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A Tale of Two Cities Audiobook

A Tale of Two Cities

"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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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 (689 )
5 star
 (393)
4 star
 (169)
3 star
 (81)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.4 (330 )
5 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 (321 )
5 star
 (211)
4 star
 (74)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Pittsboro, NC USA 10-15-08
    Amazon Customer Pittsboro, NC USA 10-15-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    15
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    "Gorgeous"

    Wonderful narration. I haven't heard many audio books, but it's hard to imagine this one being done any better. Rich characters and scenes, precisely drawn by Dickens.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicky Gleason Tumwater, WA, United States 06-24-07
    Nicky Gleason Tumwater, WA, United States 06-24-07 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    71
    ratings
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    412
    17
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    "Highly recommended"

    Loved this book on audio -- one of my favorite audio book experiences, a very pleasant surprise. Took me an hour or two of listening to become completely hooked, but after that I literally couldn't put it down -- stayed up till all hours to hear the final passages. The only audio book that ever made me cry. Just lovely.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guy virginia beach, VA, USA 08-01-06
    Guy virginia beach, VA, USA 08-01-06 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    12
    3
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    "Great classic..."

    I tried to listen to this on CD a few years ago, but I would find my attention wandering. I gave it another try, and I'm glad I did. The narrator is wonderful, and this is a book I will listen to again in the future.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim oakville, ON, Canada 05-21-06
    Tim oakville, ON, Canada 05-21-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    20
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    Overall
    "Very well read"

    Martin Jarvis does an excellent job narrating this title. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Zakar 02-08-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    6
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    Performance
    Story
    "More than I could have ever hope for"

    Martin Jarvis was marvelous. Charles Dickens was marvelous. This was my first Dickens book and I am in love. What a wonderful story. Martin Jarvis made this book come alive for me. His narration was the best I have heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ricanzdrummer 10-20-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent!"
    What did you love best about A Tale of Two Cities?

    The story, as acted out by Martin Jarvis.


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

    Nicholas Nickelby


    Which character – as performed by Martin Jarvis – was your favorite?

    Jaques


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

    When the Doctor explained his feelings towards his future son-in-law.


    Any additional comments?

    Martin Jarvis did a superb job narrating this novel...bringing the characters to life with his authentic British dialects.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Walkup 06-17-15
    C. Walkup 06-17-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well done and easy to listen to"

    The reader did an excellent job of using different voices as he was reading to help you follow the story. It's a classic story with lots of interesting twists and turns and a surprise ending!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Agnar T�mas M�ller 04-23-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Horrible story, great reading"

    Very uninteresting and a boring story - characters are so uninteresting, very overrated
    Good reading though by the narrator
    Keep away

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lenny Methuen, MA, United States 12-25-12
    Lenny Methuen, MA, United States 12-25-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Masterful Delivery of a Dickens Classic!"
    Where does A Tale of Two Cities rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


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

    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.


    What does Martin Jarvis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Tremendous production! Bravo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GERALD Calgary, AB, Canada 12-17-12
    GERALD Calgary, AB, Canada 12-17-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
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    13
    10
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    Story
    "It was the worst of Dickens"

    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)

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Jenny
    8/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    Excellently read with totally believable characters.brings Dickens to life with great authenticity.sorry it has ended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Brighton
    5/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sublime"

    A wonderful story that is unenriched by a masterful performance from Martin Jarvis. One of the best audiobooks I have heard.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    LEICESTER, United Kingdom
    1/23/13
    Overall
    "Brutal and gripping story brilliantly narrated"

    I listened to this straight after listening to Pickwick Papers (another great reading by David Timson) and you would hardly believe they were both written by the same author. As well as being a great story it was also a great education as to how things were at that time and encouraged me to do more research of the period. I am so impressed by the amazing talent of Martin Jarvis. I've listened to him read, or I should say perform, Hard Times and Great Expectations and he really makes it an experience to remember. I just can't work out how he does it, surely he doesn't just sit down and read it off live...there must be overdubs and editing surely?!...it's brilliant anyway!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Joanna
    Richmond, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Delightful"

    I love books. Love to hold them, feel and smell the pages so I thought I would not like audio books. I gave this a try because of a promotion and now I'm converted. This particular book came to life in the expert hands of the narrator who managed to 'play' so many characters successfully. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Paul Archer
    12/31/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Always a great read"
    What made the experience of listening to A Tale of Two Cities the most enjoyable?

    I love Dickens, the way he describes detail, so easy for me to build a picture in my mind, Martin Jarvis does a excellent job too.


    What about Martin Jarvis’s performance did you like?

    The fact that he able to voice so many of the characters, it was as if each had a different actor !


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ashleigh M
    12/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Story Not for Me."

    The narration of this was great but, for me, the story wasn't. Of the Dickens I've read, this is my least favourite and honestly if it had been my first Dickens I'm not sure I'd have read more of his work. The opening paragraph is possibly one of the best in literature but, sadly, the novel as a whole didn't live up to that for me!

    It's a personal thing, and I'd implore that everyone give Dickens a go! This audiobook was great, just the story didn't do it for me!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • scott
    10/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "rekindled my love for this story"

    the narration brought this classic to life. first book I ever cried too, again I shed a few years

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Golden Hours
    Liverpool
    10/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A magnificent performance by Martin Jarvis"

    This is a wonderful story made all the better by the narration. Martin Jarvis brings every character to life. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J Z A
    UK
    9/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A stunning classic"

    A stunning classic stunningly performed. The breadth and depth of this work is amazing and so much richer than many of Dickens more popular works. But so many of those have been thinned down for Hollywood.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Richard Gee/Sarah Gee
    9/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A classic story well read"

    One of those books you were always supposed to read brilliantly read by Martin Jarvis. Brilliant, thoroughly enjoyed it. Dickens at his best!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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