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Hardcover A Tale of Two Cities Book

ISBN: 0866119779

ISBN13: 9780866119771

A Tale of Two Cities

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." With these famous words, Charles Dickens plunges the reader into the French Revolution. From the storming of the Bastille to the relentless drop of the guillotine, Dickens vividly captures the terror and upheaval of that tumultuous period. At the center is the novel's hero, Sydney Carton, a lazy, alcoholic attorney who, inspired by a woman, makes the supreme sacrifice. One of Dickens's most...

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

My favorite

Nice illustrations great story

Not the Charles Dickens original

I bought this to read as the original Dickens story. However when I began reading, the familiar lines were not there. It is a retelling of the Dickens tale, described as a "specially adapted version by Marion Leighton." If all Great Illustrated Classics are re-writes, then the published description should state that they are not the original author's writing.

One for the ages...

19th-century literature was less concerned with plausibility than literature of a later day. Thus, as characters are unmasked and their secret connections laid bare, the 21st-century reader may find the plot too convenient. A Tale of Two Cities is no different. Should one possess the capacity to look beyond this, however, one would find that Dickens has masterfully captured the bloodlust of the French Revolution from the both the bourgeoisie and plebeian views. One family must face the barbarous, slaughtering revolutionary mob to save a former aristocrat. The villains are supremely villainous, the hero supremely heroic. Dickens captures the squalor of backstreet Paris, the murderous obsession of its citizens, and the utter helplessness of it's erstwhile elite. It is all tied in a bundle too convenient, but suspension of belief is no hardship given the strength of the story told. A Tale of Two Cities is at one time a history lesson and a powerful literary achievement. It is, as such, required reading and easily merits 5 stars.


This book will forever be one of my favorites. Charles Dickens, in this book more than any of his others, twists and sews the plot in circles, keeping the reader in suspense and a state of unknowing--all while the tension continues to build to a climax. This is a story of so many topics. While the simple poor find themselves in a revolution attempting to oust the aristocracy for their wealth and luxury in a time of so little, Dickens focuses on the struggle of one man and his beloved friends trying to stay alive. And in their attempt, tales of utter hatred and cruelty take place at the hands of both sides of the Revolution, with the plot stuck between the two. Forgiveness, sacrifice, devotion....the novel strikes upon so many human emotions. And the ending--the ending you will never forget. It will impact and inspire you. Dickens has a beautiful style of writing for audiences. Reading the words at face value tells a terrific story. But Dickens always has a second or third meaning to them all. In this story he comments upon humanity itself, and in that way, we can all learn something of ourselves.I highly recommend this novel. Wow.

An Eighth Grader reviews A Tale of Two Cities

This book is incredible. I read it last year (in eighth grade), and I love it. I love Charles Dickens' language and style. Whoever is reading this may have little or no respect for my opinions, thinking that I am to young to comprehend the greatness of the plot and language, and I admit that I probably do not completely appreciate this classic piece of literature. I do read above a 12th grade level, although that doesn't count for a whole lot. It took me a while to get into this book. In fact, I dreaded reading it for a long time. But nearer to the end, I was drawn in by the poignant figure of a jackal, Sydney Carton. In his story I became enthralled with this book, especially his pitiful life. After I read and cried at Carton's transformation from an ignoble jackal to the noblest of persons, I was able to look back over the parts of the book that I had not appreciated, and realize how truly awesome they are. I learned to appreciate all of the characters, from Lucy Manette to Madame Defarge. I also was affected by all of the symbolism involved with both the French Revolution, and the nature of sinful man, no matter what the time or place. My pitiful review could never do justice to this great book, please don't be discouraged by my inability.

Incredible,Amazing,Outstanding-Deserves 100 stars at least!

This is an extraordinary book!But,it isn't surprising,after all it's Dickens.This book starts a little vaguely at first so it's hard to understand what's going on.Some might stop reading at this point-DON'T DO THAT!The book starts a few years before the French revolution and the story accelerates with every page,until it reaches the revolution itself.It tells the story of a few people that are strangers to each other at first but their destinies become entwined later on.I learned a lot about the French revolution at school,saw many movies,but nothing made me understand it better than this book!Dickens manages to put you right in the middle of it.You feel as if you see it with your own eyes,as if you experience it yourself.Dickens also does another amazing thing-he doesn't take sides!he describes the horrors of the aristocracy towards the common people to explain why the revolution took place but,he also describes the great horror of the revolution and what happens when anarchy and chaos take control.He shows how people become complete beasts and loose every trace of humanity,how insignificant life can become.The ending of the book is a great peace of literary work even though it's not very realistic ,it's still amasing.I recommend this book to everybody.

I loved it!

I just finished reading this book in my 9th grade Honors english class, and I have to say that I loved it! It was terribly boring at first--very hard reading! And Dickens IS VERY wordy; or, as my English teacher says, he likes to make his point and than slap you in the face with it several times until you get the point! Aside from that however, I really enjoyed the story. I laughed with my friends over the mini battle between Madame Defarge and Miss Pross, and cried with them at Sydney Carton's courage(he made Charles Darnay look meaningless). Although this classic story is by far one of the best I've ever read (Black Beauty is THE best), I don't think I could have enjoyed it nearly as much without my wonderful English teacher explaining every "difficult" section-- and pointing out the humor that Dickens uses, and which many overlook. To fully enjoy this book, you have to read "between the lines", but if you have the patience to do this, I gaurentee you will love this book as much as I do!
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