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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.
Very uninteresting and a boring story - characters are so uninteresting, very overrated
Good reading though by the narrator
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.
"Excellently read. Brought the characters to life."
The story isn't one of my favourites but due to the readers talent it made the listen worth while. I purchased this as a Kindle book and chose the option to purchase the listen feature. I'm so glad I did.
"Why have I never read this before?"
exceptional story! wonderfully written, excellent narrative, audio book was essential but now I must read more Dickens!
Narrator was excellent, story was great. My first Charles dickens read. Just downloaded bleak house. Great!!!!! Thank you very much
"Great Story - Well narrated"
Have not read the print version
Martin Jarvis reads this very well....kept me wanting to listen to it continuously
"Pompous, over-rated, over-blown, convoluted"
Dickens - never. I keep trying and keep failing to enjoy a moment of his books.
Martin Jarvis - excellent narrator
I may be a knuckle-dragging philistine, but there are many better ways to spend a few hours.
"A classic story read well"
A Tale of Two Cities is my favourite of Dickens' works. Martin Jarvis narrated the story extremely well.
"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!
One of the best readings of the most popular English novel. Will certainly listen to this recording again and again.
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!
"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.
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