A Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensA Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities

byCharles Dickens

Mass Market Paperback | May 1, 1989


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.
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...
Title:A Tale of Two CitiesFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 6.87 × 4.16 × 0.9 inPublished:May 1, 1989Publisher:Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553211765

ISBN - 13:9780553211764

Appropriate for ages: 14 - 17

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok decent read but not his best
Date published: 2017-11-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not a Fan, But a Classic How does one criticize an author like Dickens? However, this book is not for many people in my opinion. If one were to own a copy of this book though, I would highly recommend this edition.
Date published: 2017-10-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from up and down For me this book flip flopped between being really good and really boring. Some parts kept me turning the pages and others left me waiting for it to end
Date published: 2017-10-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read Very good historical novel. The edition is also so beautiful.
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read Very good read on a very graphic historical tale. Best not to compare to Dickens other works and let it stand on its own,
Date published: 2017-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from True Events Brilliant look at the horrors of the French Revolution. This event which is claimed by the French to be a great event in their history was like many revolutions of the based based upon brutality and violence. Those who do not hold the views of the revolutionaries are viewed as expendable. Freedom means freedom for all not just for those who hold the correct political views. An insightful look at a violent political event.
Date published: 2017-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic I love the Penguin clothbounded editions and have been trying to get them all. Found this book exceptionally good and suspenseful, very well written. It has become a quick favourite and I had a hard time putting the book down, wanted to see what happened next. A great read for all ages and the quality is worth the price, though the print on the fabric will come off if scratched or wear off in your hands, like mine did. Still, I would buy it again.
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ok I'm a big Dickens fan, but was a bit disappointed in this because it was very predictable and lacked his trademark humor and rich characters. This wasn't as bad as Hard Times, but can't hold a candle to some of his greater works.
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing Only recently got into his writing, but I loved this and I'm so glad I bought it! Great price, great quality, great read.
Date published: 2016-11-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful novel! Dickens is always a pleasure to read. Great edition.
Date published: 2016-05-18
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

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