A Tale of Two Cities

Narrated by: Jim Donaldson
Length: 15 hrs and 19 mins
3.7 out of 5 stars (426 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

With well over 200 million copies sold, this novel ranks among the most famous works in the history of fictional literature. It depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralized by the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and many unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same time period.

Public Domain (P)2015 Trout Lake Media

What listeners say about A Tale of Two Cities

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance
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Story
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  • 3 Stars
    50
  • 2 Stars
    21
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    26

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent story - poor audio

Excellent story but audio was very poor. So heavy with bass that even turning the bass all the way down I still had to turn the volume up quite high in order to make the words out clearly. Slogged through but really a shame it wasn't better.

10 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Audio made in the dark ages

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I couldn't listen to more than 2 chapters as the audio was so garbled and ancient, I couldn't understand a word! This version should be deleted from Audible.

What didn’t you like about Jim Donaldson’s performance?

Who knows, I couldn't understand him?

Any additional comments?

Don't buy this version!

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Audio Chapters 41 and 42

Would you try another book from Charles Dickens and/or Jim Donaldson?

I would probably read Charles Dickens again as he is a good author, however Jim Donaldson probably not.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would make the first book in the novel (there are 3 books in "A Tale of Two Cities") a bit more exciting to the reader as to capture their interest sooner.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Donaldson tries to change his voice for every character but you can't do it all I am sorry to say and it did nothing to help with the mania of words. Also the paraphrasing, rewording, and changing the structure of sentences in paragraphs made it hard to follow in the actual book. I could even go as far as to say butchering Dickens work a bit in my opinion.

Was A Tale of Two Cities worth the listening time?

Not exactly but I had to read it for a class, and it is only worth listening and reading if you make it to the end... that's when things get really exciting!

Any additional comments?

Your audio chapter 41 and 42 were both Book 3, Chapter 12. I was highly displeased with this and had to obtain a book for a time in order to read chapter 11.

14 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

can't understand what the narrator is saying. I on

I only got As far as chapter 4. It was very difficult to listen to because I couldn't understand what he was trying to say. All sounded like a lot of mumble

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good but narrator needs help

The narrators natural voice is calming and easy to listen to. But every time he changed his voice for a new character it sounds like a 90 year old man. No matter if it's a man, woman or child. It makes listening to this story very annoying.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Major issues with Narration

Excellent book but narration was a bit all over the place.

This is a Dickens classic. I got the audible book in order to listen on my commute to work. In general the content is amazing, but the performance could have been better. The volume was generally too quiet, but there were periods when it would be louder or quieter at random. The narrator would read the book and chapter information every chapter, which was a little unnecessary.

Finally but most disappointing, the audiobook chapter 42 is a VERY rough draft of chapter 11. There are a lot of stops, a lot of repeats, a lot of the narrator commenting to himself telling himself to "be an old man." I was listening to this when I was on a walk with gloves on and I thought my phone was going bonkers! Turns out it was just a horrible reading. I'm not sure if through all the stuttering I got the full chapter from the story or not, I'll have to pull up my kindle version and double check. Please fix this, I don't even care if you get another guy to read that section just make it right!

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love Dickens!!!

Hated the music!! To much time in between. Music was like commercials on TV turn volume down only to have to turn up again when reader comes back on.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Book

This story is a classic that many are familiar with, so I'll focus my review on the narrator. In my opinion, classic literature needs an expressive narrator or else it's difficult to keep your mind from wandering. Jim Donaldson is not an expressive narrator. With different material I think I would be perfectly happy with his narration, but with this book I found it slightly took away from the experience.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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Buyer beware

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

No, very poor editing

What did you like best about this story?

Dickens great storytelling

What didn’t you like about Jim Donaldson’s performance?

This version is horribly edited. In chapter 36, there are a number of pauses and retakes, including the narrator saying "I'm trying to sound like an old man"! A very unprofessional version of a classic book. Perhaps why it was made available so cheaply.

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

Surely you jest!

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

bad narration

the narrator drops in and out of voices and introduces the title at the start of every chapter. the voices he does do for the characters all sound very old and hard to tell which character from which.
the story is slow but picks up finally after some 200 pages. it is a tragic live story full of dark characters that are depicted with both the best of humanity and the worest.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Katherine Elford
  • 03-11-17

classic that is wonderful to listen to

quite a big read so fantastic to have read to you, especially as the language can be quite dense, a classic that everyone should have on their to read list.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • s
  • 12-03-17

Don't bother

I found this book extremely difficult to get into. In the end I had to abort mission.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fliss
  • 08-19-17

Beautifully Read

Tried to read the book myself but it was much more enjoyable to have it read to me and actually made much more sense and the readers voice was very relaxing


1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs Clare Moses
  • 07-21-17

Great story - marred by American narrator with awful falsetto for females

I love Dickens and this is a wonderful story however, the very poor, squeaky, breathy falsetto that Mr Donaldson assumes to narrate his female characters is enough to make a listener give up.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • stu1815
  • 07-23-18

Sounds and voice is not great

The recording is not of high quality and the voice of the narrator is so low that if you have any background noise it will probably dissolve in the noise. I could not hear the story despite trying hard.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Katherine Walcot
  • 05-27-18

Couldn't deal with the narration

I was really looking forward to this but just couldn't get along with the narration. Restarted twice but just couldn't get to grips with it. A real pity. Have downloaded another version which I hope will be better.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-14-18

crap

worst book tape ever so shit so gay so sad do not bother ho har