Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

Title: A Tale of Two Cities
Author: Charles Dickens
Pages: 489
Published: 2003 (first published 1859)
Challenges: The Classics Club, Chunkster, Historical Fiction, Blogger Summer Reading
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Classics, Literature
Edition: Paperback
Source: Personal Library

Description: After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine. (from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I don't know why but this has become one of my favourite novels; I think it has partly to do with the historical detail, but it probably it is more likely due to the fact that Dickens uses language so well and allows the reader to be drawn into the story as much as possible.  So when a readalong was organized by a blogger that I follow, I had to definitely do it. 

One thing that I liked about the book is how Dickens draws the reader into the world that he creates in the days leading up to the French Revolution and even the one during; it also doesn't hurt that the book is a really good example of how detail can add to the overall story and how it has the ability to make the experience of reading that more enjoyable.

While the vast majority of the book is well done, I did find that the last little bit of the book a bit rushed, but I will give Dickens the benefit of the doubt on that one, as there is too much of the book is too well done that it would be nitpicking on a book that in all respects is well-written and has a lot of amazing detail in it.

Bottom line: Dickens does a really good job of describing London and Paris during the French Revolution, but also builds up the story so that one gets a pretty good build up to the events of the story.  Highly recommended.

Rating: 5/5

Pages for 2014: 10150
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