3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: A Tale of Two Cities (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
This is really an excellent book. If you are not too keen on picking up one of the more voluminous Dickens's tombs I would suggest this book without reservation. The opening contains one of the best know beginnings in English literature and although the first couple of chapters can be a little tiring because they are setting the scene, the rest of the book is quick paced. This is mainly due to the fact there are no lengthy descriptions of what people are like or what they are thinking, instead character are drawn from their actions, making for a concise an exciting story. Something I enjoyed was noticing how much the number two figures in the story. The title of course refers to two cities, but also certain scenes are acted out twice, for example Mr Lorry talks to Lucie in a particular way in book one and then the same particular way of speaking is again used in book two when Mr Lorry is speaking to Dr Manette. In more mundane examples are that Charles Darnay has two names and Jerry Cruncher has two jobs. It gave me much pleasure spotting instances of the number two whilst reading.
One particular thing to note about this penguin edition is the copious introduction, end notes and appendix. These are all very interesting and well worth reading, however if you have not read the book, or do not already know the story, avoid reading these as they give to much away and ruin the surprises and lessen the suspense for the reader. Unfortunately this is true of the end notes as well. although I enjoy reading end notes to help my understanding I would suggest attempting to read the novel without any reference to the notes, introduction and appendix if its your first time reading and perhaps refer to them only if you are re-reading. It will maximise your enjoyment if you do.