Friday, May 13, 2011

Book Review and Blog Tour: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Version Read:  Public Domain Books (December 1, 2010)

Original Publication:  1859


I downloaded a free copy of this book from to my Kindle
Summary from Goodreads:
'Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death; -- the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!'  -- A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
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.

My Thoughts:
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, A Tale of Two Cities has been the classic that I have wanted to read, started to read, but yet never fully read. I will say that no more!

Do I like historical fiction? Most definitely

Do I like stories about love triangles? Roger that

Do I like tales of good overcoming evil? Uh huh

Do I like stories where I learn something? Yep

Do I like plot lines that take me somewhere that I didn't expect? Can I get a Hell yes?!

I finally finished it - but, why oh why was I so scared? A Tale of Two Cities started off slow - yes, even the fifth or sixth time in my life, it was still slow. But I was committed, and I pushed through, and then I was happy. The language was sometimes difficult and required more concentration than my tired brain could take in the late hours of the evening. (It was then that I was thankful for the built-in dictionary offered by my Kindle.)

Dickens was smart and talented - but I'm not telling you anything that hasn't been said for 160 years. I felt the fear and the hatred that was conveyed about the French Revolution. I experienced the pain of the characters as they were rejected, imprisoned, and misunderstood. I really liked this book. I feel smarter and a wee bit more sophisticated for having read it.

I'm thankful that I didn't decide to make you suffer through do a comparison of Jane Austen to Charles Dickens. For me, A Tale of Two Cities cannot be compared to the love affair that I had with Pride and Prejudice . They are so different that I cannot stand them beside one another for evaluation. I'll let them keep there own unique place in my reading history.

I did it - A Tale of Two Cities crossed of my reading bucket list..I am so glad that I finished this book!

Here are a few others that took on A Tale of Two Cities for the tour:
The Story Girl (May 9)
The Time of Your Life (May 16)
Bread Crumb Reads (May 18)


  1. I have never read this (except the first sentence which everyone knows). I need to start reading Dickens again. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  2. I love Dickens but for some reason have always been scared off by this one. Sounds like I need to get over it!

  3. I don't actually see a review...? Has it not been inserted yet? :D Or did it accidentally get deleted during the Great Blogspot Downage?

  4. Ann and Lisa - I would definitely recommend this one!

    Anastasia - thanks so much for the note. The Blogger gremlins had swallowed the review. I've corrected now!

  5. Yay! I'm glad you had such a good time with ATOTC. Plus, I always like the side effect of feeling smarter after having read a really good book-- I feel that way every time I finish a Virginia Woolf book, actually.