- Series: Penguin Classics
- Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reissue edition (May 27, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141439602
- ISBN-13: 978-0141439600
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9,439 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Tale of Two Cities (Penguin Classics) Reissue Edition
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“[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
About the Author
Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors’ prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and “slave” factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years’ formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney’s clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.
Richard Maxwell teaches in the Comparative Literature & English departments at Yale.
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It is basically a story of a young orphan boy, named Pip, coming of age in the mid- 19th century. It is a life full of characters both good, bad and in between. The main thrust though is how theses characters all affect young Pip's beliefs; fears and... great expectations. As he grows he finds that many are not what he originally thought them to be. However, they are what they are. The story is about how Pip learns to deal with them and life's twist and turns.
It is really a good book. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. It is tough to read in a few spots but you can still get the context and keep the story moving along. I highly recommend this book, but you will have to decide if you are old enough to appreciate it. Just don't wait too long...
Here's a couple passages from the essays included in the book: (1) "Most admirers of Dickens remember him for his inimitable characters, like the painfully innocent Oliver Twist, the oily Uriah Heep, or that 'covetous old sinner' Ebenezer Scrooge, while perhaps not realizing that Dickens creates these characters with his persistent and varied use of repetition." (2) "If A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens' best novels, it is also his least typical. It is a novel wherein he allows almost no play to his madcap genius. In a sense it stands at the antipodes from the book that launched his career, The Pickwick Papers."
As you can see, this is an excellent critical edition of the text -- as the back cover material states, the Ignatius Critical Editions series offers modern examinations grounded in "the same heritage that provided the crucible in which the great authors formed these classic works." Apparently the troll reviews are taking offense to the idea that Christians should be allowed to think and write. If you are at least willing to hear them out, this is a good book to choose and you will be satisfied with the additional material.
I enjoyed the romance and affection given in subtle ways by three suitors; three of them unsuccessful. All weighed in and were even willing to give life and wealth to save their adored.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is always a delight to read. The story is ultimately a happy one and reads very fast. It’s a nice reminder that how one is today is not how one must always be and we can change our future if we don’t like the path we are on. A Christmas Carol is great read-aloud for families at Christmas and any time.