A Tale of Two Cities

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A Tale of Two Cities

by Charles Dickens

Random House Publishing Group | June 1, 1984 | Mass Market Paperbound

A Tale of Two Cities is rated 4.2 out of 5 by 5.
With his sublime parting words, "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done..." Sidney Carton joins that exhalted group of Dickensian characters who have earned a permanent place in the popular literary imagination. His dramatic story, set against the volcanic fury of the French Revolution and pervaded by the ominous rumble of the death carts trundling toward the guillotine, is the heart-stirring tale of a heroic soul in an age gone mad. A masterful pageant of idealism, love, and adventure -- in a Paris bursting with revolutionary frenzy, and a London alive with anxious anticipation -- A Tale of Two Cities is one of Dickens''s most energetic and exciting works.

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 416 pages, 6.88 × 4.18 × 0.93 in

Published: June 1, 1984

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553211765

ISBN - 13: 9780553211764

Found in: Fiction and Literature
Appropriate for ages: 14 - 17

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Real Classic Some times the word classic can be over used in our society, but not in the case of this book. This shows what can happen when crazy people are running the government, in any country, in any century. It does not matter if they call them selves communist, republicans, democrats, socialist, monarchist, if they are crazy enough your in trouble. And that's even more true if your poor. Charles Dickens does a great job of pointing this out. This is a book for all time periods. For example, this relates to Hitler in Germany of the 30's and 40's, as well as Russia under Stalin. See what I mean about crazy people running a government? Here's a little bit of trivia. This book was based on a nonfiction book, That Charles read about the French Revolution. Sorry, I do not remember the tittle of the book.
Date published: 2013-06-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Charles Dickens is one of the greatest writers ever lived. This was my first Dicken's novel and was convinced upon completion that it would not be my last. Having done some background reading on the French Revolution was very helpful as well as having an edition that provided endnotes to shed light on the many historical references and nuances that Dicken's masterfully places throughout the book. Without this help, I would not have have understood or experienced the full depth of this story or the message that Dicken's conveys which is one more concerned about the human response rather than the historical impact of the French Revolution. This is not an eaasy casual read. My reccomendation is to do your homework on the French Revolution, reread portions when necessary (don't skim),try to capture and understand the many nuances and references, and most of all savor the wonderful writing. Do this and you will be astounded with recognition of why Charles Dickens is one of the greatest writers ever lived.
Date published: 2009-09-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Ugh! Take your bourgeois thumb and stick it... A painful beast of a book. It took me five attempts to get past page one hundred, and when I finally did break that barrier I pressed on until the very end so that I didn't have to suffer ever again. Dickens is a problem for me. I admit it freely. There was a time, many years ago, when I was a fan. I read Great Expectations for the first time in grade four, and I was in love with the book and Dickens. And I imagine that some part of my social consciousness, which wasn't a gift from my parents, was planted with the seeds of Dickens. Over the years, though, Dickens and I have grown apart. I don't mean that I have "outgrown" him in any sort of condescending manner. It's not the sort of thing I expect anyone else to do, nor is it something that I blame fully on Dickens. No, we've grown apart as many couples do when one person changes through life and experience and the other remains constant. I have become a radical over the years, and Dickens...well, he's still as bourgeois left as ever, and we're not compatible any more. He venerates the comforts of the middle class; he expounds the virtues of law and order and charity; he attacks the indignities of the abuses of power but only offers imaginary methods for overcoming them, mythologizing the bourgeoisie's ability to overthrow the things that ail us; he vilifies those who seek more radical solutions; and, whether he admits it or not, he still believes in the superiority of nobility and noble blood. So when he starts to attack the revolutionaries in Paris and uses it to illustrate the "superiority" of civilized English behavior, when Dickens' moral soapbox weighs heavier than his plot, I begin to tune out of his lecture, and A Tale of Two Cities makes me increasingly angry from page to page. I recognize Dickens' talent. I still love his prose. And I get why people love this book, and maybe even why you do, kind reader, but I can't stand it (and I am finding it increasingly difficult to like any of his work anymore). I may burn this someday. But I have fully annotated the version I own and while I can burn the words of others (it's the radical in me), my lovely inner narcissist simply can't burn words of my own (unless it is for catharsis). So A Tale of Two Cities will likely survive on my shelf until I die, mocking me from its high perch in my office, whispering that a catharsis that may never come just may be necessary.
Date published: 2009-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional & Powerful It is a really moving story set during the French Revolution, which explores themes about human nature and second chances. Sidney Carton is an amazing and haunting character, who reminds you that although you know someone you never know what they are feeling on the inside. The book starts off a little slowly, but as it goes on it becomes engaging and very hard to put down. It reminds you what life is all about and also what people are capable of: great evil and great good. This version is presented in the original language as written by Dickens, and although a bit harder to understand than modern english, it really adds something to the vision. The ending is very powerful and will stick with you for a long time.
Date published: 2006-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Classic "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." This is the sentence that begins this fabulous book by Charles Dickens. Set during the French Revolution, two men are in love with the same woman. They look the same, but have two opposite personalities. The two men split up in order to get the girl of there dreams. Which one will convince Lucie, that he is the man for her?
Date published: 2006-08-02

– More About This Product –

A Tale of Two Cities

by Charles Dickens

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 416 pages, 6.88 × 4.18 × 0.93 in

Published: June 1, 1984

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553211765

ISBN - 13: 9780553211764

About the Book

Dickens's classic tale of the French Revolution brings to life a time of terror and treason, and chronicles a starving people who rise in frenzy and hate to overthrow a corrupt and decadent regime. This 150th anniversary edition features a new Afterword. Revised reissue.

From the Publisher

With his sublime parting words, "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done..." Sidney Carton joins that exhalted group of Dickensian characters who have earned a permanent place in the popular literary imagination. His dramatic story, set against the volcanic fury of the French Revolution and pervaded by the ominous rumble of the death carts trundling toward the guillotine, is the heart-stirring tale of a heroic soul in an age gone mad. A masterful pageant of idealism, love, and adventure -- in a Paris bursting with revolutionary frenzy, and a London alive with anxious anticipation -- A Tale of Two Cities is one of Dickens''s most energetic and exciting works.

From the Jacket

With his sublime parting words, "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done..." Sidney Carton joins that exhalted group of Dickensian characters who have earned a permanent place in the popular literary imagination. His dramatic story, set against the volcanic fury of the French Revolution and pervaded by the ominous rumble of the death carts trundling toward the guillotine, is the heart-stirring tale of a heroic soul in an age gone mad. A masterful pageant of idealism, love, and adventure -- in a Paris bursting with revolutionary frenzy, and a London alive with anxious anticipation -- "A Tale of Two Cities is one of Dickens''s most energetic and exciting works.

About the Author

Charles Dickens was born in a little house in Landport, Portsea, England, on February 7, 1812. The second of eight children, he grew up in a family frequently beset by financial insecurity. At age eleven, Dickens was taken out of school and sent to work in London backing warehouse, where his job was to paste labels on bottles for six shillings a week. His father John Dickens, was a warmhearted but improvident man. When he was condemned the Marshela Prison for unpaid debts, he unwisely agreed that Charles should stay in lodgings and continue working while the rest of the family joined him in jail. This three-month separation caused Charles much pain; his experiences as a child alone in a huge city–cold, isolated with barely enough to eat–haunted him for the rest of his life. When the family fortunes improved, Charles went back to school, after which he became an office boy, a freelance reporter and finally an author. With Pickwick Papers (1836-7) he achieved immediate fame; in a few years he was easily the post popular and respected writer of his time. It has been estimated that one out of every ten persons in Victorian England was a Dickens reader. Olive Twist (1837), Nicholas Nickleby (1838-9) and The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-41) were huge successes. Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-4) was less so, but Dickens followed it with his unforgettable, A Christmas Carol (1843), Bleak House (1852-3), Hard Times (1854) and Little Dorrit (1855-7) reveal his deepening concern for th
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From Our Editors

The timeless classic of love and sacrifice during the French Revolution! With insight and compassion, Dickens casts his tale with such memorable characters as the evil Madame Defarge and her knitted patterns of death, the gentle Lucie Manette and her unfailing devotion to her downtrodden father, and the courageous Sydney Carton, who would give his own love--and life--for a woman that would never be his.

Editorial Reviews

“[A Tale of Two Cities] has the best of Dickens and the worst of Dickens: a dark, driven opening, and a celestial but melodramatic ending; a terrifyingly demonic villainess and (even by Dickens’ standards) an impossibly angelic heroine. Though its version of the French Revolution is brutally simplified, its engagement with the immense moral themes of rebirth and terror, justice, and sacrifice gets right to the heart of the matter . . . For every reader in the past hundred and forty years and for hundreds to come, it is an unforgettable ride.”–from the Introduction by Simon Schama

Appropriate for ages: 14 - 17

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