(P)1999 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.
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.
Audiobooks are invariably somewhat "hit-or-miss," as one would surely never confuse something like a Dickens novel for a "closet play." In this case, however, Martin Jarvis has delivered an absolutely stunning performance, with smooth delivery of the different voices and a marvelous sense of pacing. Naturally, I feel somewhat reluctant to rate this volume against others I have heard, but suffice it to say the Jarvis presentation is absolutely as fine as any yet known to me.
Jarvis holds the listener's interest through the long, descriptive passages (which may, in fact, sour some readers on Dickens). He is at his best toward the end, when one may truly appreciate the development of Sydney Carton. Jarvis effects the transformation of the character splendidly yet effortlessly.
While I very much enjoyed the audiobook, I maintain the prejudice of my generation -- to wit, that it is probably better to read than to listen. The question above begs the issue of story-telling vs. writing, and these are two different art forms. Let us simply conclude that both Jarvis and Dickens have much to offer!
I can readily imagine that some listeners have been (or will be) moved to tears by the noble sacrifice and last sentiments of Carton at the end.
Tremendous production! Bravo!
Just for context, I love Charles Dickens. I just hate this novel. It shows Dickens at his worst, which is when he uses his novels to preach at his readers. This novel is so heavy handed and over the top that it can't be taken seriously. His characters are so one dimensional that they are totally unbelievable. This is a constant weakness in Dickens' work, his heroes and heroines are so pure and virtuous that they border on becoming caricatures. In this work, this weakness is pronounced and coupled with the prolonged bombastic discourses that Dickens engages in on political and social issues creates a fatal combination.
I couldn't finish this audiobook, although I have read the novel to completion. I found myself forcing myself to listen to it, just to get my money's worth. Eventually I gave up, listening to an audiobook should be a pleasure and not a penance. Try another of Dickens' novels, for he is a truly great writer... just try to avoid him when he climbs on his soapbox. (try The Pickwick Papers for a real treat.. a bit slow starting but a joy to be savored slowly)
I had never read or listened to any works by Dickens before this. I would honestly say this is the best book I've experienced, ever, and I am no youngster (52 years old) and a fairly avid reader. Simply outstanding story!
The narrator of this version is also incredible! The voices are distinctly different for each character, and his voice pleasing. This adds more to the story than you can imagine. He is top-notch.
You simply MUST get this audio. I literally could not put it down. I think anything else I listen to is going to be a comedown, after this.
No matter how many times I listen to this, I love it.
I imagine Dickens himself must have sounded just like Martin Jarvis.
Great story with great narration
A perfect performance by the narrator. I will definitely look for more works by Mr. Jarvis.
The horror and pain of this place and time, and how it is captured by Dickens in this story, truly makes this one of the greatest books ever.
Why the bad editing? The chapters, and especially the ending, are truncated abruptly. And there is an annoying popping sound in a few parts of the book. It is hard to believe that there was not more care taken in the recording of such a great story with incredible narration. However, don't let this deter you from listening to one of the most entertaining readings available on Audible.
Listening to Dickens with such wonderful narration by Martin Jarvis is a complete joy. I enjoyed it forty years ago and loved it again with this listening.
While it took a while to get going, once it did, it was enthralling. As usual, Dickens does an amazing job with the characters. They are so real you have no problem imagining them in your minds-eye. Narrator was amazing as well. Highly recommend this one.
Fantastic, wonderful, marvelous, I cannot say onebad thing about a Tale of Two Cities. Honestly, I really did not want to listen to this book. I thought it would be boring. The only reason I did is because I am trying to reeducate myself by reading the classics. It was one of the best books I have ever read. It gave me the chills. True heros from a horrific time in history. Amazing!
"The best of Dickens"
Dickens stories continue to be popular, and there are many well known and excellent ones to choose from, but in my opinion this is the best of the best. Set at the time of the French Revolution, this is one of Dickens' two historical novels (the other being Barnaby Rudge set during the Gordon Riots). The narration is of the excellent quality one would expect from Martin Jarvis, and I cannot recommend this recording highly enough.
It's been years since I read the book, so I thought I would have a listen... I am so glad that I did - I was overwhelmed by this story, all over again... The depth and emotion of the narrative was brought to life - it was so well told. Definitely well worth it.
"Not a favourite Dickens"
I found this tale overly 'mysterious' and metaphorical to tell the truth. I prefer Martin Chuzzlewit or Banarby Rudge!
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