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 would definitely recommend. I tried reading this book in middle school, but couldn't get through the beginning boringness. The audiobook version was perfect for me because I was sitting in traffic commuting anyway and didn't have anything else to do besides listen to this book, so I got through the beginning build up. Once the second part started I couldn't stop listening.
I love how the beginning of the book starts a lot of different tangents which come together toward the middle and end of the book. Its ingenious.
I loved the storming of the bastille. I also loved the ending scene of course with Sydney Carton being carted away. His soliloquy is awesome.
It's no wonder that this book is a classic. If you've never listened to it, do it! Persevere through the beginning and you will start to love it. Even the language which at first is dull and off-putting becomes complex and beautiful as you become accustomed to it.
Also, Simon Vance does a great job narrating. His voices are fantastic - especially his voice of Mrs. Pross. It cracks me up.
This is the best audio book I have listened to so far. Simon Vance is a master reader and his subject material is well written. The unlikely hero Sidney Carton is believable and likeable. You really get a feeling for the build up of the revolution and the effects on all stratas of society.
Sad and glad ending at the same time.
I have just finished listening to The Man In the Iron Mask. While the themes are different and Charles Dickens story is more moralistic it was good to follow up a novel of Louis the IV with France 2 generations later.
Simon Vance read the Man In the Iron Mask and I was so impressed by this reading that I looked for other books read by him. He is very good at creating substantial differences between characters.
This book moved me greatly. There is humour but the storylines of people imprisoned brought home the horror of the situation-Dr Manette in the Bastille. Charles Darney in the Concierge and the nobleness of the unlikely hero Sidney Carton.
I Highly recommend this book
I loved the character development. Granted, it took a while before I became attached to the characters, but once the plot began to thicken, I suddenly found myself looking forward to my commute so that I could hear what happened next, and knowing the background of all the people involved made what was going on in the story so much more meaningful.
When the letter was read that tied everything together.
In the last half of the book, every scene was my favorite. The early chapters were a bit slow going (I think it was Chapter 9 that hooked me), but toward the end I couldn't stop listening. The ending was everything that it should be.
No laughing or crying, but many "heart-swelling" moments.
I liked this book much better than I remember liking Great Expectations, which I read in 9th grade. This book had a good story and had me rooting for the characters, and it reached it's destination in a fantastic climax.
Engineer & Artist -- Learning to use all my senses to enrich the journey of life
Resurrection, Beauty, and Vengeance
Mr. Lorry, the impeccable businessman, and steady companion through it all
I had never read the book before, so the audiobook took me on a wonderful journey. The language is highly descriptive yet lyrical leaving me sometimes in a daze while other times with my heart in earnest. I've always known the French Revolution was a momentary departure from reality by a strong people, but this book puts both the aristocratic arrogance and the unrestrained vengeance of the populace in perspective.
This is a wonderful classic which vividly brings out the conditions in France just before the revolution.
The one thing which clearly comes out of the story amidst all the deep shades of good and evil is the human side - their capacity to do both good and evil, to rise up in love and stoop down in malice - the author has beautifully shown how both co-exist.
The scene where Sidney Carton kisses the child of Lucy and murmurs his expectation to be remembered by the family just before leaving brought tears to my eyes.
This is a pretty long book, and not of the type where you don't want to leave it wondering what will happen next. Moreover, I had read the book, so knew the story. This is a pure classic where you move along the narration at at an easy pace, and pick up seamlessly from where you stopped last time.
This has been the most satisfying experience I've had with audio books so far. The others were good, but so far this has been the best.
The language is compelling and thought provoking. Dickens weaves an amazing story fleshing out all the characters to the fullest, arriving finally to a perfect finish.
I have not listened to Simon Vance before. The voice he gives to each character is perfect, well delivered, and perfectly timed. I'm sure to listen to him again.
The book surprised me. It's been quite a while since I've felt such a large variety of different emotions in a single book. Charles Dickens creates so believable a set of characters and situations that I found myself hoping and fearing for them often. Just fiction, but such a display of the human condition that I could identify with the many truths behind the fiction, and so felt real grief and hope and love.
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.
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.
The first chapter and the last paragraphs are my favorites!
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!
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.
Don't miss this book! Simon Vance reading Dickens? Nothing gets better than this!
So many reasons but mainly the different accents (which were impossible to understand), and the voice imitations. It really interfered with imagination and reduced the value of reading the book. Very disappointed!
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