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A Tale of Two Cities Audiobook

A Tale of Two Cities

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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times'; so the recording begins and ends with some of Dickens' best-known words, and between those lines is every Briton's view of the worst excesses of the French Revolution.

Set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution, the audiobook tells the story of a French doctor who is imprisoned for 18 years in the Bastille in Paris. Upon his release, he moves to London with his daughter, Lucie, whom he had never met. She marries but there is conflict between her husband and the people who decades earlier caused her father's imprisonment.

Set against the backdrop of the conditions that led up to the French Revolution, it depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralised by the French aristocracy and the brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries during the Reign of Terror, towards the former aristocrats.

Dickens was one of eight children from a very poor family, with his father eventually being sent to debtor's prison. Dickens began work at the age of 12 to help clear the family debt. It was this troublesome childhood that provided him with much of the material for his novels and lent him a sympathetic voice for the poor.

Narrator Biography

Martin Jarvis is one of Britain's most admired actors. His audiobook output is legendary. He is described in Vanity Fair as 'the Olivier of audiobooks' and 'genius of the Spoken Word' in the LA Times. Award-winning recordings range from titles by Charles Dickens, P.G. Wodehouse and Michael Frayn to thrillers by Jeffrey Archer, Wilbur Smith, Ian Fleming and Dick Francis.

He has starred in many acclaimed West End and National Theatre productions and received the Theatre World Award as Jeeves on Broadway. Numerous UK television appearances encompass Law & Order, Doctor Who, Endeavour, Inspector Morse and The Forsyte Saga. In America: Murder She Wrote, Numb3rs, Cosmos and Walker, Texas Ranger. Films include Titanic, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Wreck-It Ralph. Videogames: Alfred in Batman, Finn McMissile in Cars. Martin was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (768 )
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Performance
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  •  
    N. Dandridge 10-17-08 Member Since 2010

    books & coffee

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "There's a Reason Dickens is so Famous"

    I hadn't read Dickens since high school but now, 30 years later, decided to give him a try. The man really is an amazing author with wonderful characters, great plot and pacing, and a sense of humor. I will definitely read more of his books. The narrator of the audiobook made it even more enjoyable. This is the first time I have sought out a narrator's name so that I can find more of his books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Pittsboro, NC USA 10-15-08
    Amazon Customer Pittsboro, NC USA 10-15-08 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Gorgeous"

    Wonderful narration. I haven't heard many audio books, but it's hard to imagine this one being done any better. Rich characters and scenes, precisely drawn by Dickens.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicky Gleason Tumwater, WA, United States 06-24-07
    Nicky Gleason Tumwater, WA, United States 06-24-07 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    98
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    "Highly recommended"

    Loved this book on audio -- one of my favorite audio book experiences, a very pleasant surprise. Took me an hour or two of listening to become completely hooked, but after that I literally couldn't put it down -- stayed up till all hours to hear the final passages. The only audio book that ever made me cry. Just lovely.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guy virginia beach, VA, USA 08-01-06
    Guy virginia beach, VA, USA 08-01-06 Member Since 2011
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    "Great classic..."

    I tried to listen to this on CD a few years ago, but I would find my attention wandering. I gave it another try, and I'm glad I did. The narrator is wonderful, and this is a book I will listen to again in the future.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim oakville, ON, Canada 05-21-06
    Tim oakville, ON, Canada 05-21-06
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    "Very well read"

    Martin Jarvis does an excellent job narrating this title. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas INDIANAPOLIS, IN, United States 05-06-17
    Thomas INDIANAPOLIS, IN, United States 05-06-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Martin Jarvis's delivery makes this the best audio version."

    Martin Jarvis's delivery makes this the best audio version of Tale of Two Cities. With a work that's been so frequently reproduced the reader is the relevant variable and Jarvis is the best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Toney, AL United States 11-08-16
    Mark Toney, AL United States 11-08-16 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exceptional"

    Amazing book - it was intense, terrifying, while at the same time it was one of the most poignant books I have ever read. And in the end it was uplifting. Many times, the classics are not really classic but rather they are just books that were written long ago. This one truly is classic. The narration by Martin Jarvis is wonderful. The pitiful situations that the characters all endure is terribly sad and gives some insight into the actions they all take at the pivotal moment in the book. Dickens probably truly cared about humanity and the human situation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.A. Sabangan 11-03-16 Member Since 2016

    Free-spirited creative devouring and devising books. One word at a time.

    ratings
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    8
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    "Masterful Work Brilliantly Delivered!"

    Martin Jarvis brings out the heart of the story by not only narrating with a solid understanding of this classic but also by using distinct voices for each character. Worth the listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caleb 05-19-16
    Caleb 05-19-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    16
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    "I'll want to go back and read it"

    The story is great and the performance is excellent. If you want to listen to A Tale of Two Cities, I'd recommend listening to this version. However, I had never read the book on paper, and now I think that I will. It's rather long and can be a bit convoluted. Not in a bad way at all, just that I would have liked to have been able to go back a few pages or chapters and refreshed myself on who a character was or what event the narrator was referencing. Of course, this is a trade-off for any audiobook. I just think AToTC is just worth going back over more than others sometimes are.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy 05-16-16
    Andy 05-16-16
    ratings
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    3
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    "fabulous narration "

    Martin Jarvis' voices completely brought the characters and story to life. Often lending a merciful touch of comic relief to this rather somber novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • David
    Brighton
    5/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sublime"

    A wonderful story that is unenriched by a masterful performance from Martin Jarvis. One of the best audiobooks I have heard.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    LEICESTER, United Kingdom
    1/23/13
    Overall
    "Brutal and gripping story brilliantly narrated"

    I listened to this straight after listening to Pickwick Papers (another great reading by David Timson) and you would hardly believe they were both written by the same author. As well as being a great story it was also a great education as to how things were at that time and encouraged me to do more research of the period. I am so impressed by the amazing talent of Martin Jarvis. I've listened to him read, or I should say perform, Hard Times and Great Expectations and he really makes it an experience to remember. I just can't work out how he does it, surely he doesn't just sit down and read it off live...there must be overdubs and editing surely?!...it's brilliant anyway!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Joanna
    Richmond, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Delightful"

    I love books. Love to hold them, feel and smell the pages so I thought I would not like audio books. I gave this a try because of a promotion and now I'm converted. This particular book came to life in the expert hands of the narrator who managed to 'play' so many characters successfully. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Welsh Mafia
    North Cornelly
    6/28/08
    Overall
    "By which all others are judged....."

    A cultural heritage which places the Victorian novel at the centre of all we do and the trained voice as the medium through which it is delivered....it's a shame that we are giving this away and our kids aren't being taught this stuff at school isn't it? In our day it was one Dickens per year in the class-room, Martin Jarvis as Uriah Heep on the telly of a Sunday tea time and an illustrated version on the bookshelf in the parlour.
    Now look at us....Facebook, MySpace and Britain's Got Talent...nice to escape back into those characters, that story and most of all that voice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • MicT
    Northamptonshire
    8/12/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really great!"

    Brilliant narration and an excellent story. I really enjoyed this. It was a really interesting view of the French Revolution and the tumultuous times, as well as a great story with a clever plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hartles
    7/19/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Class from start to finish"

    It doesn't get more firmly in the book shop section of classics than this and the performance was beautifully done and fully appropriate for this glorious book.
    Utter class from page to performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr W.
    7/14/17
    Overall
    "Excellent story telliing"

    Excellent and so brilliantly read. Dickens makes such good reading . always dramatic and an d a joy

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Theresa
    5/26/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant book magnificently read"

    I tried 2 other Audible versions of this book before finding this - they were drearily read but this one is excellent- fully doing justice to the story. Having a Dickens book read aloud to you is as he intended so this great performance is a joy.
    The tale has adventure and everyday life; sadness and humour; evil and goodness. Dickens brings out his best prose which at times is more like poetry.
    I thought I was going to endure this book, expecting its sombre and violent setting in the time of the French Revolution to make it a sad tale, but although it conveys that well, there is also tenderness, love, joy, heroism and a good deal to make me smile. Dickens at his best I think, having read six or seven other of his novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • potato head
    3/23/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "perfect"

    Martin Jarvis is the perfect reader for dickins - very funny but very moving- excellent

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul Parkins
    2/8/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quite dull, wish I hadn't bothered"

    Well perfermed. Some good description at times, and it finishes well, but the story is dull. I guess Dickens isn't my thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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