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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!
Dickens crafts larger-than-life characters whose defining personality traits and conversational tics carry them strongly through the story, and his depiction of France before and during the Revolution is as vivid and bloody as the Terror, despite his exercising all the expected Victorian restraint when it comes to actually describing bloodshed. He also contrasts Paris with London, and not always in London's favor; Dickens was a marvelous social critic of his time, and with understated clarity he shows the reader how, while the British aristocracy was no longer trampling peasants beneath their horses' feet with impunity, the English court system was hardly more just or less rapacious and corrupt than the French.
The story itself is typically Dickensian in that it is full of memorable characters who are all brought onstage separately and then brought together by a tightening web of plot threads that ends up tying everyone together one way or another. Once Dickens introduces a character, he means to use that character until the very end, and will use any improbable plot device to make sure everyone is where he wants them to be. So of course the spy who is known to the Defarges is the very same man whom Sydney Carton saw tried years earlier in London; of course the nephew of the Marquis who imprisoned Doctor Manette (who once employed Monsieur Defarge) is the very same man who flees France and marries his daughter; of course Sydney Carton and Jerry Cruncher just happen to be in Paris on business (with the "man of business" Mr. Lorry) when Charles Darnay goes there, etc. And there is the most improbable plot device at all, telegraphed at the beginning of the book when Carton faces Darnay during that London trial. But it all works to create a tense and very enjoyable novel.
Definitely a favorite, and one I should have read earlier. Martin Jarvis's narration is great and perfectly British, though a bit "squeaky" with some of the female characters.
I have decided to go back and read many of the "classics" that I never got around to. This is my second Dickens book (Great Expectations) and neither of them has disappointed. The depth of the characters in this book is amazing and his accounts of post revolution France were also very enlightening. Martin Jarvis is a superb narrator; the range of his character voices makes it very hard to imagine that it is only one man reading this book. Dickens and Jarvis make a great team-- tremendous tremendous audiobook.
No one can touch Patrick Tull when it comes to reading Dickens--if you haven't downloaded his version of The Pickwick Papers do it instantly! Having finished the latter I was up for another but was disappointed to find there is only the one Dickens read by him in Audible. Jarvis is not as revelatory as Tull but he is definitely the next best thing. The novel itself is a bit of a tough haul, not only because the subject matter is quite grim but also b/c Dickens is at times experimenting with prose techniques that can be a little hard to follow in the audio format. But it will live with you. Highly recommended.
I have been in a book group for 11 years. I listen to memoirs, history, non-fiction, and literature. My bookshelves are overflowing.
Although Dickens' words are extraordinary, this book was made even more enjoyable to me because it was read so well and brilliantly by the amazing, Martin Jarvis. Every character was brought to life; every word so well articulated. A true classic novel. Make your children listen to it.
Well, I can't say I found this book as easy to follow, as humorous, or the characters as enchanting as the same narrator's performance of "David Copperfield," but I certainly am glad I listened. Dickens' mastery of the English language is equally abundant and skillful here. There were certain descriptions that simply left me breathless, such as the scene describing the storming of the Bastille. This has been described as Dickens's most serious work, and rightfully so. A good portion of the characters may not be as dynamic as I would have liked, but the themes of oppressors vs. the oppressed, life and death, and redemption are powerfully illustrated and thoughtfully conveyed. I found the ending particularly moving.
As to the narration, once again, Martin Jarvis has spoilt me on hearing anyone else perform Dickens. His range of character voices seems endless; I sometimes have to remind myself that it's only him speaking. I'll simply have to read the Dickens that he hasn't narrated; I refuse to listen to anyone else.
"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.
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.
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