Review: Marley by Jon Clinch

Marley by Jon Clinch
Narrated by: Matthew Lloyd Davies
Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
Published October 8th 2019 by Simon Schuster Audio

Young Ebenezer Scrooge and Jacob Marley are very different in temperament when they meet in the gloomy confines of Professor Drabb’s Academy for Boys, but they form a bond that will endure for the rest of their lives.

My Thoughts

Marley by Jon Clinch is a prequel to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Readers are not entirely sure what exactly Jacob Marley did in his life, but we know it's bad. We know that because when Scrooge is visited by Marley, he is weighed down by heavy chains of his own making. Chains he forged in life. Without knowing exactly who he is and what he's done, we can deduce from Scrooge's life that Marley wasn't a good character. However, there is a redemptive quality to Marley. After all, he does come to Scrooge to warn him that if he doesn't change his ways, he'll end up the same way.
"I wear the chain I forged in life," replied the Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?"

We know what happens to Scrooge, but what we don't know is how Scrooge got to be Scrooge in the first place, and we don't know exactly what part Marley played in it. Now thanks to Jon Clinch, we do. Clinch mastered the backstory of two classic but complex characters. This story is dark but compelling. Every step that Scrooge takes during this book, you can see him coming closer and closer to the miserly character he is at the beginning of Charles Dickens classic tale. I don't think I'll be able to read A Christmas Carol again without thinking of Marley.

We meet Scrooge and Marley as young lads. From early in their relationship, Marley has a hold over Scrooge. Scrooge is the man who's good with numbers, while Marley is the big picture man. Together they make a good team. If only they used their powers for good. They deal in slave trade and have shady business practices that would make your stomach churn. So many times I wanted to shout at the characters. Scrooge and Marley had a complicated relationship, sometimes friends, sometimes frienemies.

Marley by Jon Clinch is a fantastic prequel. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies, which I enthusiastically recommend. Whether you listen to this book on audio or read the hardback, it's definitely one you'll want to add to your tbr. 

*I received a digital copy of this audiobook for review purposes only. It has in no way influenced my opinion.