A Tale of Two Cities (Cover to Cover) Audio CD – Audiobook, 15 Mar 2011
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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.
'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...' --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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]
Most Recent Customer Reviews
At 320 pages, this is a relatively short and tautly crafted piece of Dickens narrative. Nevertheless it bears testimony to the author’s well established reputation for studying... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Tim Dumble
From one of the most famous opening lines a most Dickensian Dickens novelPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great value. Front cover different from that shown (red knitting) but light weight and easy to carry or to read in bed. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bhuddabean
I READ THIS BEFORE AND AM ENJOYING CHARLES DICKINS STYLE AND WORDS JUST AS MUCH THIS TIME.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
On the CD which I received the production of the narrators voice is very quiet too quiet. However it is read beautifully and the music adds to the atmosphere.IPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer