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A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
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A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

by Charles Dickens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
26,91435870 (3.93)4 / 1104
  1. 180
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (krizia_lazaro)
  2. 110
    The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy (MarcusBrutus)
  3. 40
    Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini (morryb)
    morryb: The French Revolutionary Mob becomes a character in each novel.
  4. 41
    The French Revolution: A History by Thomas Carlyle (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: A main source of inspiration for Dickens in writing A Tale of Two Cities.
  5. 11
    The Glass Blowers by Daphne du Maurier (buchstabendompteurin)
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English (338)  Spanish (10)  Swedish (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (355)
Showing 1-5 of 338 (next | show all)
To offer a very controversial opinion... I did not care for this book.

Victorian literature is really hit or miss for me. I'm a character reader and if I don't connect with the characters, I find it very difficult to get invested in the story. There's not much depth to these characters and like other popular novels of the period, Dickens fills his story with conversational dialogue. It is through dialogue we learn backstories, plot twists, moral dilemmas, relationships, setting - everything. The narrative we receive is brief and direct. It's not my favorite style, but it's efficient enough.

Because I had a hard time relating to - or indeed, keeping straight - many of the characters, there was no emotional investment for me in the tale of the Manette family and the grievous wrongs they suffered. Even the backdrop of the French Revolution failed to dazzle. Simon Vance has a rich voice and I enjoyed his narration, despite the tedium of the writing (again - this is completely personal to my preferences). Between Simon Vance's narration and my sheer determination to read more Dickens, I was able to persevere through this one, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't bored.

All in all, I can see why this story is a classic. I can see why people love it. I would watch a movie of it, where the characters have more emotion and depth to them because of the actors... but this book was solidly not for me.

Though! Of the whole book, I have to give mad props to the scene between between Madame Defarge and Ms. Pross. I found it the most heated, most emotive part of the book and absolutely found myself cheering for Ms. Pross. That last bit, at least, was brilliant. ( )
  Morteana | Apr 17, 2019 |
I enjoyed this classic tale of revenge and sacrifice, set against the backdrop of the bloody French revolution, when anyone’s life was easily forfeit on someone’s malice; justice and compassion gave given way to massacre and paranoia.

Dickens gave the blueprint for modern movies and TV shows. The story with its twists and turns can end on cliffhangers after each episode; character development is thrown in between action; secrets are discovered throughout, but there is plenty left to the end.

We have archetypal characters: the old, tenderhearted doctor who is willing to do anything for his daughter. The angelic, beautiful, loving daughter who obeys her father and is ready to swoon whenever the plot requires to be protected by strong men. The honest, noble young man who is wrongly accused. Comic relief characters; cruel villains; men who have doubts but cannot stop the villainy.

The writing is often flowery, but there are lots of humorous moments, and Dickens excels in delivering the drama. Tale of Two Cities is just right - not overwritten, and the ending is fitting - bith giving the reader a relief and a tragedy as well.

I have listened to the audiobook, excellently narrated by Simon Vance. ( )
  Gezemice | Mar 8, 2019 |
over rated ( )
  Paperpuss | Feb 25, 2019 |
It was my first Dickens, it was not my last. It was summer in Chicago and I was surrounded by lovely albeit unruly children. Oh dear, it was a struggle at times, watching three kids while my wife and their mother were in the city. Still I finished the novel over a long afternoon without drugging my charges.

It is a story of sacrifice, maybe of redemption. I felt for everyone, zealots and drunkards alike. The concluding scaffold scene engendered tears, it has to be admitted. Is there a better novel about the French Revolution, its aspirations and its contradictions?
( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
I found this book confusing to begin with, but it shortly became a page-turner. The ending, especially, was beautiful. One of Dickens' best. ( )
  ErinMa | Feb 22, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 338 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (170 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dickens, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abernethy, Julian W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arbonès, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ben Sussan, ReneIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bordoy Luque, SalvadorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Browne, Hablot K.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Browne, Hablot KnightIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Busch, FrederickIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Busoni, RafaelloIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haaren, Hans vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jarvis, MartinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keeping, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koch, StephenAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lesser, AntonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindo, Mark PragerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maxwell, RichardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nord, JulieEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
PhizIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pitt, David G.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rackham, ArthurIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanders, AndrewEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schirner, BuckNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shuckburgh, Sir JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, Theun deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wagenknecht, EdwardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiggins, Evelina OakleyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, A.N.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winterich, John T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodcock, GeorgeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodcock, GeorgeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Dedication
This tale is inscribed to the Lord John Russell in remembrance of many public services and private kindnesses
First words
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Quotations
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.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Please do not combine with any adaptation, abridgement, etc.
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Haiku summary
Two men look alike.
They love the same good woman.
They’re all in danger.
(marcusbrutus)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141439602, Paperback)

After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille the aging Dr Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil lanes of London, they are all drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror and soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:50 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the aging Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine. This edition uses the text as it appeared in its first serial publication in 1859 to convey the full scope of Dickens's vision, and includes the original illustrations by H.K. Browne ('Phiz'). Richard Maxwell's introduction discusses the intricate interweaving of epic drama with personal tragedy.… (more)

» see all 101 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439602, 0141031743, 0141325542, 0141196904, 0141199709

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909175919, 1909175439

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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