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A Tale of Two Cities (Signet Classics) by…

A Tale of Two Cities (Signet Classics) (original 1859; edition 1997)

by Charles Dickens, Frederick Busch (Introduction)

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23,35730447 (3.93)4 / 913
Title:A Tale of Two Cities (Signet Classics)
Authors:Charles Dickens
Other authors:Frederick Busch (Introduction)
Info:Signet Classics (1997), Mass Market Paperback, 371 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (1859)

  1. 180
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (krizia_lazaro)
  2. 110
    The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska, 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. 10
    The Glass Blowers by Daphne du Maurier (buchstabendompteurin)

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A Tale of Two Cities is a novel written by Charles Dickens. It tells the tale of the French Revolution of 1978, and the times leading up to the Revolution, as it affects multiple characters from multiple socioeconomic backgrounds. We can see mystery, suspense, humor and drama in this book. Like the best and worst of times that it portrays, we can see the best and worst of humanity here. This novel has greatness hidden in many places.

The weakness of this book is the vocabulary level that it contained. It takes a long time for a reader to clearly understand the words. It should be read with notes and study guides for its depth and complexity.

The strength of this book is the setting in third person limited point of view, which allows readers to view the heavy contrast between the different social classes. Dickens' use of foreshadowing and symbolism keeps the reader thinking, and the somewhat disturbing topic of the French Revolution keeps the reader intrigued.

Overall, I would recommend A Tale of Two Cities to anyone with desire to read a classic, yet very thought-provoking novel. ( )
  charisma.clary | Dec 9, 2016 |
Whether a person is an avid book reader or just a regular guy, he/she would probably have heard about this book and, of course, its infamous first lines: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.....".

This widely known quote of the book is a perfect example on one of the main strengths of this book. Charles Dickens skillfully describes everything in the book (in this case, the book's setting) in a vivid and detailed way, yet his choice of words also leaves room for us to imagine and interpret the situation ourselves. This story is set during the French Revolution, and he describes the situation and tension perfectly. The story itself and its characters are quite intriguing and interesting to see unfold through many twists and turns and everything in between.

However, as to any book, this book too has its weaknesses, one of them being a strength as well. Dickens' choice of words does paint the reader's minds with a vivid picture; however, the words he used are not what we hear everyday. The words "epoch", "incredulity", and "tremulous" are just some of the words he used, and it's enough to bewilder a regular reader. This combined with lengthy sentences and phrases makes for a difficult read.

In my opinion this is a very interesting book to read, but I would only recommend this book to people who would spend much time in reading it. ( )
  richardlintang | Dec 8, 2016 |
A tale of two cities is a very long and detailed historical fiction novel about duality, revolution, violence, love, courage, and sacrifice. There were many sacrifices in this novel by many different characters. The ultimate sacrifice was made by Sydney Carton his sacrifice is pretty heroic. Because of his love for Lucie and his friendship with Darnay, Carton is the example of one of the most important themes implied in this book. Carton helps others, and does not think so much of himself. Right before going to the guillotine, Carton sees a better world, a world where he gave to others, not thinking of himself. These themes help outline an interesting story.

In my opinion that the major strength of this book was the suspense and drama involved to keep the reader hooked. There are always incidents to keep the reader thinking. A major weakness of this book, it was the fact that it was so very long and had a somewhat advanced vocabulary. A Tale of Two Cities was over 300 pages long and took quite a bit of thinking on the reader's part to understand. The novel used some kind of intricate words.

This is a profoundly thoughtful story. It is the sort of novel that should be enormously usable for young people. Much more important, its conception can vivify for us the meanings of the past, can offer us a reading of history, humane and deep, by a great artistic intelligence. ( )
  jesicaester | Dec 3, 2016 |
A Tale of Two Cities is a classic novel, a story of loss, love, and liberty. It definitely wasn't easy to read. It took me a couple weeks to get through. But I specially loved the themes presented in the book. The love triangle, for instance, between Lucie, Charles Darnay, and Sidney Carton is quite heart-wrenching at times. The idea of loving someone and doing anything for them, even sacrificing your own life is a timeless theme. Also this tale of resurrection and redemption set against the backdrop of the French Revolution. I like how Dickens guides us to have sympathy with the revolution while at the same time, showing that switching one evil, repressive regime for another is no revolution at all.

The weaknesses of this tale is very complicated to relate quickly. Suffice to say that various characters are introduced and their interconnected doesn't become fully evident until the last hundred pages. This book required more thought while reading because of deep English. However, the strength of this tale was the interaction between individuals and society. Dickens was particularly intrigued by Carlyle's history, The French Revolution. It captures the imagination of general readers through its swift, exciting story and memorable rendering of the French Revolution.

In conclusion, this book is really great for us to read even though the writer used deep English and quite hard to understand. In addition, very recommended book because it is written by the magnificent writer. ( )
  britneykimberly | Dec 1, 2016 |
This book is know for its first words on the first chapter. It is, y no doubt, one of Dickens' best works of all time. He delivered this book clearly and vividly that I could understand his point on every paragraph. Personally, this book is worth the read.

It is a good book;however, there were some "weaknesses" and "strengths". One of the weakness is that some of the characters cannot be fully understood by the readers. This may be due to the lack of straight-to-the-point words and phrases. Instead, Dickens use long and sophisticated way to describe each character. However, the strength of this book is evident in the vivid and vivacious words that made the characters felt alive.

This book is recommended for people that wants to know more about the French Revolution and how is it felt like in those times. The words chosen in this book is marvelous although some are too extraneous and somewhat redundant. All in all, this book is good and recommended. ( )
  vkurnia22 | Nov 30, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (72 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dickens, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arbonès, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ben Sussan, ReneIllustratorsecondary 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
Sanders, AndrewEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schirner, BuckNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shuckburgh, Sir JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, Theun deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, A.N.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winterich, John T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodcock, GeorgeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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.
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.
Publisher's editors
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Book description
Haiku summary
Two men look alike.
They love the same good woman.
They’re all in danger.

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)

(summary from another edition)

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5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439602, 0141031743, 0141325542, 0141196904, 0141199709

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