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A Tale of Two Cities (Cover to Cover) Audio CD – Audiobook, 15 Mar 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 223 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 12 pages
  • Publisher: Audiogo; Unabridged edition (15 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609981103
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609981105
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 15.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,207,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

I shall treasure the richly detailed explanatory notes. It's an edition which will surely sell to the general reader; yet many truer Dickens specialists than I will be excited by the scope and subtlety of the introduction. --Dr P. Merchant, Christ Church College, Canterbury

The large clear print, very full notes, and inclusion of Dickens's number plans make it the best paperback available for student use. --Professor Norman Page, University of Nottingham

I read it every other year. It is the best story of the best hero. It does not pale. --You (Mail on Sunday Magazine) --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Book Description

'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...' --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I will never, the rest of my life forget these two sentences. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness...." and at closing "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."

Wow, this is not your usual Dickens. No quirky characters with strange names and laugh out loud moments, just a darn good story -- the story of two cities, London and Paris. It is difficult to put the plot into words, but when the book begins you are in London at the time of the American revolution and spies (or suspected spies) abound, and the story eventually switches to France prior to and during the French revolution.

Dickens does a marvelous job (as always) of building his story one step at a time and slowly peeling back the layers one at a time. This is not a put down and pick it up a week later kind of a book, it is very intense and complicated and you have to pay close attention. I was just floored at how he sucked me in with his descriptions of the mobs, terror and the madness of the revolution leading you to a nail biting finish. I admit to holding my breath during those last few pages!

Highly recommended, and well worth the time to discover (or rediscover) an old classic.
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Format: Paperback
The period from 1775 - the outbreak of the American Revolution - to 1789 - the storming of the Bastille - is the turbulent setting of this uncharacteristic Dickens novel. It is his only novel that lacks comic relief, is one of only two that are not set in nineteenth-century England and is also unusual in lacking a primary central character. London and Paris are the real protagonists in this tale, much as the cathedral was the 'hero' of Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris. Dickens was writing at a time of great turmoil in his personal life, having just separated from his wife, and no doubt the revolutionary theme was in tune with his mental state.
The result is a complex, involving plot with some of the best narrative writing to be found anywhere, and the recreation of revolutionary Paris is very convincing. The device of having two characters that look identical may seem hackneyed to modern readers, but it is here employed with greater plausibility than in Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson or Collins's The Woman in White.
Dickens was inspired to write this story by reading Carlyle's newly published history of the French Revolution. Those events and their aftermath stood in relation to their time much as World Wars I and II do to ours, that is, fading from living memory into history, yet their legacy still very much with us. In many nineteenth-century novels, especially Russian and British works, you get a sense of unease among the aristocracy that the revolution will spread to their own back yard. In the case of Russia, of course, it eventually did.
I have often recommended A Tale of Two Cities as a good introduction to Dickens for younger readers. This is based on my own experiences, because it was a set book in my English Literature class when I was 15 and I remember thoroughly enjoying it. Yes, it is challenging, with its somewhat archaic language and its slow development, but you cannot progress to an enjoyment of great literature without being challenged.
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By A Customer on 14 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
In most of his novels, Charles Dickens sticks to one central theme - love. "A Tale of Two Cities" faithfully adheers to this principle, yet, as with every Dickens book, retains a certain individuality and freshness.
The story is perhaps a little slow to start, but that matters little. Not only is it difficult to stop reading the novel after a while, given the many little mysteries Dickens hints at throughout, but it is next to impossible not to be absorbed into the lives of the central characters and feel a certain closeness to them. It also notable that the devoted love displayed by so many of the novels cast does not seem at all implausable or out of place, despite the cold and uncaring backdrop used - the French Revolution
"A Tale Of Two Cities" leaves you feeling both thourghly happy and extremely sad, such is the skill with which Charles Dickens - beyond any doubt a master of his craft - tells this moving tale.
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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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Format: Paperback
"...the picturesque confusion of houses and the cathedral shone bright in the light of the moon, the day came coldly, looking like a dead face out of the sky."

I have been a fan of Dickens ever since the opening two paragraphs of Bleak House threw me into the Megalosaurus-inhabited foggy streets of London. To read any Dickens work is to be placed into the hands of one of the English language's masters; he is an unsurpassed genius of the sentence; a craftsman; a wordsmith and an artist. He is also, particularly in this work, a storyteller.

A Tale of Two Cities, in Dickens' own words, is "[T]he best story I have written" and is undoubtedly one of his most moving, exciting and memorable works. It builds with slow burning intensity, introducing us to the richly imagined characters who are to shape, and be shaped, by events far bigger, and with a greater sense of history, then they could ever imagine. Individual lives in London and Paris, are brought together with an inexorable sense of destiny, to one of literature's greatest finales, that is played out on the bloody streets of Paris, under the shadow of the guillotine.

Dickens' tale is filled with tragedy and despair, desperation and horror, but against this are pitted the greatest of human characteristics: loyalty, compassion, love and self-sacrifice. A Tale of Two Cities is responsible for some of the finest opening and closing lines in English literature, some of its most memorable characters, and an ending of such poignant intensity that even the hardest of hearts will weep.

[I always recommend Wordsworth Classics for the lay reader: cheap, unabridged, with accessible introductions, a glossary of the most important historical references, and this edition has the added bonus of wonderful illustrations by Phiz]
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