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A Tale of Two Cities | [Charles Dickens]

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 (653 )
5 star
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4.4 (295 )
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Story
4.5 (286 )
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Performance
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  •  
    K. Hicks 09-01-07
    K. Hicks 09-01-07 Listener Since 2005

    Jane Jetson

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
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    2
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    "A Rediscovery of an Old Friend"

    My mother, an English teacher for many years, impressed a deep love for the classics upon me. Dickens remains a personal favorite as I love the depth of his characters, the movement of the action, and the timeliness of his stories.

    Tale is a perfect example of Dickens' writing at its finest. Weaving an intricate story of family and friends embroiled in the French Revolution, the author leaves the listener on edge at the end of every chapter; one simply cannot hit the pause button but instead must know what happens next.

    When I was in tenth grade (many more years ago than I care to admit), my class read this novel, and we actually read it aloud. Suffice it to say, the narrator of this version has much more talent than my classmates and me. :) The narrator absolutely brought this book to life. The character voices were outstanding (although the one for Lucy was a bit odd, but it worked OK). You could not only hear but feel the passion of the marvelous text.

    I hope you enjoy this lovely version. I believe it's one you'll want to turn to again and again.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheimon New York, NY USA 11-02-08
    Cheimon New York, NY USA 11-02-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    71
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    31
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    5
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    Overall
    "Truly exceptional"

    This is an absolutely outstanding audiobook. The story is one of Dickens' most enthralling works, and Martin Jarvis' narration captures its essence with unmatched passion. Dickens' wit sparkles in Jarvis' voice as brightly as the darkness and helplessness loom heavily. The characters come to life in all their facets, keeping up with the lively narration. If you are looking for the right Dickens for entertainment, you can't go wrong with A Tale of Two Cities. And if you are looking for the right version of this masterpiece - you will enjoy this one tremendously.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penelope Antigo, WI, USA 12-10-07
    Penelope Antigo, WI, USA 12-10-07 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    "Best made Better"

    The reader of this book brings it to life in a way far superior to the written word. It's always been a classic and my favorite, but now it's even better.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Columbus, NC, United States 08-10-07
    Doug Columbus, NC, United States 08-10-07 Member Since 2015

    Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    395
    ratings
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    Overall
    "Enchanting, inspiring, exciting"

    One needs some patience to get used to Dickens' style in the early parts of this wonderful book, but listening to the audio helps make the story understandable. And like so many of life's treasures that require work before reward, this story pays off the patient reader in the end with emotional and intellectual paybacks that top all books I know of except possibly Les Miserables. My first attempst to read the book led nowhere, but finally I listened to the audio and read the book at the same time (more or less) and I got hooked into a book that I rank as one of the two best fiction works I have ever read (and I am a teacher of English with 30 years experience, and a bookworm too...) I have now read and listened to the book about ten times and I plan to revisit it again, at least every two years....it is too good to ignor.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The-Organist 11-12-06 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    Overall
    "Very well portrayed"

    An excellent version of this classic tale. The voice is extremely clear and effectively portrays the numerous characters in the book - to the point that, even if you can't remember their names, you recognise them by the reader's tone.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David M Rancho Mirage, CA, USA 03-08-06
    David M Rancho Mirage, CA, USA 03-08-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    5
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    "Excellent In Every Way"

    This may just be the quintessential audiobook version of A Tale of Two Cities. I have a preference for a single narrator of the classics such as the Dicken's novels (as opposed to multiple actors) and Martin Jarvis is absolutely excellent in this role. His main narration of the text is confident and consistent with no affectations or pregnant pauses and the voices he gives to the characters are spot-on.

    If you are new to the great 'A Tale of Two Cities', then you are in for a particularly exciting treat. If, on the other hand, you are returning to it again (as was my case), Martin Jarvis may just make you think you are hearing it for the first time. 'It was the best of times....'

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Malibu, CA, USA 06-03-07
    Mike Malibu, CA, USA 06-03-07 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Top notch!"

    For any fan of Dickens, this is a no-brainer. The narration is terrific and it only adds to the story. I will leave the critical review of Dickens' view of the French Revolution to others. For my money, this is one of the best ways to enjoy this classic novel. Highly recommend.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wolfpacker Fort Mill, SC 04-16-07
    Wolfpacker Fort Mill, SC 04-16-07 Member Since 2014

    Curtis

    HELPFUL VOTES
    603
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    Overall
    "Great Book, Fantastic Narration"

    This book is a little richer and less formulaic that some Dickens novels (and I like most Dickens novels.) There are some great themes running through it. You might even shed a tear at the beautiful ending.
    The narration on this book is one of the best I have ever heard. The voices are so well created and differentiated that the narrator could have never read "said ___" etc and I would have known exactly which of the 5-6 characters in a scene was talking.
    Highly Recommended!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve 02-15-07
    Steve 02-15-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Outstanding"

    A wonderful version. I've started this book several times, but only now finished it. I'm glad I did. This has given me a new appreciation for the power of Dickens' writing. I strongly recommend it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda York, SC, USA 08-24-06
    Linda York, SC, USA 08-24-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    9
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    "Brillant!!"

    OOhhhhh...such a hard book to read or listen to -- at first - then it is as great as David Copperfield or his other works. The characters are so well exemplified. Mr. Dickens is a wonder to beyond at creating characters and making them so believeable and entertaining. You really get to “know” them. Everyone, give this reading a real chance. This is one of my favorite all-time books. Bravado!

    And, Martin Jarvis, reading is fantastic. I question if there was indeed only one reader. He plays each character. I would almost call it a dramatization.

    A great story. A heartfelt story. Yet -- history. You learn something in the reading (or listening) of this story. Human nature - be it compassion or barbarism - is human nature and we are probably all capable of both put into certain circumstances.

    All in all, this is so worth your time. It is entertaining, enlightening, and pure wonder at the wisdom of Dickens words. I loved it!!

    3 of 3 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
  • Mags
    LimerickIreland
    10/11/08
    Overall
    "Absorbing"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Christine
    Coromandel Valley, Australia
    1/5/12
    Overall
    "Not a favourite Dickens"

    I found this tale overly 'mysterious' and metaphorical to tell the truth. I prefer Martin Chuzzlewit or Banarby Rudge!

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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