- 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: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4,438 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,277 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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Novel by Charles Dickens, published both serially and in book form in 1859. The story is set in the late 18th century against the background of the French Revolution. Although Dickens borrowed from Thomas Carlyle's history, The French Revolution, for his sprawling tale of London and revolutionary Paris, the novel offers more drama than accuracy. The scenes of large-scale mob violence are especially vivid, if superficial in historical understanding. The complex plot involves Sydney Carton's sacrifice of his own life on behalf of his friends Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette. While political events drive the story, Dickens takes a decidedly antipolitical tone, lambasting both aristocratic tyranny and revolutionary excess--the latter memorably caricatured in Madame Defarge, who knits beside the guillotine. The book is perhaps best known for its opening lines, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," and for Carton's last speech, in which he says of his replacing Darnay in a prison cell, "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." --The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
It's not an easy book to read, and is not meant for children or the faint of heart, because it portrays some harsh events, many of which Dickens had experienced himself, or had personally investigated, and that is one of the main attractions of this book; It's real. You may read about child labour and the plight of the many orphaned children in Victorian England, but no history book will describe a workhouse, the inside of a prison, the starving dogs and hungry rats, the life of a pickpocket, a thief, a pimp, or a gang leader, a public hanging, or the cruelty of London slums, the way Dickens does.
Read it if you want to know what really happened, what the streets, people and life was like for Victorian Londoners.
I never tire of rereading it myself. Dramatic, yes, exaggerated, I doubt it, realistic, shockingly.
The plot is a page turner, and the characters come to life in every scene. We see their gestures, smell their ragged clothes and listen to their lies and truths.
I love Dickens' use of the English language. It may be wordy by contemporary standards, but it’s smoothly done. A real pleasure to read for anyone who loves the English language and wants to take a short trip to Victorian London.
A book to read once and reread all your life.
Although I usually read my paperback, this free kindle version makes it even easier to read. A big thank you to the volunteers who made this edition possible.
As a writer, I often read a random chapter or passage before I sit down to write. Dickens humbles me, but he also gives me great encouragement by showing me how the English language can convey so much using the right combination of words.
‘Capital!’ As Dickens would say.
Some of Dickens' earlier novels are overloaded with a large cast of characters. However, by the time he wrote his later books such as Hard Times and Great Expectations he had successfully learned how to tell his stories with smaller ensembles. A Tale of Two Cities returns to the use of an abundance of characters, but all of whom are fully realized. Dickens seems to have learned a principle of parsimony, and he does not require a separate character for each plot twist. A single character may be used for more than a single line of plot development, thus allowing for greater depth of each character to be depicted.
The narrative and plot are particularly strong in A Tale of Two Cities. While perhaps not as exciting or as gripping as the latest Robert Ludlum novel, the story Dickens tells is an interesting and engaging one. The reader develops a genuine interest in the story and its characters, and wants to keep reading in order to "find out what happens next."
The context of the novel is the French Revolution of 1789, but this book is not a historical novel in the sense that it attempts to portray the events of that revolution. The French Revolution is a backdrop to Dickens' story, and occasionally intrudes in order to move the action forward. Those looking to A Tale of Two Cities as a historical fiction covering the French Revolution will be sorely disappointed. The book is exactly what its title suggests: a story comparing and contrasting two cities in two different countries in a particular historical epoch. The French and the English had their differences, and it is telling that Dickens chooses an era in which the two countries are *not* at war with each other for telling his story.
A Tale of Two Cities is a novel about character, and Dickens populates his story with some of the most interesting characters in English literature. Madame Defarge and her assiduous knitting stands out in particular. Surprisingly, the book lacks some of the psychological depth of Hard Times and Great Expectations, the two books which respectively precede and follow A Tale of Two Cities. The psychological element is not entirely missing, but this reader finds it interesting that a book so founded on character does not delve deeply into those characters' inner lives.
Dickens considered A Tale of Two Cities his best story, and indeed it is a good story well told. The stereotypical Victorian language is virtually absent, and many passages are sheer poetry. The book is a thoroughly enjoyable read. If a reader is seeking only a single Dickens book to read, this is the one I would recommend.