A Tale of Two Cities

“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities  is 16th novel of Charles Dickens published in 1859. It’s set (as title tells) in two cities: London and Paris and it tells the strory through two families, English one and French once.  It’s a tale of chaos, espionage and adventure before and during the French Revolution.

I love how many characters this book has compared to its length.  There are gravediggers, puppet lawyer, kind hearted banker and great main characters: mysterious Charles Darnay, Sydney Carton and woman Lucie Manette whom both of the main characters love. I also like the language and how characters use French idioms: “What the devil you do in that galley there?

“You have been the last dream of my soul.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

“Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; it rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapable of his own help and his own happiness, sensible of the blight on him, and resigning himself to let it eat him away.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

I really enjoyed reading this book. I love both cities London and Paris and books around French revolution have always been my favorite ones. Also, I tried not to mention it but somehow I thought of Les Misérables when re-reading this.

I’d give this book 4/5 stars.

How-To Read A Tale of Two Cities

1. You can find it for free in most languages in Public Domain or Project Gutenberg. You can also listen audio version of the novel. Moreover, you can have a look at original manuscript of the novel, not that it is readable.. As for hard copy, find one with pictures, it makes reading more entertaining.
2. It’s descriptive, dramatic theatrical, ironic. If you have thing for French Revolution, go for it. It takes quite much concentration to focus on this book.
3. It has nice length, about 500 pages. It’s one of the shorter books of Dickens.
4. If you are not native English speaker,  and planning to read it in English, you might want to read this in electronic form and with device that has dictionary so you can look up the words.
5. Ladies, this book might have one of your favorite male characters ever. Sydney Carton.
6. If you don’t like Dickens or find his novels hard to approach, try reading at least 100 pages of Tale of Two Cities before you quit. Same goes if you are required to read this book in school. Don’t give up. People say it’s single book they have enjoyed reading in high school.

Buy the book: A Tale of Two Cities (Vintage Editions) on Amazon

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16 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Cities

  1. Yvo says:

    I actually started reading A Tale Of Two Cities at the beginning of this month, but I wasn’t in the mood for a ‘heavy’ read and put it on hold… Your review made me want to pick it up again and continue; it’s not an easy read but with enough concentration it should be enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anastasia says:

      :) True, I had difficulties with it as well. I tend to read books in English on my ereader because it has dictionary. The atmosphere is different when you read book in its original language :) Thank you for commenting!

      Like

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