A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

 

General Fiction

A Tale of Two Cities (Signet Classics) A Tale of Two CitiesCharles Dickens; Signet Classics 1997WorldCat

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” This opening line from A Tale of Two Cities has been quoted innumerable times. It has been repeated in other books, on television, in movies. I have run across it everywhere, but had not read the book. So I finally read it, and am glad I did.

I knew the basic story of A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens is not one of my favorite authors, so I never got around to reading it. Some friends online finally convinced me to do so. I enjoyed A Tale of Two Cities although it’s not an exceptional book. The story of Sydney Carton shows how even the most unexpected person can change.

Charles Dickens’ characters were not well fleshed out, in my opinion.  Lucie, her father, and Charles Darnay are two dimensional people, for the most part. Charles does come to life once he decides to return to France. The setting and the French Revolution do come together well.  I was appalled at the atrocities the revolutionists committed after all their complaints against the aristocracy. After years of being downtrodden, their bloodthirst was extremely high.

Other characters received more attention than may have been necessary. Mr. Stryver helped save Darnay from being hanged as a spy in England. He also helped set up Carton’s character. Yet the scene with his intention to marry Lucie was extraneous and unnecessary. I hope that is left out of the abridged versions.

A Tale of Two Cities is a classic novel that stands the test of time. It is a good read, and gives great insight into human memories and reactions.

More books by Charles Dickens

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