A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

Downloadable Audiobook - 2008 | Unabridged
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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 eighteen 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.
Publisher: Old Saybrook : Tantor Media, 2008
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781400126361
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 sound file)
Additional Contributors: Vance, Simon
OverDrive, Inc

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Feb 23, 2014

I found this book enjoyable though not gripping. And having listened to the audio book, I regret that I may have missed many of the literary elements.

Beth24 Dec 12, 2012

I completely agree with jwhite412. I have loved every Dickens novel I've ever read until this one. It did indeed feel like a sketchy parody of a Dickens novel with no characters fully realized.

jwhite412 Dec 15, 2011

Wow. I have found a Dickens’ novel that I DON'T LOVE; and it is one of his most frequently touted novels, too. My gut reaction to Tale is this: the novel felt like a draft of a Dickens’ novel that he never got back around to fleshing out. The characters were atypically sketchy – the most engaging by far being the minor characters of the rusty-fingered messenger Mr. Cruncher, the brave servant Miss Pross, and the evil-intended Madam DeFarge with her ubiquitous knitting. The protagonists are flat and lifeless. Most disappointingly, I felt cheated by the end. The doppelganger set-up was apparent to any intelligent reader from the beginning of the book, so the interest was in how it would play out - and what the reactions of the various characters would BE to Carton’s sacrifice. So there I was, on the edge of my seat in the last chapter… will Miss Pross get cleanly away? Do Lucie and Dr. Manette KNOW about the switch while they are yet fleeing the city, or as Carton planned it, do they still think the unconscious man is Carton himself? What will their reaction be when they learn of his selfless act? Does Dr. Manette ever recover his senses, or does he remain in mental darkness for the rest of his days? We don’t know. The book just ends. Food for thought: does the title stand for the two cities of Paris and London (which is barely visited in the text), or the two figurative cities of the Paris BEFORE and the Paris AFTER the revolution? Themes to note: 1775 on forward, the misery of the peasants, the cruelty of the ruling class, the French Revolution, the horrific indifference of La Guillotine (the goal of one small town being “60 heads a day” leading to random false accusations just to meet that goal), false imprisonment, hidden papers found in prison later condemning a man, Doppleganger, Voluntary sacrifice of self for another.

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