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Penguin Classics A Tale Of Two Cities [Hardcover]

Charles Dickens
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (309 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 26 2011 Penguin Classics
Part of "Penguin's" beautiful hardback "Clothbound Classics" series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. 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.

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'I shall treasure the richly detailed explanatory notes. It's an edition which will surely sell to the general reader; yet many truer Dickens specialists than I will be excited by the scope and subtlety of the introduction.' Dr P. Merchant, Christ Church College, Canterbury

'The large clear print, very full notes, and inclusion of Dickens's number plans make it the best paperback available for student use.' Professor Norman Page, University of Nottingham

`I read it every other year. It is the best story of the best hero. It does not pale.' You (Mail on Sunday Magazine) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

illustrations by `Phiz' and other artists --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Misfit TOP 500 REVIEWER
I will never, the rest of my life forget these two sentences. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness...." and at closing "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."

Wow, this is not your usual Dickens. No quirky characters with strange names and laugh out loud moments, just a darn good story -- the story of two cities, London and Paris. It is difficult to put the plot into words, but when the book begins you are in London at the time of the American revolution and spies (or suspected spies) abound, and the story eventually switches to France prior to and during the French revolution.

Dickens does a marvelous job (as always) of building his story one step at a time and slowly peeling back the layers one at a time. This is not a put down and pick it up a week later kind of a book, it is very intense and complicated and you have to pay close attention. I was just floored at how he sucked me in with his descriptions of the mobs, terror and the madness of the revolution leading you to a nail biting finish. I admit to holding my breath during those last few pages!

Highly recommended, and well worth the time to discover (or rediscover) an old classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Ronald W. Maron TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Sacrifice June 8 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read this book many times and always enjoy it. This time was great but different. I felt more forced to read every word. It made me realize how stilted Dickens writes though the story is still one of the most altruistic ever.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent novel. May 16 2014
By Dave
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A bit hard to get started, but a great book. Possibly my favorite book of all time. Highly recommended book.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Charles Dickens is such an astonishingly good writer. Now the trick will be to get my sons to both read this because I know how much they would enjoy it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars 'Tis a far better book... April 13 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dickens... Charles Dickens. For those of us who know him, nothing need be said in review of this book. For you who don't know him; waste no time. Start anywhere in any book and you will immediately notice a flavor and savor in his words, and in his arrangement of those words, that stimulate you and fill you, yet leave you wanting more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Non plus ultra Dec 13 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The writing style of Charles Dickens is unmatchable!!!! The style and the enduring humor always exceeds my expectations when I start reading any book of Charles Dickens.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfied Dec 6 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Haven`t read it yet.. but it`s a classic so I`m sure it`ll be great. The book was delivered quickly and in perfect condition.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two Cities
Sometimes an author captures events that occurred in one situation but that can be applied in many others. This is one such book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Leonard Pacelli
5.0 out of 5 stars will make you grateful
At times dense with metaphor. English as written over two hundred years ago can take more concentration and a greater investment of effort to fully appreciate. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ben
5.0 out of 5 stars Great novel in modern available package
I am revisiting this great novel and hence it was very convenient to have it in a kindle package. These novels do not lose their appeal.
Published 13 months ago by Selwyn E Henry
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two Cities Review by Mary Haskett
Review by Mary Haskett
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is a mesmerizing read. This timeless novel set in the time of the French revolution portrays the evil and the... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mary Haskett
4.0 out of 5 stars Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities
At times confusing, Dickens writes in time and space jumps. This allows for certain advantages, but on the flip side, the novel is difficult to begin enjoying. Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2009 by Martin Chayer
5.0 out of 5 stars Freakin Awesome!
This book is, like, wicked awesome and stuff! Everything is there: romance, drama, suspense, comedy and drama. Dickers writes a mean novel about the French Revolution. Read more
Published on April 18 2008 by Joel Cormier
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