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Editorial Reviews

Among the most talented and influential voices to grace the audiobook format, Shakespearean actor Frank Muller delivers an electric performance of a story that demands it. Urgency and tumult seem to bellow forth from the indefatigable Muller as he untangles the web of conflict that drives Dickens' historical epic. The French aristocracy’s self-satisfied arrogance is set in contrast with the outraged militance of the downtrodden peasantry. Muller gives a unique voice to each member of the warring classes while nevertheless betraying the selfish motives that bind them all. Dickens' competing lovers, the aristocratic Charles Darnay and his jealous doppelgänger, Sydney Carton, are by turn endowed with desperate passion and tender selflessness as they grapple with historical forces beyond their control.

Publisher's Summary

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." So begins this classic, one of the most beloved novels of all time. Charles Dickens brings the French Revolution to life through such vivid characters as Charles Darnay, the Old Doctor, Sydney Carton and Lucy Manette. The action peaks with the storming of the Bastille, the dreaded symbol of government authority. And the blade of La Guillotine falls again...
(P)1986 by Recorded Books, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Absolute literature...and a page turner at that!

This is my first time reading/listening to this famous novel. I was amazed at the gracious style that flowed and was so descriptive yet kept you entertained all the while. These characters became my friends and enemies and were a part of me for the 2 weeks it took to finish this in my car. It has all the excitement of a best seller drama yet at the end of the novel I was changed. That is literature.

The narator is absolutely excellent. His personas assumed throughout the peice were consistent and superb. This is a 10/10 and a must get!

38 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ian
  • Farnborough, United Kingdom
  • 11-04-07

Beautiful writing, beautifully read.

A great listen. Dickens writes a fascinating window into a facinating time in history and the events are enlivened and given scale by the characters he draws. Like all Dicken's work, there is a lot of scene setting and build up but the wait is worthwhile.

The narration is clear and the characterisation is kept at the level where it assists understanding rather than getting in the way.

A very educational and enjoyable listen.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Loved this book

One of the best books I have ever read. I started it years ago and couldn't get into it. Now, after learning a lot more about the French Revolution, I got it. Dickens is hard to beat as an author - so beautifully written! But the moral of the story is just so powerful. I recommend this to everyone who has any idea about the Fr. Rev., and if you don't, find out so you can enjoy this book. It is a classic for a reason.

I love Frank Muller, one of the best narrators out there. But I also have this book read by Martin Jarvis who is also very good, and actually has a little lighter quality to his voice, which is sometimes helpful in this rather dark novel..

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I first read this book in high-school, or should I say I first 'tried' to read this book in high-school. My young mind was unprepared, mostly because it had no patience for victorian-stlye long-winded descriptives of everything. Listening to it was a completely different experience. It's wonderful to listen to a narration from a reader who distiguishes the characters with his voice, and also understands the nuances necessary in what each character is saying. This is much easier than reading it first, then trying to figure out what the intent was.
These characters were unforgettable, and this work will now be with me forever. If it's true that a book absorbed becomes part of your soul, then I would highly recommend this book to anybody. Dickens is fabulous, and I look forward to downloading more of his books in the future. Thanks Audible, for making this classical author more accessible to this reader/listener!

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Frank
  • Portland, OR, United States
  • 03-23-07

Wonderfully narrated

Throw me in with the lot that truly appreciated Frank Muller's narration. Audiobooks are a great convenience. In this case I belive that Muller's narration is superior to actually reading the book on paper.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Very nice voice, yes. But like another reviewer I caught my mind wandering and had to pull myself back, or rewind frequently. I do plan to look up this narrator's audiobooks - there might be other material he's better suited for. With him, Dickens' sober tone gets turned a notch sarcastic, and I find myself listening hard to discern the real 'emotion' of many sentences. As for the content - you can't help but savor Dickensonian phrasing. I'm actually going to read the book at home, to soak it right up (and, well, to compensate for the odd word my ears can't pick up through the narrator's accent).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jim
  • Portland, TX, USA
  • 03-15-07


This is everything an audiobook should be. A perfect performance of a great novel. Everything is perfect, pauses, accents. Nothing could be improved. Highly recommended. Jim Dandy sez "check it out".

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bill
  • Middlebury, VT, United States
  • 07-08-05

One of the best books ever written...

And this is one of the best audiobooks ever performed.

If you know the book, this improves that knowledge. If you don't know the book, you're in for a real treat. This is a classic with some of the most richly drawn characters in literature.

An excellent book, an excellent audiobook.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Raleigh, NC, USA
  • 04-06-05

A classic read of a classic novel.

Muller's narration is a true, true treasure. He made this novel really come to life. I cannot overstate how wonderful Muller's narration is, or the depth of emotion expressed by Dickens in this novel.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ivan
  • Valrico, FL, USA
  • 03-29-03

Download high quality

If you are downloading this audiobook choose the highest quality available. The reader is very good but the accent and voices cannot be understood unless you choose a high quality format (3 or 4).

About the book itself, what can one say about Dickens. Although the thought occurs; if Dicken's Tale was being published for the first time today, would it be significantly edited? After all, when was the last time you read an author that took 3 paragraphs to explain that a man was wearing a blue hat.

Naturally they are 3 excellent paragraphs with metaphors galore. And I have to believe that much of the rambling helps to create the characters. Especially when I think about the last Dickens book I read, I don't remember the story nearly as much as the characters.

23 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • phantom lover
  • 12-23-12

frank muller is amazing

frank muller is amazing.every audio book he has read really brings to life the characters and a tale of two cities is one of his's a bit heavy going, just to begin, with but stick with it because its well worth it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • BMW Adventure-Aprilia Scooter
  • 06-26-17

Audio Quality Muffled, Rendering Telling Hopeless

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Great Story, but sadly Audio from 1986 is muffled beyond any hope of Enjoyment.The 1987 Great Expectations is fine, & that is what you sample in the bundle. Audible must clean this Recording as it sounds like a bootleg tape.

What other book might you compare A Tale of Two Cities [Recorded Books] to, and why?

Worst recorded Sound Ever experienced from Audible.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

One can barely hear him

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger at being Swindled by the 'bundle'

Any additional comments?

What happened to Quality Control???

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mr
  • 10-29-14


Would you listen to A Tale of Two Cities [Recorded Books] again? Why?

Definitely. Obviously it's a classic story but Muller, once again, delivers the goods on the narration. He brings it to life, gives it subtle emotion in the right places, and at other times sounds like he's channeling Richard Burton. It's wonderful stuff.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Tale of Two Cities [Recorded Books]?

The opening and closing sentences.

Which character – as performed by Frank Muller – was your favourite?

Madame Defarge. Not a lady to get on the wrong side of :)

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The closing passage.

Any additional comments?

Download it!