Great Expectations and a Tale of Two Cities are examples of a master working at his peak. Both books are compelling, thought provoking and stand the test of time.
Great Expectations is populated by some of Dickens' most memorable characters. The spinster Miss Havisham, the convict Magwitch, the lawyer Jaggers and his clerk Wemmick with his "Aged Parent" and the beautiful Estella. Even though some language is out of popular usage, the study of social class and values both real and perceived is still compelling today.
A Tale of Two Cities, one of two historical novels by Dickens (the other the less compelling Barnaby Rudge), is both sweeping in scope and strangely clausterphobic in setting. Dickens story is set during the French Revolution and is a cautionary tale for the English to correct the social injustices present in mid 19th century England before the poor rise to stage a similar revolution for social justice in England. According to recent surveys, A Tale of Two Cities is the most popular book of all time with over 200 million copies sold.
The narration by the late Frank Mueller is stunning. I love both of these books and prefer to hear Mueller's compelling narration rather than read them myself. Just to hear Frank Mueller read these classics is worth the price.