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 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.
Somewhat similar to Les Miserables
It was a little rough getting through the first half of this book, but once I began to be familiar with the setting and characters, I really loved it.
Interesting, educational, classic
I was prejudiced in favor of this audio book prior to listening to it, because I had enjoyed reading it as a teenager, and again out-loud with my daughter for her AP Lit class…I do a lot of driving on my job, and it helps to pass the time
I would read this book again because there were parts of this book that I missed. I actually went to Sparksnotes to confirm that I heard it correctly. I did. It was Dickens and the way he wrote. Knowing that the book was written as a serial made it more intriguing.
When the prisoner switch took place. No, when Madam Defarge was killed. It was very exciting and I remembered why I loved this book in High School.
Dr Manette was my favorite. Even with his fragile mind he stepped up for his daughter and her family, a true hero.
I really enjoyed the part where Miss Pross killed Madam Defarge. Miss Pross protected Lucy because she loved her. I think Madam Defarge was just interested in vengeance, not really due to loyalty to her family. It may have started out as loyalty but went too far.
I read this book in High School and enjoyed it. I questioned my opinion when the reading started. Shortly into book two I was hooked. When the book was finished I missed it.
Yes. I read this novel every year.
I like Simon Vance's French accent.
Carton's last words
I'm happy to have immersion reading.
Beautiful, heart wrenching, and and inspiring.
When Charles Darnay wakes up and realizes what has been done for him.
Beautiful story of love and sacrifice.
Worth your time!
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.
Planning a trip to France for the first time. I've read a couple of books about the French revolution, but I felt that Dickens' portrayal of the rebels and aristocrats in this book really put the listener in the thick of what was going through everyone’s head shortly before and during the Reign of Terror. I had a much better understanding than with the other two books. If my brief Google research is correct, Dickens wrote this approx. 70 years after the revolution, and it seems very fresh with his telling. On the downside, the characters can be a bit dated (melodramatic) by today’s standards and I struggled for the first hour with the flowery language, but you get the hang of it. Didn’t keep me from sobbing at the end of this touching tale, LOL. I bet the version narrated by Frank Mueller is killer, but the price was right for this one, and the accents are probably more authentic with Simon Vance. Definitely recommend it.
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