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A Tale of Two Cities [Kindle Edition]

Charles Dickens
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (472 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Novel by Charles Dickens, published both serially and in book form in 1859. The story is set in the late 18th century against the background of the French Revolution. Although Dickens borrowed from Thomas Carlyle's history, The French Revolution, for his sprawling tale of London and revolutionary Paris, the novel offers more drama than accuracy. The scenes of large-scale mob violence are especially vivid, if superficial in historical understanding. The complex plot involves Sydney Carton's sacrifice of his own life on behalf of his friends Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette. While political events drive the story, Dickens takes a decidedly antipolitical tone, lambasting both aristocratic tyranny and revolutionary excess--the latter memorably caricatured in Madame Defarge, who knits beside the guillotine. The book is perhaps best known for its opening lines, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," and for Carton's last speech, in which he says of his replacing Darnay in a prison cell, "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known." -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

Product Description

About the Author

Charles John Huffam Dickens; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world’s most memorable fictional characters and is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. During his life, his works enjoyed unprecedented fame, and by the twentieth century his literary genius was broadly acknowledged by critics and scholars. His novels and short stories continue to be widely popular. Born in Portsmouth, England, Dickens was forced to leave school to work in a factory when his father was thrown into debtors’ prison. Although he had little formal education, his early impoverishment drove him to succeed. Over his career he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas and hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children’s rights, education, and other social reforms.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 523 KB
  • Print Length: 238 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1448625025
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Public Domain Books (1 Dec. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (472 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #104 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second time of reading; 45 years on! 6 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A Tale of Two CitiesI first read this book when I was about 15 years old and I am now nearly 60. I have attempted to re-read it several times over the years but have never managed to get into it until I received a Kindle for Christmas! I have really enjoyed reading it in this format. I think it is because the text is in smaller 'chunks' and you don't become phased by a large page of heavy prose. It is certainly a very moving, albeit tragic story, on many levels. Dickens' description can be a little too graphic, however you do get a feeling of 'being there'. I look forward to re-reading other classics that I read at school. By the way, surprise surprise, I cannot remember anything of my original reading of this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best: vivid and gripping. 23 Feb. 2015
By Jason Mills VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is one of Dickens' most satisfying novels. Although there is the usual scaffolding of coincidence holding things up, it's well buried, and the narrative feels tight and structured, the humorous and macabre early scenes of the Cruncher family being the only indulgence.

From the famous opening line to the even more famous close, the writing is solid and assured. There are magnificent passages of description, such as Mr Lorry's feverish dream and the French citizens scrabbling for wine from a broken cask, an overt and beautifully apt metaphor for the blood that will run in the streets later.

There is some sentimentality in the depiction of Dr Manette's fragile mental health, and his daughter's angelic nature is a stretch; but these are minor cavils. Whilst there is some meat on the bones of Charles Darnay, and Madame Defarge is as formidable as a Bond villain, it is the dissolute Sydney Carton who is the star of the book: his keen awareness of his own failure in life is affecting and compelling.

As the story grinds to its appalling and redemptive conclusion, it carries the reader along like a doomed prisoner in a tumbril heading to the guillotine, with the inevitability of Shakespearean tragedy. Dickens' horror at the Revolution's bloodshed is balanced by his righteous fury at the universal injustice that brought it about, leading to a novel that is nigh on perfect in its (if you will) execution...
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a wonderful book, I am so glad I made the effort to pick it up and try. Once you slip into the writing style and realise that you may [and may need to] savour and look back at passages pages and phrases as you proceed then you are engaged and in that world. I read it slowly, not 'whizzed through' as a lot of my novels are consumed.
How to describe ?- Evocative, descriptive and so alive, a real presentation and picture of those times people events and circumstances.
Sentimental, maudlin,verbose, a mystery-yes, moving-yes, exciting yes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a book of two halves, Gary 12 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought I'd read this years ago, but when we started rehearsing a stage adaptation I thought I'd refresh my memory. I don't think I'd actually ever read it.

It's excellent Dickens, well-observed, strong characters, often incredibly funny, everything you'd expect. The problem is that it should really have been A Tale of One City - Paris. The London scenes slow things up somewhat, and it's a great relief when the heads finally start rolling.

I'm glad I finally read it, wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, but with the best will in the world, that first half does drag somewhat. Not a single detail is unnecessary of course, it's all masterfully written, much of it essential to the later plot, and to compare and contrast 18th Century England with pre-Revolutionary France, with the similar levels of social inequality and arbitrary justice, must have given Victorian Britain a real 'there but by the grace of God go we' shiver. But still, it can be hard going.

The stage adaptation went pretty well, as you ask, but more to the point a certain scene towards the end of the novel has started me thinking in terms of a sequel of sorts. No, really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go for it ! 20 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is one of Dickens' most accessible novels. An exciting adventure story with varied believable characters. There is pathos and tragedy alongside comedy, a deeply flawed hero and Dickens' trademark beautiful heroine. Read it through once and you won't forget it. No wonder it has been dramatised for cinema, television and radio so many times ! Some of Dickens novels can be seen as a heavy read, but this one will get you if you give it a chance and, at this price, what can you lose ?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dickens classic - of course it's great. 25 Jan. 2014
By sally w
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I knew the story but realised I had never actually read the book so decided to do something about it. Dickens always looks a bit intimidating but once you start, the stories carry you along. I love the story, the characters and the language. Brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heavy Going But Worth It 20 Jan. 2014
By Pete
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Read this book as decided its time to expand my reading material, Charles Dickens is a classic author and this book didn't disappoint. Hard work to begin with and at times the language usage is difficult to comprehend so some re-reading required but overall this book is extremely well written and very enjoyable. Would recommend to anyone who wishes to experience Charles Dickens or who has any interest in that period of history
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Tale 13 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
We'll worth reading, the source of many a famous quote. A timeless tale of love, courage and revenge. Read and learn.
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