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
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!
Yes. I find many of the classics easier to read this way. Due to the archaic language you must develop a flow to get into it.
Great info on the French Revolution
I didn't realise how many people lost their heads
But I loved this classic. My son-in-law, however, who followed upon my heels, had to put it down. Why the difference? I suspect because I am a visual thinker. The way Dickens draws scenes lends itself to images in the mind, and he provides such rich detail that the characters seem to materialize out of nowhere, right in their places. Wonderful story and descriptions of the times. I loved the historical aspects and felt I could easily draw into another time and place
I was educated into oblivion but have overcome it and am having a wonderful life
The extraordinary insight into the French Revolution
When Mr Curtin, unable to recognize Lucy as good, beautiful, and desirable accepted his wasted life with bitter, painful resignation. The remainder of Sidney Curtin's tale is what he is to later become through Lucy and Charles -- what he had only once seen and had not been able to lay hold of -- it was only a mirage for him. I love the influence that Lucy had on him. It shows the power of friendship and love.
Charles. Charles, the son of a perverse father and a compassionate mother. I love what he became - a man who worked for a living, fell in love, and always served the best interests of those around him.
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.
Simon Vance is amazing. He convinced me that he was Madame DeFarge. This was an unforgettable narration of the masterpiece.
i am not sure i finished this book when i was suppose to read it in high school. but i have to admit that listening through it this time has made me appreciate the subtle humor that i didn't get previously. far more enjoyable when not required, not to mention (God forbid) the mental maturity i have gained since my teenage years. while the narration isn't by any means terrible, it's not fantastic either. i find i get tired of the voices before i get tired of the story.
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 everything after the year 1789. I did not quite understand where the novel was heading until that year in the novel. Up until this point the novel contains a lot of details that the reader assumes come into play later, but it wasn't until the last third that the intention became clear to me.
Carton. I also liked the Manettes too.
Simon Vance is a rock star. No particular character stood out to me.
Not exactly, but the last third was about as intense as you'll find in a classic of this sort.
The story you remember from your younger years is even more compelling and moving now.
Simon Vance brings to life the minor characters with such verve. Characters like Miss Pross whom I had skimmed over when I was a younger reader filled the book's landscape with so much powerful life. And I had such a palpable sense of Sidney Carton as a man intent on redeeming himself in a way that felt so right and true.
Reading the book on my iPad while listening to Simon Vance read on my commute to work was a powerful and fantastic experience.
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