- Series: Dover Thrift Editions
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications; Unabridged edition (December 31, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0486406512
- ISBN-13: 978-0486406510
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4,490 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Tale of Two Cities (Dover Thrift Editions) Unabridged Edition
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—Charles Dickens's classic tale of one family's suffering during the French Revolution is brought to life in this audio adaptation. The voice of Audie Award-winning narrator Simon Vance sets the tone for the characters and creates the Dickensesqe mood of the times when the rich and the poor were far apart and no one was exempt from the ensuing wrath during the Revolution. Vance's stone varies from soothing to animated while creating different voices for the characters and using appropriate accents. A bonus feature on the last CD is an e-book in pdf format that can be printed or used as a read-along while listening to the audio. This easily navigated feature would be particularly helpful for struggling readers.—Jeana Actkinson, Bridgeport High School, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
[A Tale of Two Cities] has the best of Dickens and the worst of Dickens: a dark, driven opening, and a celestial but melodramatic ending; a terrifyingly demonic villainess and (even by Dickens standards) an impossibly angelic heroine. Though its version of the French Revolution is brutally simplified, its engagement with the immense moral themes of rebirth and terror, justice, and sacrifice gets right to the heart of the matter . . . For every reader in the past hundred and forty years and for hundreds to come, it is an unforgettable ride. from the Introduction by Simon Schama --online --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
This fine novel is at once so sad but so uplifting, as the repetitive theme of man's inhumanity to man is displayed in all it's blind cruelty against the altruistic self-sacrifice and faithfulness of its main protagonists.
Charles Darnay's only crime is to be born to an aristocratic father, a Marquis epitomizing all that is wrong with a monarchy and the privilege of the high-born, who tax and take away the pride and health of the populace, a populace reduced to starvation and a hopeless future.
The Marquis, returning by horse-drawn coach to his estate, tramples a little girl, and without remorse, even contempt, continues his journey home. Soon afterward, he is murdered by the little girl's father, and the father is captured and hanged above the village fountain.
This event serves as the foil for a gathering storm, which will engulf the guilty and the innocent in an anarchial replacement of one corrupt society of the few and the privileged for another of the masses; they become an enraged body, as whimsical and deadly and unjust as the one it replaces.
Charles Darnay has narrowly escaped being tried as a spy in France, and Lucie Manette is a witness for the prosecution, but never a kinder or more compassionate soul could be found. She yearns for his acquittal, and when he is acquitted, they marry. Charles, Lucie, and her father, Doctor Manette, leave Paris, Charles having renounced his aristocratic birth and wealth for the life of a self-made man in London.
Dickens does not spare London when contrasting the plight of the common man in both cities. Charles is only drawn back to France by the entreaty of a faithful servant, imprisoned for his crime of serving the Marquis faithfully but fatally linked to the aristocracy, a death sentence in the new republic.
Charles sets sail from Dover to the coast of France, as the French Revolution is upon France with a vengeance. He naively believes that he will be seen as a patriot, and that liberty, equality, fraternity or death is his to share with his liberated countrymen. He may share only this last.
Charles is arrested and imprisoned, and a story unfolds of the constant and unabiding love of Lucy for Charles. Lucie returns to Paris with her father and a cast of supporting characters who attempt to save Charles and restore a husband to his wife and child at great peril to their own safety.
An often quoted line is, "It is a far better thing that I do than I have ever done. It is a far greater rest than I have ever known". If you have not read "A Tale of Two Cities,", it's time to understand this poignant quotation.
Edward Mowry, Author of, "So Close to Dying."
So Close to Dying
Dickens' pithy sense of humor was refreshing in the midst of such a dark book. Rays of light and inspiration were also welcomed. Several students mentioned how much it made them realize how easy their lives were now as well as how to face difficulties.
This version is abridged, which I think detracts from the story a little. I want the full loaf of literary bread when reading a classic.
The story is well known, I will not repeat a synopsis, preferring to make a more subjective comment. I think Dickens was a master novelist because he knew how to write scenes that readers could visualize, he knew how to inject the proper level of emotion and he did a fine job of creating cliff hangers. He was a man of his time, an excellent serial writer, which actually makes him a man of our time as well. So much fiction being written in series these days.
It is still and always will be "the best of times and the worst of times."