scrooge’s and Marley’s fates together and again reflects the meaning of Christmas.
i love it
by forrest - reviewed on November 14, 2011
i love it
If Ebenezer had known…
by Diane - reviewed on December 24, 2011
Jacob Marley’s story is brought to light in this thoughtful an inspiring tale. You will learn the heartbreaking circumstances that bring Jacob and Ebenezer together. Jacob is a beloved child, the youngest. Life brings successes, struggles and choices that set him on a bitter course. What causes a agreeable young man to turn inside himself and reject all others? Through the heart of Jacob T. Marley a new story unfolds. Delightfully written, and skillfully crafted in the “Dickens’s style”. More than mere fiction, it gives cause to reflect upon your past, present and future. Destined to become a Christmas Classic.