My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Disclaimer: I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.
Part 1: From The Book Cover
Decimus Croome is a dastardly curmudgeon who hates all holidays but especially despises Halloween. He is content to live in his gloomy old house and avoid all human contact whenever possible. He even shuns his own daughter and grandson. But Croome's life changes one memorable Halloween when four ghastly spirits visit him to reveal the misery he has inflicted upon his friends, neighbors and family members.
Based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, The Legend of Decimus Croome is bound to become a Halloween classic for readers of all ages. Follow old man Croome as he is visited by the lovely but disturbing spirit of his dearly departed wife. She warns him of three spirits yet to follow. And oh what spirits they are. Each one is more frightening than the last as they deliver a chilling message for Croome and his fellow Halloween humbugs.
The Ghost of Halloween Past is a truly horrifying yet disturbingly hilarious spirit who delivers Croome to his distant and not-so-distant past. Along the journey, Croome is warmed with nostalgia then terrified by painful memories from Halloweens gone by.
The second spirit is a shape-shifting witch who breaks every stereotype about witches while nearly driving Croome insane with her wild antics and slapstick delivery. As the Ghost of Halloween Present, she takes Croome on a crazy magic carpet ride that reveals his negative influence on those closest to him. The witch also introduces Croome to the magic of Halloween on enchanted visits further afield.
The third phantasm delivers the final glimpse of Croome's diabolically repulsive life and the future that is in store for him if he doesn't change his wicked ways. Croome is forced to confront the impending consequences of his cruel and heartless lifestyle. He is spirited away to a bleak future including a terrifying visit to a desolate cemetery.
Throughout this delightful and spooky Halloween novel, you will be haunted by ghosts, inspired by a brave young leukemia patient and entertained by a precocious feline named Black Magic.
Join Tommy Bobbich, Decimus Croome and a whole cast of ghosts, witches and ghouls in this modern day holiday story that is sure to provide you with chills, laughs, and even a few touching moments as you read The Legend of Decimus Croome: A Halloween Carol. You will never look at Halloween the same again.
Part 2: Recommendation
I love Halloween (even though I tend to be lazy when it comes to dressing up, decorating and giving out candies because all I want to do on Halloween is to eat pizza and popcorn while watching a movie marathon of all of my favorite Halloween movies) and I love Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. At first I wasn't sure if I want to read and review this book (because I don't want A Christmas Carol to be ruined by another retelling) but upon further research, majority of this book's Amazon and GoodReads reviews were 5-stars. So I figured, why not give it a try and I am quite curious to know how the author Kevin Purdy translates the major plot points of A Christmas Carol into Halloween.
Well, I have to say kudos to Kevin Purdy for his work in The Legend of Decimus Croome: A Halloween Carol. It's very well written and true to the "Spirit of Halloween" ala Dickens style. It makes me wonder if the author is planning on coming out with another holiday carol book.
Decimus Croome definitely has Mr. Scrooge's cranky and downright nasty personality towards anyone and anything related to Halloween. Sam Bobbich and Tommy Bobbich represented Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim respectively. Patricia Croome, the late wife of Decimus Croome took the place of Jacob Marley while his son-in-law, Darren Tate, took the place of Fred, Mr. Scrooge's nephew, who always invites Mr. Croome to their annual Halloween party. Fezziwig was aptly represented by Stan Croome, Decimus' late father, who left the Croome Hardware store to Decimus.
The book opens with a scene establishing Decimus Croome as the Halloween humbug when he encountered Tommy and his older sister Kate by the Halloween decor aisle and what he later did to the two teen boys running around the Home Emporium, the competing hardware store, while buying an axe. Decimus Croome does have a wicked sense of humor and it showed when he exited the Home Emporium with a smirk on his face and mumbling, "Pest clean-up in aisle three … Who needs a stake through the heart when you've got lawn tractors?" or when he asked Darren, "A Halloween party? … and what exactly does one celebrate at a Halloween party? Is it a werewolf's birthday, a mummy's bar mitzvah or perhaps a witch's wedding anniversary?"
Another line from the book that I dearly loved was when Decimus asked Patricia's ghost, "…if you didn't choose it, and I didn't choose it, then why … did I have to spend my life without the one I loved most?…" and Patricia's answer was the best, "You cannot choose when or how you die, but you can choose how you live."
When Decimus observed how, "… it took so little to make a child like Tommy happy" the Spirit of Halloween Present said, "… It would appear that you might have underestimated the magic of Halloween." Decimus also realized "… that the joy of Halloween had not department this world. It had only departed his world."
When the Spirit of Halloween Present introduced Apathy and Greed, the scene with the two "little monsters" was quite spooky, "They belong to all of us and none of us. They are children of the world … they have grown particularly repulsive in the present day … When I am long gone, they will remain to haunt you and your brethren … they appear small but have a remarkable impact upon us all … They are not here with me, Decimus Croome. They are here with you."
And that scene with the Spirit of Halloween Future where they were visiting the Bobbich family and Decimus began pleading with Sam just about broke my heart.
And to round it all up, the light-hearted, happy and nice Decimus Croome making an appearance at the annual Tate Halloween party tied everything up like a festive Halloween wreath.
Overall, the plot, dialogue and characters lived up to the original classic and I have no doubt of this book by Kevin Purdy easily becoming a Halloween favorite just like A Christmas Carol. Truly inspiring.