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A Tale of Two Cities by [Dickens, Charles]
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A Tale of Two Cities Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • File Size: 900 KB
  • Print Length: 477 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1523478292
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Public Domain Books (December 1, 2010)
  • Publication Date: December 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004EHZXVQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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One of the hardest books to get into that I have ever read, but the ending gave me chills and I couldn't stop thinking about if for days. If you are stuck at the beginning and wondering if it will be worth it, I promise it is.
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Oh, how we love the story of redemption. This Dickens masterwork is filled with all the elements of a great redemption story. The novel is set in Paris and London during the French Revolution, spanning from 1775 to 1792. Prior to the revolution, the French aristocrats abused and suppressed the poor at every opportunity. Rather than using their positions of power and wealth to care for the poor, they showed themselves to be animals. During and shortly after the revolution, the pendulum swings. The blood-thirsty peasants, drunk with the power of the guillotine, massacre anyone and everyone with the slightest link to the former aristocracy. There is daily bloodshed as people loose their heads, often the result of sham trials. The people sing and rejoice as the blood flows in the streets. In their lust for power and in the name of egalite, the peasants show themselves to be even more barbaric than the aristocrats.

Amid all of this bloodshed, malice and destruction, Dickens paints a marvelous picture of redemption. He shows it for what it truly is - brutally complicated and sickeningly messy. Just before the revolution, a young aristocrat named Charles Darnay denounced his aristocratic lineage and moved to London where he became a teacher of French language and literature. In his new, modest life, he married Lucie Manette, the daughter of a French medical doctor. Lucie and her father were also living in London. Dr. Manette had previously and wrongly been imprisoned in the Bastille for eighteen years. For various reasons, the three find themselves back in Paris in 1792 right in the middle of the post-revolution bloodbath. Darnay's family history is discovered and he is quickly imprisoned. He committed no crime. He was imprisoned simply because of who he was. Dr.
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I feel that this book is not viewed as being one of the top tier of Dickens works due to the fact that it is thrust upon grade 9 students as an introduction to literary classics and, being so, its impact and overall cultural power has become diluted due to the audience that initially received it. It is not in regards to the content of the work itself. The intellectual abilities of students of this educational level are not able to understand the historical era, appreciate the fluent descriptive nature of the writing nor to comprehend the literary nuances that the author presents. In sum, it starts out with a less than average evaluation, by a less than receptive audience, and never fully recovers from it. A similar writing that undergoes an equally unfair youth-driven summary is that of `Silas Marner'.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. etc...." Dickens in his introductory remarks clearly lays out the tone for the rest of his historical novel; everything that is presented has two different and opposing definitions depending solely on how one views life's occurrences. What appears to be a revolution to overcome decades of elitist oppression to some, appears to be a retaliatory blood bath to others and who the people that appear to be the heroes of a just and timely uprising to some, appear to be no more than blood thirsty criminals to others. The contrast that Dickens verbally paints for us goes that much deeper; the calm and serene life in England vs. the agitated emotional level of Paris, the significant differences between the French and English Tellson Banks operations, and the respect of the ruling elite of London for the utter disdain for Paris's monsignors.
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Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is a classic literature book set in the time of the French revolution. If I had to describe the book in a couple words I would label it as an "old-English soap-opera". I enjoyed the book very much but I feel unless you are a strong reader or good with old English the book would be boring and difficult to understand. Personally, I sometimes had to look up what was going on in the book online to follow along. There are a couple main and supporting main characters and the book switches between the point of view of the various characters telling the story from all sides. The book is known for its famous opening line "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times..." That line and the couple after hint to the plot/theme of the story. In the opening pages a mood is set, Dickens writes of a damp, dreary, cold, dark, night. Dickens writes in a very, how would you say, hinting way. If you look closely and pay attention you can catch little details that clue you into something that will be revealed later on. All in all the book was a good read, it was slow to start but picks up as you get father into the book.
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Being an avid Dickens fan means that I have become well-read in Dickens' works. I find that his seemingly most famous works - Olive Twist and Tale of Two Cities - are also some of my least favorite of his. Oliver Twist is a traditional Dicken's book, but Tale of Two Cities attempts to be historical. While most of his works take about a hundred pages to really get into, I found that Tale of Two Cities is less gripping than his other works, perhaps stifled by being accurate more than being descriptive. David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickleby, Chuzzlewit etc. have the distinctive elements of a Dickens novel. The humorous names, the humorous personalities and the wandering story-line because his characters are wandering people, all make a Dickens novel what we have come to expect. Personally, I think that you can gauge Dickens' writing style with Nicholas Nickleby, Oliver Twist and David Copperfield, but with Tale of Two Cities, it sounds like Dickens, but doesn't really have his passionate feel. Don't judge this author by this book alone.
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