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
By rhonda, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I had a tough time deciding what rating to give Jacob T. Marley. The first part of the book I struggled to read it. The fonts are small, the language and story was on the educated side. I did not like these characters and what they did. Then when Marley is dying and after his death I felt for him. I started to like him. I enjoyed the book so much more. I felt connected to him. Lets face it these characters were not supposed to be likeable at first. There had to be a change in them. With their changes I started to change how I related to them. I was thinking how much do I do or not do.
This is a drama, a Christmas story, a love story or unlove story. We all make choices daily in our lives. What choices are we making today, yesterday or tomorrow?
It has been many years since I have read A Christmas Carol. This takes that story and focus on Jacob T. Marley's ghost. What choices he made to lead him to wear chains and visits all those he did wrong in life. We see where he came from. What the T in his name represents. How he came to care for only money and business in his life. How he met Ebenezer Scrooge.
This is a book once started it doesn't take long to read. It is only 202 pages long. It does make you think.
I was given this book to read by Shadow Mountain so I could give an honest review of Jacob T. Marley and be part of it's blog tour.
By Shauna, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Every year we recall the story of A Christmas Carol...
We LOVE the ghostly visits and the change in Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim.
But sometimes we forget "before Ebenezer Scrooge, there was Jacob T. Marley."
This is Jacob's story....
Jacob came from a great lineage...in fact his grandfather, Thelonius, gave his live saving children from a terrible fire.
Jacob loved telling everyone that his full name was Jacob Thelonius Marley; named after his grandfather.
But over time Jacob shortened his name to Jacob T. Marley and then to Jacob Marley and sometimes simply Marley.
And then one fateful day his teacher called him a wonder with numbers and told him he was THE BEST the teacher had ever seen.
From that day forward Marley found himself comparing his skills to everyone else and fought to continue being THE BEST.
Pride was chipping away at the Jacob who used to be and formed him into the Marley he became.
He began to feel that his grandfather had given too much for too little.
Greed became his passion...
Compassion escaped him.
Jacob T. Marley found a younger version of himself in Scrooge and so a partnership was formed.
"For twenty-five years, the two men grew more mean, more selfish, and more aligned in their purpose."
Then on his death bed Marley had a thought...it was he who had really turned Ebenezer into the Scrooge he had become...
How can he change that? What can he do? Can he warn Ebenezer of the life that lies before him?
Or is it too late?
Learn what happens to Jacob T. Marley after he dies...
Who he talks with...What he learns...And how there was a plan made for his own redemption.
I LOVED this story!
Written in the same flair as A Christmas Carol this story is one to be read over and over.
Let us remember to banish the Scrooge within ourselves.
Let us serve others and show kindness all year long.
By Melanie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This book has such a great message! We're all familiar with A Christmas Carol and this book tells the "rest of the story." We learn about Jacob T. Marley's background, what the "T" in his name stands for, how Marley and Scrooge met, and why Scrooge became the miser we all know him to be.
Then we learn more about the night when Scrooge's heart is changed and he decides to become a better man, what Marley's role was that night and what became of him afterward. We learn about the remainder of Scrooge's life and how he's able to redeem himself. I felt that the author did a great job conveying the anguish Jacob Marley felt when he realized his role in molding Ebenezer Scrooge into the man he was and his willingness to do whatever he needed to in order to fix it.
This is the kind of story that causes me to reflect on my life and ways to make it better. I tend to be "busy" quite a bit and don't always make time for human interaction. There is always someone to listen to, give service to and show kindness to and it's important to help those who cross my path.
I love how this book adds to A Christmas Carol and love that the message is one that will resonate no matter what time of year it is. If you love A Christmas Carol, this is a book you will definitely want to read!
By Heidi, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I sometimes have a hard reading books like this that go back and take an original story and offer another take on it. But I found myself really enjoying this one. It's a very thought-provoking look at redemption and forgiveness and making choices that lead us to become what we do. Jacob T. Marley let his pride and greed get the better of him at great harm to himself and everyone he came in contact with. And when he and Scrooge met up they had the same flaws and they fed off each other making things worse. And until the day he died Marley never once stopped to think about how his choices had shaped his life. As he lay dying, he watched Scrooge manipulating his way into Marley's house, he realizes for the first time how much harm he has done.
Obviously we don't really know why Marley does what he does in the original story, A Christmas Carol, something changes that leads him to want to prevent Scrooge from ending up in the same sort of situation. Bennett gives the reader a look at what might have been. I found myself thoroughly enthralled with the portrayal of Marley as he seeks to help Scrooge take a different path. And in the end he does something that during his mortal life he would never have done. Frankly it had me in tears. The story is so well told and beautifully highlights the joys of serving those around us and that the true treasures in life don't revolve around money. A story of bad choices, remorse, and change that becomes possible through the sacrifice of our Savior. A novel truly worthy of the Christmas season.
By Frank , Submitted on 2015-02-25
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.
By Diane, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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.
By Stephanie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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')
By jan, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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.
By Christine, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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.
By forrest, Submitted on 2015-02-25
i love it
By Darrin, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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!
By Kay, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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."
"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 Evelyn, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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!
By Monica, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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.
By DeAnne , Submitted on 2015-02-25
Jacob T. Marley conveys a wealth of Holiday spirit, while celebrating the gift of possibilities that lie in all of us.