"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
In this staple of classic literature, Charles Dickens tells the tale of fueding classes set at the inception and escalation of the French Revolution. Amidst the upheaval, righteous former aristocrat Charles Darnay becomes wrongly tangled in unfortunate events, endangering his freedom and family. Sidney Carton, a cynical lawyer who squandered his life away, seeks to redress his unhappiness through Darnay's beautiful wife, Lucie. This seminal story of love, chaos, and redemption is expertly read by Jon Smith, who infuses excitement using a variety of voices. Revisit a favorite or fill in a literary gap with the timeless A Tale of Two Cities.
Public Domain (P)2012 Phoenix Books
The best thing about A Tale of Two Cities is everything -- the characters, the plot, the exceptional writing, and the emotional pull of nearly every sentence.
All the characters came alive. My favorites are Jarvis Lorry and Sydney Carton.
I've read this story several times and always discover new feelings and images, but Jon Smith has made it far better with this excellent performance. I would recommend any audiobook read by him.
This books grabs you from the first sentence to the very last: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times (first sentence) and It is a better thing that I do than I have ever done (almost the last). Everything word, every sentence, is perefectly placed. The narrator, Jon Smith, is excellent.
I have read and listened to this book many times and every time I finish it I have the urge to start it again. It's not only a moving story but it also helps with understanding the French Revolution.
3 dogs & a parrot
This really great story was all but destroyed, weighed down by a narrator who seemed to simply not give a hoot that he consistently mispronounced words, names, places (hearing the Madame and Monsieur Defarge pronounced Defrage throughout the reading - I swear to you - fingernails on a blackboard would have been a happier sound). Periodically the reader seemed to forget himself and get lost in the book, immediately improving his performance, but unfortunately he would inevitably return to his former stilted and dreadful reading.
We could have made a drinking game out of taking a shot every time some person, place or thing was mispronounced - mind you, we would have had to limit our listening time or suffered prolonged bouts of inebriation as five minutes rarely pass in this performance without a pronunciation malfunction.
I'm sure there is a great unabridged Tale of Two Cities out there someplace. This is not it.
I couldn't even finish this recording due to the horrible narration. The narrator attempts several accents and fails miserably. His Frenchmen sound more like an American doing an impression of a Scotsman trying to do a French accent - it is horrid on all accounts.
The story is of course a classic and a fabulous treasure. It did not deserve the disservice of this performance.
Look for the version performed by Simon Vance for a much more worthy edition.
Anything by Charles Dickens. NOTHING from John Smith.
Jon Smith has a very nice voice and his accents are fairly decent BUT he can't read well. His pronunciation, especially of names, was inconsistent and full of errors. Examples: he pronounced Defarge "defrage," Darnay "darniay," and most annoyingly the very straightforward English name Carton as "kataan." Many of the longer words were read with the accent on the wrong syllable. I tried to be patient and just concentrate on the book's content but the errors were just too distracting.
It was cheap. But there is a good reason for that.
I believe a book with this many faults should not be for sale by audible.com.
Avid reader until vision impairment set in. Now an avid listener!
Growing up in an era in which American school kids actually read the classics in their English classes, I remembered Tale of Two Cities as one of my favorites. The audio version reinforced this impression. The brilliant prose style, the interplay of characters, the comic, the dark, and the melodramatic dextrously interwoven, and the surprises of plot development kept me listening with pleasure through the whole book.
It has a more sublime ending than any other book I can recall. Other than that, the scenes with Mme. DeFarge are darkly fascinating. Also those regarding Dr. Manette in the Bastille. I don't want to give anything away!
I haven't, but I enjoyed his narration. It is subdued and emotionally low key, which I guess could be perceived as boring, but I thought it was a great counterpoint to the melodrama of the book. Characters are easily distinguishable and the accents are well done.
You can't make a better choice than the opening phrase of the book!
I tried twice to listen because I do love Dickens, but the narrator was horrible. I gave up!
I could not get into this book because of the speaker. It left the book a boring mess.
Chose a better reader.
Used someone who could of put more dramatics into the story rather than just a one pitch reader?
That just about sums it up. I read the book myself years ago and loved the story then but the audiobook was a sad disapointment.
"Invest your money elsewhere!"
Feel bad about giving a bad review but I had to give up on this reading, it made tough work of a great story. I was so glad I did not give up on the book, I downloaded another version.
"Two Cities audible"
I downloaded this audible book in order to pass the time on a long trip, but was unfortunately unable to get through more than half of the first part. The narration was very difficult to listen to, sounding as though it had been recorded in single lines and then stitched together. Along with this were frequent miss-pronunciations and a total disregard for punctuation. I,m afraid it flowed about as well as a text to speech translation. I would certainly have gone for a librivox version had I known what this one sounded like. Patrick
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