A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

Large Print - 2011
Average Rating:
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The immortal novel of the French Revolution tells the story of the courageous Sydney Carton, a man ready to give his life for a woman who will never be his.
Publisher: Waterville, ME : Kennebec Large Print, [2011]
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781410436672
Branch Call Number: LP DICK
Characteristics: 607 p

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t
TheeAvebury
Oct 31, 2017

The best novel written by Dickens. It is a love story and history lesson, which forces you to ask "what would I do in similar circumstances".

m
Mohammad_Khan
Aug 12, 2017

A beautifully written book by Charles Dickens

s
sdyreng
Mar 24, 2017

This book made me fall in love with Charles Dickens' books.

k
krystal87j
Dec 09, 2016

I enjoy reading this book when I want to immerse myself in the English language. Dickens' prose is beautifully laid out and captivating. However, I find I cannot enjoy this particular book without giving it my undivided attention so I can soak in the author's decriptors in order to fully understand the characters and various settings.

r
rab1953
Aug 12, 2016

I love reading Dickens, but I did not love reading this book. I doubt that it’s in the curriculum any more, but I can understand a blogger who recently wrote that he avoided Dickens for years after being forced to read it. True, it opens and closes on two of the most memorable, and quoted, sentences in English fiction, and it contains some stirring scenes. There’s also a satirical tone in many places, comparing the grandiose pretensions of the English nobility with the imperiousness of the French. The tone initially suggests some of Dickens’ usual humour, but it is far more bitter than usual with Dickens. This turns into the deep pathos of a broken man and his daughter, to be followed by the triumph of love (both familial and romantic), reversal and finally rescue and transcendence. The transcendence is big here.
But it’s a general humourlessness and shallowness that makes the book hard to read for me. Dombey and Sons, the last Dickens novel I read, was perhaps equally somber in tone, but it had sympathetic characters and psychological depth. In Two Cities, the only sympathetic character is old Dr. Manette, wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille for 16 years and psychologically fragile when released. His friend, the banker Mr. Lorry, is surprisingly sympathetic as well, although a side character to the central events of the story. The other lead characters are so thinly drawn that they have no real presence. Lucie Manette is a typical Dickens heroine, devoting her whole life first to her father, then to her husband. Charles has apparently renounced his French title in disgust, but we know little about him beyond his nobility of character and courage. Both are idealized stereotypes that I never felt any connection to, so when they first find happiness, then tragedy, I found myself wishing they’d just get on with it and bring the story to its end.
Even the minor characters, usually so interesting in Dickens, hold little interest. Jerry Cruncher and his young son seem to be there only to entertain the English working class readers, but they add nothing to the storyline. The French nobles seem to be deliberately drawn as indistinguishable archetypes, while the French revolutionaries are so exaggerated that they are more like scary nineteenth-century cartoons than even Dickens’ usual figures. Dickens, while acknowledging their oppression, portrays the residents of the countryside, and particularly the St Antoine district of Paris, as terrifyingly out of control, insane and diseased. This contrasts starkly with the orderliness of Lorry’s good English business sense, and the common sense of Miss Pross, Lucie’s nursemaid and friend.
Was this because Dickens’ abhorrence and fear of the French revolutions, writing just 10 years after the wide-spread upheavals of 1848, drove him to choose to demonize everything about it? The novel seems to be as much a propaganda piece against working-class revolution, and in support of British stability, as it is a paean to true love and noble virtue. Unfortunately, this thought makes me suspect many of Dickens’ other popular works. Dickens is known for his depictions of the oppressed and impoverished life of the English working class, and this is reflected here in his many references to the extreme poverty and privation of the French peasants and labourers. But the reaction that he depicts in France is so ignorant and brutal, and unbalanced, that it appears to be a warning to English readers not to do anything rash in trying to overcome the conditions he depicts in England. The novel comes across as profoundly conservative and reactionary, and makes me wonder about his actual political leanings (particularly after becoming a wealthy property owner himself). Perhaps the most charitable reading of the novel is as a warning to the English upper classes to avoid oppressing the working class so much that they have no alternative but revolution.

e
erica5551983
Jul 17, 2016

MY Thoughts:
-its 1st page is so amazing that I have to make it a top classic
-it is amazing how society has remained the same in so many aspects throughout time
-felt that Dickens can tell a love story but for some reason the romance will never be completely gripping to the reader as opposed to the rest of the book
-it was a great classic that left me wanting to discuss it with people around me just so they could know how amazing what I read just was.

l
Lego15
Mar 23, 2016

Great book! A beautiful ending!

Kereesa Nov 17, 2015

The last act is amazing.

k
ktpaziak
Feb 19, 2015

The story was one of bravery and love. Though a bit slow at first with backstory, it was hard to put it down the 2nd half!

r
Rainman
Jan 09, 2015

No wills of war can be more cruel than those of the victors. This is revealed quite clearly in Dickens' classic Tale.

"Who kissed La Guillotine, looked through the little window and sneezed into the sack. It was the sign of the regeneration of the human race. It superseded the Cross."

Have we become more civilized since the 18th century, or could we yet drive each other to such madness today? This is a moving, compelling read.

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r
Rainman
Jan 09, 2015

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death;--the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!

r
Rainman
Jan 09, 2015

Then tell Wind and Fire where to stop, but don't tell me.

e
EKOrr
May 21, 2014

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

v
VampireHunterD
Nov 24, 2012

“All through it, I have known myself to be quite undeserving. And yet I have had the weakness, and have still the weakness, to wish you to know with what a sudden mastery you kindled me, heap of ashes that I am, into fire- a fire, however, inseparable in its nature from myself, quickening nothing, lighting nothing, doing no service, idly burning away.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

é
étoile
Mar 27, 2011

"It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known." - Sydney Carton

p
pie
Jun 25, 2008

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.

p
pie
Jun 25, 2008

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.

p
pod
Mar 22, 2008

They were the best of times. They were the worst of times.

Age Suitability

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c
christinajenkins4
May 30, 2015

christinajenkins4 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Expectations
Dec 21, 2014

Expectations thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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NaomiYoshi
Nov 25, 2014

NaomiYoshi thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 99 and 99

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VampireHunterD
Nov 24, 2012

VampireHunterD thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

EuSei Nov 09, 2012

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

é
étoile
Mar 27, 2011

étoile thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

p
pie
Jun 25, 2008

pie thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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