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A Tale of Two Cities Audiobook

A Tale of Two Cities

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Publisher's Summary

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"; "It is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known"; so the novel begins and ends with some of Dicken's best-known words, and between the two is every Briton's view of the worst excesses of the French Revolution.

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (725 )
5 star
 (420)
4 star
 (177)
3 star
 (82)
2 star
 (31)
1 star
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Overall
4.5 (365 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (356 )
5 star
 (239)
4 star
 (80)
3 star
 (24)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
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  •  
    Jefferson Fukuoka, Japan 05-30-11
    Jefferson Fukuoka, Japan 05-30-11 Member Since 2010

    I love listening to or reading books--especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, classics, & historical.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    225
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    89
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "A True Classic Marvelously Read"

    This is a marvelous audiobook version of a true classic novel. I was immediately gripped by it from the opening chapters (a vivid set piece depicting a coach traveling through a stormy British night over bad roads in danger from highwaymen) until the very end. It made me chuckle (especially in the scenes involving Jerry Cruncher, the dubious "tradesman" who can't abide his wife's "floppin'" (praying) against him), moved me to tears (especially in some scenes involving Dr. Manette or Sidney Carton), frightened me (especially in the scenes with the implacable Madame Defarge and her knitting needles), appalled me (especially in the scenes involving Saint Guillotine), and impressed me (especially when Dickens gets on one of his patented rolls describing something like when the wine barrel breaks outside the Parisian wine shop and the locals come crowding around on their hands and knees to drink up the wine from between the sharp cobblestones, using their hands and handkerchiefs and pushing mud from the gutters up to form wine dams and generally becoming inebriated and red-dyed, prefiguring the bloodshed to come…). Never a dull moment. Informed with Dickens' hatred of social injustice and systemic brutality and pitiless cruelty and with his love of love in any form.

    And Martin Jarvis reads like a man possessed, giving each of the main characters their own distinct voice, becoming excited or quiet appropriately, bringing out all the nuances of Dickens' text, making the listening experience so vivid and cinematic in the mind.

    I would give this more than five stars (but there is a place in the first part and a place in the second where strange electric noises pop up for several seconds).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mimi 01-31-15
    mimi 01-31-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    7
    3
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    "Mimi"

    It was an excellent audio of the book. Third time to hear it and enjoy it more each time I hear it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Fullerton, US, Canada 01-23-15
    Rick Fullerton, US, Canada 01-23-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "All time classic"

    It was even more enjoyable the second time. Has so much depth of detail, emotion and chapters. One of the best ever.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 06-21-14
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 06-21-14 Member Since 2015

    Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    629
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    "A TALE OF TWO CITIES"

    Though – A Tale of Two Cities – is considered Charles Dickens’ most famous work, it is not his best. Dickens offers historical and personal perspective in “A Tale of Two Cities” but empathy for his characters is often missing; i.e. empathy that makes one gasp for air or suppress a tear.

    Dickens provides a primer on revolution in “A Tale of Two Cities”. What is seen in today’s Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and other “Arab Spring” countries are boiling cauldrons. Their societies are roiling at the extremes of the pendulum; the killing continues. New and hopefully better societies will come from their revolutions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer BAKERSFIELD, CA, United States 04-30-13
    Amazon Customer BAKERSFIELD, CA, United States 04-30-13 Member Since 2012

    K. Hoover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    159
    39
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    FOLLOWING
    5
    2
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    "A classic made better by Martin Jarvis."

    This is one of my favorite books ever. The first time I had trouble with it, but found it was easier to keep everything straight once I saw one of the movie adaptations. Since I've read this book at least 4 times and is one of my favorites. I am getting ready to read it again. I love the way Martin Jarvis reads the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jefferson 05-30-11
    Jefferson 05-30-11 Member Since 2010

    I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2273
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    330
    303
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1329
    13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A True Classic Marvelously Read"

    This is a marvelous audiobook version of a true classic novel. I was immediately gripped by it from the opening chapters (a vivid set piece depicting a coach traveling through a stormy British night over bad roads in danger from highwaymen) until the very end. It made me chuckle (especially in the scenes involving Jerry Cruncher, the dubious "tradesman" who can't abide his wife's "floppin'" (praying) against him), moved me to tears (especially in some scenes involving Dr. Manette or Sidney Carton), frightened me (especially in the scenes with the implacable Madame Defarge and her knitting needles), appalled me (especially in the scenes involving Saint Guillotine), and impressed me (especially when Dickens gets on one of his patented rolls describing something like when the wine barrel breaks outside the Parisian wine shop and the locals come crowding around on their hands and knees to drink up the wine from between the sharp cobblestones, using their hands and handkerchiefs and pushing mud from the gutters up to form wine dams and generally becoming inebriated and red-dyed, prefiguring the bloodshed to come???). Never a dull moment. Informed with Dickens' hatred of social injustice and systemic brutality and pitiless cruelty and with his love of love in any form.

    And Martin Jarvis reads like a man possessed, giving each of the main characters their own distinct voice, becoming excited or quiet appropriately, bringing out all the nuances of Dickens' text, making the listening experience so vivid and cinematic in the mind.

    I would give this more than five stars (but there is a place in the first part and a place in the second where strange electric noises pop up for several seconds).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    InsideADog 06-25-10
    InsideADog 06-25-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    140
    32
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    "Fantastic"

    I had not read this book before and found I enjoyed every minute. Martin Jarvis is a brilliant reader and brought the story to life. As soon as I finished I started it again as Dickens connects everything and by listening a second time got so much more out of it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard Atlanta, GA, USA 01-05-10
    Howard Atlanta, GA, USA 01-05-10 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    102
    12
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    "Fabulous"

    Probably the finest tragic romance written in the English language superbly rendered into the audio format. Six stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States 10-26-09
    Robert JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States 10-26-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    "Stick With It"

    It took me a while to finish this novel, and I actually listed to several other audio books before coming back to it. If you stick with it to the end you really do begin to care about what will happen to the characters.

    The narration is excellent although sometimes a bit quick. Which can lead to wanting to replay certain sections for more clarity about what is actually happening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Dandridge 10-17-08 Member Since 2010

    books & coffee

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    5
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    0
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    "There's a Reason Dickens is so Famous"

    I hadn't read Dickens since high school but now, 30 years later, decided to give him a try. The man really is an amazing author with wonderful characters, great plot and pacing, and a sense of humor. I will definitely read more of his books. The narrator of the audiobook made it even more enjoyable. This is the first time I have sought out a narrator's name so that I can find more of his books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Good Foodie
    West London
    12/9/10
    Overall
    "A Tale of Two Cities"

    I loved this. I think it is my favourite Dickens novel. I got my friend who could never read beyond chapter 3 to listen to this. She enjoyed it so much that as soon as she finished she immediately began listening to it from the beginning. The narrator is excellent and his reading immerses you into the story that you are there. I will certainly listen to this again and I know my friend will, too. In fact she chided me for not telling her about listening to the audiobook before.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Paul & Susy
    London United Kingdom
    3/31/07
    Overall
    "Dickens and Jarvis doing what they each do best"

    Martin Jarvis employs his great range in making each of the many characters in this book burst into life. And it's a great story of injustice and hate, full of initial mystery which unfolds layer after layer as it draws all the players togther in the final act. Some of Dickens lends itself to some judicially abridging but 'A Tale of Two Cities' all in all stays on track and is worth going the full distance.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Susan
    Doncaster, United Kingdom
    2/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brillant, moving and extremely well read."
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Tale of Two Cities to be better than the print version?

    i haven't read the print version, but I loved this audio one.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It put a personal, human perspective on history and therefore brought the times back to life


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Hard to say, but the most moving was holding hands of condemned prisoners. I shed real tears over that.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no, I preferred to think about it in between readings.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read a number of Dickens and love them. This is the best one yet.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Steve
    SHIFNAL, United Kingdom
    4/19/13
    Overall
    "Possibly the best book in the world"

    I tried to read this as a young man but struggled with the language. So it was with trepidation when I purchased this Dickens.



    I will not review the book because my words can not do it justice but I will congratulate Martin Jarvis on a fabulous performance.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Dragon
    Scotland
    7/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing novel, and superb performance"

    This book somehow got past me all my life till now but it is a must-read. Very contemporary in feel with its treatment of oppression, revolution, and the terrible consequences of both. Dickens treats these awful matters with a startling lucid lack of sentimentality.

    Though I knew the first and last lines by heart because they are so often quoted, only now do I begin to understand them.

    The reading by Martin Jarvis is absolutely wonderful. He does the individual voices without descending into unnecessary pastiche, and he captures the irony and imagery of the main text extremely well. I have never heard a better reading of any book.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Fedup
    10/15/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stunning reading"

    Dickens never fails to disappoint and Martin Jarvis brings the story to life with his excellent reading.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Y. Jones
    7/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Vivid performance"
    Would you listen to A Tale of Two Cities again? Why?

    Yes, indeed I am listening to it again straightaway. It's so nicely performed that I had to check if it was read out by really just one person (!) ... - Good work. Thanks


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Holland
    10/16/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Tale of Two Cities to be better than the print version?

    Yes. This is mainly due to Martin Jarvis's flawless performance.


    What other book might you compare A Tale of Two Cities to, and why?

    Difficult as I've read (or listened to) very little like this. The closest, albeit a completely different kind of story, would be Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson, due to the period setting, vivid descriptive passages and wide range of interesting characters.


    What about Martin Jarvis’s performance did you like?

    He keeps up the pace, brings plenty of mood into the scenes, has clearly read ahead so that he knows exactly how a line should be delivered, but above all, his wonderful voice characterizations, which bring each of these 19th century types to life, warts and all.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Several surprisingly, particularly the exchanges between Carstons and Darnay.


    Any additional comments?

    I shall certainly be listening to more Dickens read by Martin Jarvis. Great!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Aliza Bat-Ami
    Haifa, Israel
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Old friend revisited"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book - It is superfluous to rate this classic tale, but it is became freshly accessible in this format. Martin Jarvis does an excellent job of distinguishing the many voices, male and female, and the pace of narration turned it into a real cliff-hanger. I was sorry to reach the end and will be looking up Martin Jarvis' other work,

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • susan
    12/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I should have read this years ago!"
    What made the experience of listening to A Tale of Two Cities the most enjoyable?

    The superb performance by Martin Jarvis made this book a great listening experience.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Tale of Two Cities?

    The ending.


    What about Martin Jarvis’s performance did you like?

    He made each character come alive and be easily distinguishable. He brought a clear picture of each person and their character into my minds eye and the individual characters were flawlessly maintained throughout the narration.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Love conquers all....


    Any additional comments?

    Having never enjoyed reading the set books at school I felt that I should now start to read some of the great classics as I enter my 63rd year! This was an amazing revelation......I should have read the book years ago.
    I now look forward to reading more of the old books that I avoided in my school years. Dickens really was a master tale teller.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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