In one sentence: While not as good as other books by Dickens, it's prevalence in modern culture makes this required reading.
This review will contain spoilers!
In many sentences:
It'm glad I finally read the actual story that has resulted in so many plays, and movie productions. Nothing in the story was surprising plot-wise, but Dickens is a master as always, and his style definitely made this an enjoyable read.
Unlike Dickens' other work, the message here is far more heavy-handed. He is not subtle in condemning Scrooge's selfishness in greed, while expounding upon the need to care for those less fortunate. I would not have minded more depth and characterization among the characters, but that was obviously not Dickens' intention so it's hard to fault him too much for it.
Considering the level of influence this story has in our modern society (it is the origin for the word scrooge as a miserly, greedy person) it is definitely something I think everyone should read. It may not reach the highs of other books by Dickens (or at least not the handful that I have read), but it is quick enough that there's no excuse for skipping it.
Charles Dickens the Last Line of in A Christmas Carol
"'Why do you doubt your senses?'Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol
'Because,' said Scrooge, 'a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!'"