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.
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
My first real classical listen was The Count of Monte Cristo. Dumas got me hooked on classics. Two Cities required my profound attention to follow. I found myself rewinding constantly. I listen while driving on highways.
To be clear I am not dissing the book. I gave it 5 stars across the board based strictly off the reputation. The narrator was excellent.The book went back. I would enjoy this book more in print than audio.
I am a New York musician, a New York native, and a passionate reader of fiction. Audible is helping me fill in some serious literary gaps.
I am a fairly well-read person, yet I'd managed to miss this cornerstone work for my entire life. I am very glad that I encountered it in the voice of Simon Vance. He is a superb reader, with a fine sense of timing and drama. I was riveted by the story and (I admit it) I wept at the end, sobbed like a baby. Maybe it was good that I waited so long to get to this great book!
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.
I loved the language! It was beautiful and inspiring to hear the English language crafted and employed so expertly.
The story is really good too! Set in the time of the French Revolution, the plot has an array of memorable characters brought to life with the writers amazing linguistic virtuosity. And there is an incredible story that begins to pull you in and leave you desperate to read the next part and find out what happens.
Also notable are the philosophical and spiritual stirrings which tie everything together towards the end of the story. These seem to offer ideas of religious and cosmic scale. They seem to contain great truths about history and about humankind and about the unknown and unknowable dimensions.
This book is phenomenal if you like language, and how words sound. And it's just excellent fiction.
Read it. You'll love it!
I had a couple of long journeys, with not much else to do. Without this I doubt I would have finished this book. The first three quarters of the novel are hard going. However it completely redeems itself in the run to the finish. The final few hours of listening were a joy. Was it worth the slog? I think so, but only just......
Incredibly inspiring tale & performance! Worth every minute - only wish it were longer! Dickens is a master storyteller, and the very talented cast brought his masterpiece to life!
The characters are so rich and unique, they must have seemed so real 100 years ago and they seem real to me today. Dickens has captured the essence of human existence that is not bound to time or place. Simon Vance gives an amazing performance with a different voice and accent for each character. Thank you Audible!!
I had not read this book since high school, but I remembered enjoying it then. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this classic again. The story and narration were great. Of course, this is a classic book, so expect more detailed descriptions and longer periods between action than you typically find in a modern book.
Simon Vance is one of the best Audible readers. He is good at bringing to life both the male and female voices without sounding too distracting.
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