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A Tale of Two Cities Paperback – May 27 2003
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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
From the Publisher
illustrations by `Phiz' and other artists --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
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
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
"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.Read more ›
At the beginning, the pace of A Tale of Two Cities is monotonous. Dickens spends too much time in one scene; in one passage. Dickens lingers too long in one place. At times, Dickens overuses his marvelous ability to lag sentences on forever, and to create a full scale scene in just a paragraph, and he forgets about the reader. It is almost as if he gets caught up in his own writing, not caring for the reader. The wordiness of his sentences is his foe; yet his friend. When utilized correctly, the wordiness is more effective than any author that I have read, but when exploited in the wrong manner, excess is purely at work. Dickens chooses to ramble on in certain scenes, where, instead, he could get to the point and be finished. The excess of words and phrases hinders the reader's interest in the novel, and causes boredom and monotony during certain sections.
Dickens's wordiness has much do to with the plot development. The excess of Dickens's words contributes greatly to the slow, dull story of A Tale of Two Cities at the beginning. The length of his sentences, phrases, and paragraphs ties in with the boredom of the first one hundred and fifty pages. The extra length makes one simple sentence or scene, such as the descriptions and adventures of Monsieur the Marquis, seem not interesting at all.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
A good copy, includes discussion questions at the back, and extra information about both Charles Dickens, and the French Revolution.Published 1 month ago by Jamie Schroeder
terrible book, written in an unrecognisable form of language . boring as all hell. the most overrated book ever.Published 14 months ago by elliot wilson
Sometimes an author captures events that occurred in one situation but that can be applied in many others. This is one such book. Read morePublished on Dec 15 2013 by Leonard Pacelli
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.Published on Dec 6 2013 by Natalie Ralstin
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 morePublished on Aug. 12 2009 by Martin Chayer
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 morePublished on April 18 2008 by Joel Cormier