Audible A Tale of Two Cities –

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Or Death The Last, Much The Easiest To Bestow, O GuillotineAfter Eighteen Years As A Political Prisoner In The Bastille, The Ageing Doctor Manette Is Finally Released And Reunited With His Daughter In England There The Lives Of 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 Roads Of London, They Are Drawn Against Their Will To The Vengeful, Bloodstained Streets Of Paris At The Height Of The Reign Of Terror, And They Soon Fall Under The Lethal Shadow Of La GuillotineThis Edition Uses The Text As It Appeared In Its Serial Publication InTo Convey The Full Scope Of Dickens S Vision, And Includes The Original Illustrations By H K Browne Phiz Richard Maxwell S Introduction Discusses The Intricate Interweaving Of Epic Drama With Personal Tragedy Back Cover A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it It has been quite some time since I ve read Charles Dickens, excepting of course A Christmas Carol, which is an absolute favorite of mine, and a handful of his other Christmas short stories Upon joining Goodreads eight years ago, A Tale of Two Cities was the very first book I entered as want to read Well, time flies and here I am finally having picked up my copy and actually reading this beloved by many classic While this one doesn t take the prize for most cherished of novels on my personal list, I absolutely admired this masterpiece In fact, it is a work that for me wasappreciated as a whole rather than for its individual parts I needed to complete this to fully grasp the plot and the overall merit of the novel The final portion was entirely compelling and quite brilliant, in fact This is a novel, as the title suggests, of two cities that of London and that of Paris It is a historical fiction work beginning in 1775 which then takes us further into the depths and horrors of the French Revolution There is an abundance of mystery that I was not expecting, but thoroughly enjoyed In addition to the juxtaposition of the two cities, we also see the contrasts between good and evil, hope and despair, death and rebirth As suggested in my opening quote, secrets abound and are slowly revealed Characters are drawn well, as one would naturally expect from Dickens, although I never quite felt the emotional tug towards any of them, until near the end But when I did reach this point, gosh it was worth it Sydney Carton an unforgettable man sighI have had the weakness, and have still the weakness, to wish you to know with what a sudden mastery you kindled me, heap of ashes that I am, into fire a fire, however, inseparable in its nature from myself, quickening nothing, lighting nothing, doing no service, idly burning awayThis is a love story, a tale of injustice, of human suffering, and of sacrifice When the reader steps through the gates of Paris, one can feel the tension and sense the shadow of what is to come the atmosphere is so charged with insecurity, suspicion, and dreadThe time was to come, when that wine too would be spilled on the street stones, and when the stain of it would be red upon many thereThe madness of the masses is frightening there are no apologies and no exceptions If you are born with the wrong blood, happen to land in the wrong place at the wrong time, or sympathize with the accused and the condemned, your life is in danger The threat of the Guillotine looms like a monster over the people of the cityEvery day, through the stony streets, the tumbrils now jolted heavily, filled with Condemned Lovely girls bright women, brown haired, black haired, and grey youths stalwart men and old gentle born and peasant born all red wine for La Guillotine, all daily brought into light from the dark cellars of the loathsome prisons, and carried to her through the street to slake her devouring thirst Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death the last, much the easiest to bestow, O GuillotineIt is heartless and pities no one, much like Madame Defarge I feel as if I should be providing ascholarly review of this tremendous work, but I m not quite up to the task and you can find a plethora of excellent anderudite reviews all over Goodreads I m really just here to express my personal reaction and feelings towards this one Quite simply, the writing is excellent, but the story itself failed to grab me initially At this same time last year, I read Les Mis rables an extraordinary piece of literature without a doubt I could not help comparing this Dicken s novel with that of Hugo s What was lacking in Two Cities for me was the existence of a character like Jean Valjean, a character so vivid and so sharply drawn that it seems I literally spent weeks in the mind of this tortured soul Probably, it is not fair to make this comparison, but there you have it I felt distanced from Dickens characters quite a bitat least for a good portion of the book I m very pleased that I persevered, however, as I was able to reap the benefits of my commitment upon finishing the last words The development of Sydney Carton was rewarding and the ending of this tale was breathtaking I don t often re read novels, but this one is certainly going to fall in the category of even better the second time around I feel certain of this My rating is at a firm 4 stars, with the hope that someday the re read will edge it up to the full 5Crush humanity out of shape once , under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms Sow the same seed of rapacious licence and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind My primary goal when I m teaching A Tale of Two Cities to my sophos is to make them realize that Charles Dickens didn t write creaky, dusty long novels that teachers embraced as a twisted rite of passage for teenagers Instead, I want them them to understand why Dickens was one of the most popular writers in England and America during his time I want them to see the book as the suspenseful, comedic, and sentimental piece of entertainment that it is Because, while A Tale of Two Cities is masterfully written with sly humor, densely meaningful descriptions, a cast of quirky characters only Dickens could create, an endless series of telling binaries and foils, and relevant social commentary about the French Revolution as well as Dickens time, it is also simply a damn good story By a damn good storyteller I have a difficult time writing reviews about books that I adore because, when I m not reading them, I hug them too closely to be very critical BTW I frequently hug A Tale of Two Cities in front of my students and write Charles Dickens name with hearts around it They think I m crazy, but it intrigues some of them just enough to make them doubt the derisive comments of upperclassmen I reluctantly admit that Dickens does oversimplify the causes of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror however, in doing so, he successfully captures the spirit of a tumultuous period and helps readers sympathize with characters on every side of the developing conflict I also think that the characters of Roger Cly and John Barsad get a bit messy and may have worked better as a single character Perhaps the confusion is a result of serialization restructuring But, really, I read A Tale of Two Cities like a costumed Lord of the Rings fan at a movie premier I cheer when my favorite characters enter scenes and I knowingly laugh when Dickens cleverly foreshadows future events Though I don t think that A Tale of Two Cities is Dickens best novel that title I would reserve for either Bleak House or David Copperfield I do agree with Dickens, who claims that it was his best story It is artfully written Dickens introduces a cast of characters, sprawled across two nations and spanning varied social classes and political affiliations, and then effortlessly weaves their stories and secrets together in a masterful way The Modernist movement painstakingly forced literature to reflect the ambiguities and uncertainties of the real world and that s great, but sometimes it is a real joy to read a story that ends with such magnificent closure All mysteries are solved and everything makes sense It is beautiful I have to admit that I was overjoyed when a group of my fifth period girls persistently voiced their disdain for Dickens angel in the house Lucie and backed Madame Defarge I think they may have created a Madame Defarge myspace, actually Oh how the times have changed Ms R , you got me What At the beginning of this book, you said you would get some of us And that we would love it You got me I didn t get you G Charles Dickens did I just introduced you.Quote A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. Hundreds, thousands of stories long to have a quotable verse, just one Tale of Two Cities, Dickens masterpiece as far as I m concerned, is bookended by two of the most recognizable quotes in all of English language This is also the darkest story I have read of his, and no doubt, it s about the bloody French Revolution and Dickens spares none of his acerbic wit to demonize what was rightly demonic Yet, to his credit and genius, neither does he sugar coat the great social injustices that led irresolutely to the collapse of the aristocratic French class Lacking his usual humor, again understandable, this nonetheless again displays his mastery of characterization No character is as complete and now archetypal as Madame Defarge I thought that Bill Sykes was his greatest villain, but Citizeness Defarge was simply a portrait of evil So many stories hope for a memorable scene and this has many, highly influential since, I thought of several works that had borrowed heavily from TOTC themes especially Doctor Zhivago, many allusions to TOTC, and that also made me wonder was TOTC the first dystopian novel The scene between Madame Defarge and Ms Pross was stunning, and made me think of the riveting scene between Porfiry and Raskolnikov in Dostoyevsky s Crime and Punishment Brilliant. . 151859 500