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A Tale of Two Cities | [Charles Dickens]

A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities, one of Charles Dickens' most popular works, is highly recognized for its opening line, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." The two cities of the title are Paris and London; the time is the height of the French Revolution. From the gripping opening scene of the coach drive to the heroic climax in the shadow of the guillotine, Dickens creates a vivid picture of social turmoil and the unfolding of a dramatic love story.
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Publisher's Summary

A Tale of Two Cities, one of Charles Dickens' most popular works, is highly recognized for its opening line, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." The two cities of the title are Paris and London; the time is the height of the French Revolution. From the gripping opening scene of the coach drive to the heroic climax in the shadow of the guillotine, Dickens creates a vivid picture of social turmoil and the unfolding of a dramatic love story.

(P)1983 HNP, Produced by Felix Fisher

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  •  
    Connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 05-27-08
    Connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 05-27-08 Member Since 2007

    trying to see the world through my ears

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "almost great"

    To me, this just missed being a great listen. Although others have said they liked the narrator, I found him a touch too melodramatic in many places, highlighting that weaker aspect of the novel. I wish that I had downloaded the F Davidson version instead.

    Some of the online "product descriptions" call this Dickens' only "not comic" novel -- I thought 2 Cities contained much excellent ironic humour.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dee Aledo, TX, United States 01-16-09
    Dee Aledo, TX, United States 01-16-09
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    "Very good reading of a great book"

    A Tale of Two Cities has always been a favorite book, the tragedy, the intrigue, the sweep of fate. But I didn't realize how much of the book I was skimming over when reading it until I listened to the audio. The narrator is excellent. His use of different voices is seamless and well done, adding much to the understanding of the book. The portrayed emotion also is excellent. I enjoyed this recording immensely.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J B Tipton Minneapolis, MN USA 09-23-07
    J B Tipton Minneapolis, MN USA 09-23-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Historical Dickens"

    A Tale of Two Cities seems to me one of the least Dickensian of Dickens' novels. It is my least favorite of his completed later works. Richard Pasco does a good job reading the book, but the female voices are a bit of a problem. The recording is fine.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mariah huntington beach, CA, United States 11-03-09
    mariah huntington beach, CA, United States 11-03-09 Member Since 2006
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    "THRILLING!"

    Dicken's deep intuition into human character and thought and the sophistication of his powers of observation are so exciting. The narrator, a Shakespearean actor of wonderful skill, gives a thrilling performance. His characterization of Cruncher is especially delicious! Great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebekah Montreal, Quebec, Canada 12-25-08
    Rebekah Montreal, Quebec, Canada 12-25-08 Member Since 2008
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    "Best opening sentence in litterature"

    In listening to this book, I am reminded why it is a classic. Somehow hearing the story read gave me a new appreciation of the beauty of Dickens use of language. I read it many years ago when I was in high school and have seen good and not so good movie versions of it. The characters have almost become stereotypes in my mind; Mde Desfarges knitting at the Guillotine, the craggy lost Dr Monette, prisoner of the Bastille. Listening to Dickens words made these complex, fascinating characters come alive. We are transported into 18th century England and France and relive the events of the French revolution through their eyes. The atmosphere of the times is brilliantly evoked and the motivations of the actors involved detailed. His description of the storming of the Bastille makes the reader feel she was there. The many plot twists keep the reader wanting more. This work, as do his others, reveals Dickens as a commentator on social conditions. This is a historical novel with much to contemplate for today's reader.Of course you must also get part 2 to hear the best closing sentence in literature. A great read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theresa Pinole, CA, USA 03-15-08
    Theresa Pinole, CA, USA 03-15-08
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    "Tale of Two Cities"

    Remarkable book and narrator (Richard Pasco) who brings this book to life. Dickens immerses you in France and England during the time leading up to and then into the French Revolution. His language, phrases and descriptions are so beautifully crafted that many will remain with me forever. His insights, characterizations, understanding of human relationships, class structure, social and political conditions, are both specific to that period as well as being contemporary and relevant. That really surprised me. And, while dealing with very hard, often trajic conditions, there is also irony and humor, suspense and action, and very interesting, complex human beings. Though a few of Dicken's characters are two dimensional, given the depth and humanity of this amazing novel, and that it was originally published, I believe, as a serial! that is to be forgiven. Pasco is an excellent and skillful narrator, making any unfamiliar terms and language nuances "non-issues" as you become so engrossed with listening to him reading this wonderful and moving tale. He even does the female narration credibly (often an issue with male readers of female parts.) This has become one of my favorite books, and I'm grateful that I tried this "classic".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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