Among the most talented and influential voices to grace the audiobook format, Shakespearean actor Frank Muller delivers an electric performance of a story that demands it. Urgency and tumult seem to bellow forth from the indefatigable Muller as he untangles the web of conflict that drives Dickens' historical epic. The French aristocracy’s self-satisfied arrogance is set in contrast with the outraged militance of the downtrodden peasantry. Muller gives a unique voice to each member of the warring classes while nevertheless betraying the selfish motives that bind them all. Dickens' competing lovers, the aristocratic Charles Darnay and his jealous doppelgänger, Sydney Carton, are by turn endowed with desperate passion and tender selflessness as they grapple with historical forces beyond their control.
(P)1986 by Recorded Books, Inc.
I got the version narrated by Frank Muller; it was fabulous!! I had started to read a hardcopy and had trouble getting past the archaic writing style. However, Mr. Muller got me totally engrossed and, of course, I ended up loving the book.
There are times when I avoid anything labeled a classic because they often don't live up to the hype. I was more apprehensive about this book because I've heard it referred to so often as well as some of its famous quotes, even worse in this case because I even know the opening line without ever having read it: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Even Capt. Kirk opened a famous Star Trek scene with this line.
After this first sentence was done, the "ho hum" thought that flashed through my mind quickly melted away as the opening continued with an eloquence I had not expected. This alone won't make a 13 hour audiobook enjoyable but by the time I got to the "meat" of the book, the characters had drawn me in.
Some areas of the book are in fact, so long-winded that you wonder where the author could possibly be going with all this detail. What I love about that--which surprises even me--is that the author has a way of sneaking something critical into all that detail that doesn't hit you for a second or two. Then after it sinks in, you have this feeling like he just snuck up on you silently, then whacked you with the sledgehammer hiding behind his back. He got me with that several times.
That is the genius of this book. The characters keep you too interested to stop reading while Dickens keeps lulling you into peaceful states of mind by describing tranquil scenes, then he pounds you with that hammer while your guard is down. Brilliant.
I should also mention, the narration was among the best I've heard so far. Creates a truly immersive experience.
The Book: Dickens is a master with prose. If you have a love of classic literature you will not be disappointed. If you are new to Dickens, you may find his verbose style overwhelming. He tends to use 15 words when he could use 2, but brilliant words they all are. When you find yourself getting lost in yet another long narrative, just sit back and relax, let the fabulous language wash over you.
The Recording: Brilliant! Frank Muller is fabulous.
I have never read this book in paper, somehow, but decided to try the audio version. This is a "classic" that really does deserve to be classed as one of the greatest books ever written in the English language--characterization, dialogue, description---Dickens wrote in a time when readers had the time to read, demanded richness of detail, and took the time to luxuriate in his writing craft. Dickens does not rush through the story line to get us to the end--we learn about the times and become intimate with the characters and their personalities--their strengths and their weaknesses. At the same time he keeps the plot moving, so that I never thought it "dragged". To me, the narrator was superb, but he had great material to work with.
I absolutely agree with the other reviewers. I always had problems getting into Dickens' novels but the narrator's reading is brilliant. An exciting, engaging story with unforgettable characters. I hated coming to the end.
The audio is terrible, listen to a sample before you buy. I could not finish it. It sounds like it was recorded in the 1940s and is being played through blown out speakers. I'll have to find another version, i'm told this is a great book. Guess I'll have to wait to find out.
It went right over my head the first time I read it. It's so much easier, listening to a piece of literature like this. I won't say it didn't take a few minutes to get into the groove with it, but once I did, it was well worth it. The narrator was awesome! I wouldn't be surprised if he was used to doing Shakespeare. He really made it come alive for me. Excellent!
Travel a lot for work and spend a good deal of time in the car.
Frank Muller did an outstanding job on this book. I have read some reviews saying there were too many details and they got lost in the story and distracted. This is the unabridged version of Dicken's Classic, so there are lots and lots of details. If thats not your thing i suggest getting the abridged version so you can still enjoy the story but still concentrate on driving or working or whatever you do while listening to audio books. But if you have the time to just sit and listen and soak in all the little details, then this book is for you. Its like time travel.
Frank Muller's narration makes this an up-to-date read and even the long Victorian explanations are a sheer pleasure to listen to. He puts so much into it. We all know the story but Muller brings the people to life...
I thoroughly enjoyed this reading of "A Tale of Two Cities". Frank Muller's deep, British accent added a lot to the "listenability" of this recording.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.