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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 (686 )
5 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.4 (327 )
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (318 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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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
    13
    ratings
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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.

    13 of 13 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
    82
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    "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
  •  
    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
    420
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    "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.

    5 of 5 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
  •  
    The-Organist 11-12-06 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "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 Dolan Southern California 03-08-06
    David Dolan Southern California 03-08-06 Member Since 2015
    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
    8
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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
    824
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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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    "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:
  • 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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