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A Tale of Two Cities [Tantor] | [Charles Dickens]

A Tale of Two Cities [Tantor]

A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens's most exciting novels. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, it tells the story of a family threatened by the terrible events of the past. Doctor Manette was wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years without trial by the aristocratic authorities.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Charles Dickens's classic of the French Revolution is expertly dramatized by Simon Vance. It's also a grand romance. Charles Darnay, the French émigré who relinquishes his title in disgust at the poverty wrought upon the peasants by the titled class, and Sydney Carton, the world-weary drunken London barrister, both love Lucie, the daughter of the unjustly imprisoned Dr. Alexandre Manette. Vance will have listeners weeping as Carton greets Madame Guillotine with some of the most famous lines in literature. Carton's depression and ultimate redemption are crystal clear; Madame Defarge, with her clicking knitting needles, takes on appropriate menace; and Jarvis Lorry, the reliable "man of business," loves Lucie as if she were his daughter.

Publisher's Summary

This novel provides a highly charged examination of human suffering and human sacrifice, private experience and public history, during the French Revolution.

A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens's most exciting novels. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, it tells the story of a family threatened by the terrible events of the past. Doctor Manette was wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years without trial by the aristocratic authorities. Finally released, he is reunited with his daughter, Lucie, who despite her French ancestry has been brought up in London. Lucie falls in love with Charles Darnay, another expatriate, who has abandoned wealth and a title in France because of his political convictions. When revolution breaks out in Paris, Darnay returns to the city to help an old family servant, but there he is arrested because of the crimes committed by his relations. His wife, Lucie, their young daughter, and her aged father follow him across the channel, thus putting all their lives in danger.

©1923 Public Domain; (P)2008 Tantor

What Members Say

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  •  
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 11-04-12
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 11-04-12

    "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons

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    "Truly a Classic"

    "A Tale of Two Cities" is the best selling book of all time and Charles Dickens is easily one of the world's most iconic writers. Add the great narration that we've come to expect from Simon Vance and you have an Audible Classic that one will thoroughly enjoy.

    Charles Dickens did a great job when he wrote this book and the sales of book over time does tell you why. This is one of those timeless classics that you can't help but enjoy. The pace of the book itself languishes a bit and will not be appreciated by everyone. The slower pace however is used with good effect as it is used to set up the book pretty well. If you're a fan of good imagery, it is painted very well in these 'slow' moments. When the pace does pick up however, it picks up fast and extremely well with a lot of exciting action.

    The novel talks about the plight of the French commons brought upon by the French ruling class, the subsequent revolution and then the often times senseless revenge the French commons take on the former French ruling class. Parallel to this is also mentioned life in London during the same period. It follows the lives of several protagonists through these events.

    Simon Vance does a very great job bringing life to the story. I found myself enjoying his narration quite well. This book had a relatively large cast and and the way he was able to bring life to each individual character is impressive to say the least.

    26 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 11-19-12
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 11-19-12 Member Since 2011

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

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    "A beautiful story beautifully told."

    I seldom re-read or re-listen to novels. Rarely do I find a novel where the gravity of the writing makes me NEED to return to it again and again. There are, however, exceptions to every rule and Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities is definititely an exception. This is a top-tier novel narrated by a top-tier narrator. LIke Tolstoy and Hugo, Dickens is able to mix a story that is epic in historical scale, while also keeping it an intimate book. Dickens examines the challenges, both personal and political, that emerge out of the struggle between subject and state. This is a beautiful story beautifully told.

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    McNaire Kingston, Jamaica, W.I. 12-22-12
    McNaire Kingston, Jamaica, W.I. 12-22-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Great narration for a great old english tale"
    What disappointed you about A Tale of Two Cities?

    Not disappointed at all in any way. Once this is your type of title, you will enjoy.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Tale of Two Cities?

    The opening description. I am a fan of good, simple poetry.


    What didn’t you like about Simon Vance’s performance?

    Excellent! In my book of favorite narrator's (up there with Roy Dotrice - Game of Thrones Series).


    What character would you cut from A Tale of Two Cities?

    Hmm, objectively, none. Each tale has its own set of characters and character development, which contributes to a whole. At least from my limited POV.


    Any additional comments?

    Wish the book was longer! Reading and listening was an awesome experience with this title!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maynard Moravian falls, NC, United States 11-09-13
    Maynard Moravian falls, NC, United States 11-09-13 Member Since 2011

    Scientist, artisan, anachronism

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "it's the singer not the song*"


    tale of 2 cities is tale of 2 cities. it's a landmark novel. it's my favorite Dickens. and this is the best of the versions. i have several versions and this is the one.

    it is Simon Vance that makes the difference. he's perfect in this narration. he's better than any other. perfect articulation. perfect cadence. perfect tone. perfect meter. a perfect version.

    in fact, i believe, this is one of the best of the audiobooks on audible. i have listened to this one over and over. maybe i've put it on a dozen times. why? this reading is poetry of sound and story. this is a pleasure to hear.

    i hope you enjoy it.

    -m

    * Mick Jagger

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Desperately Seeking a Good Read Eagle River, AK, United States 01-19-14
    Desperately Seeking a Good Read Eagle River, AK, United States 01-19-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Bittersweet Tale"
    If you could sum up A Tale of Two Cities in three words, what would they be?

    Grim historical time. I'm past the half-century mark and read this in high school...didn't remember it at all except that I didn't do so well on my book report! I am living in Paris for a few years so I have been trying to listen to some European classics. I just didn't realize/appreciate the gravity of the French Revolution until I came to live here. As an American, I just don't have much appreciation for world history...I'm getting some! The opening lines of this novel are iconic...they are familiar even to me...if I was a contestant on Jeopardy I would not have put Dicken's poetry with this tale...I feel so much better prepared now for any future contests. The narration is outstanding. I tend to favor male narrators as I find very few women's voices do justice to male roles, and this novel is dominated by male characters. As with the few books I have read placed in this time period, it is a tale full of extreme sadness...at times...hopelessness. To my limited view, it captures the terror of the French revolution all too well. If time travel becomes possible at some point, avoid Paris during the French revolution because no one was safe from Madame Guillotine.Dickens is able to take a sad storyline and somewhat give us a happy ending. If you are a fan of Dickens, this is definitely a story you will want to hear as he takes this time in history and creates a timeless tale.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Omaha, NE, United States 01-30-13
    Helen Omaha, NE, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Well worth sticking with it!"
    What made the experience of listening to A Tale of Two Cities the most enjoyable?

    I cannot pronounce the French names and places, so hearing them made it come alive. I have tried to read the classic a couple of times, and got bogged down in the beginning with "all those descriptive words"! Hearing it made it so much more interesting!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Cotton - love and faithfulness; Barnay - a hero.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I could not listen in one sitting! I had to put it down and read a book...then I went back to it and was thrilled that I did. I did not expect the ending!


    Any additional comments?

    I had just finished Les Mis, so here I was back in the French Revolution - at the wine shop - different time period! Now I know why it is a classic. I have learned much about life in Paris!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evelyn SAINT GEORGE, UT, United States 12-24-12
    Evelyn SAINT GEORGE, UT, United States 12-24-12 Member Since 2010

    Evelyn

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    "An Amazing Christmas Story"

    After a really tedious beginning, the story delivers an amazing finish. Dickens delivers a powerful, timeless, message about good, evil, sacrifice, and horrific political choices.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Milwaukie, OR, United States 10-19-12
    Kristi Milwaukie, OR, United States 10-19-12 Member Since 2011

    An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.

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    "No worst in this review best of times all the way!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, this is a classic and in this day and time with income inequality getting further apart this book is pertinent today. Don't pass this one up.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Tale of Two Cities?

    The first chapter and the last paragraphs are my favorites!


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    He has the voice that draws you in and makes you hold your breath while he tells the story of the French Revolution and the extremes that happen when people are ignored. He is a master!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This is a great cry! Sidney Carton is one of those antiheroes that you love, who breaks your heart by being the most noble of all the characters in the book.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't miss this book! Simon Vance reading Dickens? Nothing gets better than this!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RONALD Bellevue, Wa, United States 10-02-12
    RONALD Bellevue, Wa, United States 10-02-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Worth listening to."
    Where does A Tale of Two Cities rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    A good story. It also starts you thinking more about history and our time and place.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, too intense, and at times too slow.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caren Rincon, GA, United States 02-18-11
    Caren Rincon, GA, United States 02-18-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Good Narration"

    He does a great job with the voices and really brings the characters to life.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
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  • Tekin
    Cardiff, United Kingdom
    6/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great"

    What can Say It's great performance.Nice and clear voice.I like it very much.Thanks for everything.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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