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Penguin Classics Tale Of Two Cities Paperback – Dec 31 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 580 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classic; Reissue edition (Dec 31 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141439602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141439600
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.9 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (301 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #103,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
It was the best of times,' it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. Read the first page
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Misfit TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 1 2007
Format: Paperback
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 on March 29 2012
Format: Paperback
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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By Natalie Ralstin on 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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Daidone on Nov. 25 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Charles Dickens' genius is clearly displayed in this excellent work. His characters are multifaceted and complex. The time that he spends describing the physical characteristics, habits, education and social/life background of each character are all necessary to the plot. By the end you will identify with them as real people and more. Dickens' use of a story within a story at the end adds a fascinating twist.
However, I do not recommend this book for those who seek instant gratification, or for those who require a unidirectional plot. There are many instances where Mr. Dickens leads his reader down what could be construed as a dark alley or a dead end. Read on. You will be rewarded.
DON'T MISS THIS ONE
RJ
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Julianne on April 9 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Even after many centuries, a classic novel can still be read, understood and charm a wide audience. For it teaches the reader about life and death, society and history through a magnificent story. "A Tale of Two Cities", written in 1859, is one of those classics.
This magnificent story begins a year before the American Independence and several years before the French Revolution. As only Dickens can, he breathes life into the most bizarre, comical and memorable characters... such as Madame Defarge, Miss Pross, Jerry Cruncher and a slew of others. But in the midst of these people, the light shines on the few characters on which the story hence revolves. About Lucie Manette who has a true and beautiful heart that affects everyone around her and her aristocratic husband Charles Darnay, an ambitious man of French blood. Dr. Manette who after surviving 18 years in jail overcomes his weakness to rescue another. The light shines strongly upon Sydney Carton... a man who doesn't seem very redeemable in the beginning but who has a heart of gold who is capable of the greatest sacrifice of all for the woman he loves. It is these people whom Dickens chose to give life to during the grim and bloody French Revolution.
This novel is one of my most favorite of Dickens' novels. The hero and the heroine are rather complex and admirable characters. However, they are not necessarily the ones that win the sympathy and the heart of the reader... but suprisingly (and pleasantly) to the most unexpected of Dickens' character. On another note, the novel starts with a famous and recognizable opening line, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." and ends with a very memorable line, "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far better rest that I go to than I have ever known." To which I give great credit to the novel by Mr. Dickens.
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