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A Tale of Two Cities / Great Expectations

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Two of the most beloved novels in all of English literature-together in one extraordinary volume. A TALE OF TWO CITIES 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 the two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Two of the most beloved novels in all of English literature-together in one extraordinary volume. A TALE OF TWO CITIES 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 the 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 the guillotine. GREAT EXPECTATIONS A terrifying encounter with an escaped convict in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decaying Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor- these form a series of events that changes the orphaned Pip's life forever, and he eagerly abandons his humble origins to begin a new life as a gentleman. Dickens's haunting late novel depicts Pip's education and development through adversity as he discovers the true nature of his "great expectations." This deluxe paperback edition features *French flaps *rough-cut high-quality paper *complimentary front- and back-cover designs highlighting each novel and including foil and debossing


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Two of the most beloved novels in all of English literature-together in one extraordinary volume. A TALE OF TWO CITIES 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 the two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Two of the most beloved novels in all of English literature-together in one extraordinary volume. A TALE OF TWO CITIES 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 the 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 the guillotine. GREAT EXPECTATIONS A terrifying encounter with an escaped convict in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decaying Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor- these form a series of events that changes the orphaned Pip's life forever, and he eagerly abandons his humble origins to begin a new life as a gentleman. Dickens's haunting late novel depicts Pip's education and development through adversity as he discovers the true nature of his "great expectations." This deluxe paperback edition features *French flaps *rough-cut high-quality paper *complimentary front- and back-cover designs highlighting each novel and including foil and debossing

30 review for A Tale of Two Cities / Great Expectations

  1. 3 out of 5

    Selene

    A Tale of Two Cities 4 Stars Great Expectations 4 Stars

  2. 3 out of 5

    Neil Coulter

    I don't know if I'd read A Tale of Two Cities since 10th grade (I think it used to be required reading for a lot of us in school in those days). I remember enjoying it back then, but I wasn't prepared to return to it and find that it is such a brilliant, hilarious, exciting story. My wife, who has taught the novel a number of times in high school classes, suggested that we all read it together as bedtime stories. I thought at first that this was a crazy idea, because I know how complicated Dicke I don't know if I'd read A Tale of Two Cities since 10th grade (I think it used to be required reading for a lot of us in school in those days). I remember enjoying it back then, but I wasn't prepared to return to it and find that it is such a brilliant, hilarious, exciting story. My wife, who has taught the novel a number of times in high school classes, suggested that we all read it together as bedtime stories. I thought at first that this was a crazy idea, because I know how complicated Dickens's sentences can be, and how long it might take us to get through the book. And as we started it, I still thought it was kind of a crazy idea, because the beginning starts rather slowly and demands a lot of intuitive, contextual understanding. But once the characters and setting are established, the story quickly starts moving toward its inevitable conclusion, and it was extremely fun to share together in the evenings. I remembered the general outline of the narrative, but I'd forgotten many details along the way. In particular, I didn't remember the full character arc of Jerry Cruncher, nor did I remember the climactic confrontation between two very strong female characters. I doubt 10th-grade me understood Mr. Lorry very well, and now I find him fascinating and admirable. I did remember loving Sidney Carton, but looking back at him from middle age is even better than looking up to him from youth. Were we to have another son, I think "Sidney Carton" would be a great choice for his name. I really resonated with so much of Carton's struggle against darkness and hopelessness. I always find it hard to write anything worthwhile about a long and beautiful novel such as this one. I don't think I'll let so many years pass before revisiting A Tale of Two Cities.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    I have a confession. I have never read a classic. Yes, never. I've always found them intimidating and hard to read. I thought I wouldn't understand them and they would be boring. But I figured they had to be called "classics" for a reason. I just finished A Tale of Two Cities which is divided into 3 sections. I started out thinking "see this is why I never read classics" but by the end I was thinking "I can't believe it's taken me this long to read a classic, it was brilliant!" It did take me ti I have a confession. I have never read a classic. Yes, never. I've always found them intimidating and hard to read. I thought I wouldn't understand them and they would be boring. But I figured they had to be called "classics" for a reason. I just finished A Tale of Two Cities which is divided into 3 sections. I started out thinking "see this is why I never read classics" but by the end I was thinking "I can't believe it's taken me this long to read a classic, it was brilliant!" It did take me till the end of section 2 to finally figure out what the heck was going on and who everyone was. I was determined to finish this book and continued to give it a chance. After that point the book was hard to put down and lived up to how Jonathan Franzen described it: "a page turner". I'm glad Oprah chose this book, A Tale of Two Cities would have probably been the last classic I would have chosen to read. But I'm glad I did. It was a powerful story of ultimate love and self sacrifice as well as ultimate evil and horror. I liked the historical aspect of the book, learning about the French revolution. The suspense was intense and the story touches your soul in a way things rarely do. At the end tears were streaming down my face and blurring my eyes where I could hardly finish the book. Bravo, Charles Dickens, bravo.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    I have just finished A Tale of Two Cities and I am in awe of the story and the man that wrote it. The story of love, revolution, friendship,and sacrifice.It is a relevant today as it was on publication in serial form in 1859. Some things shouldn't be forgotten and this story is one of those things. The idea that the oppressed came to be the oppressors is a frighteningly real one. The power mad woman whose very words can bring someone to there death, The beautiful and loving wife one so far remove I have just finished A Tale of Two Cities and I am in awe of the story and the man that wrote it. The story of love, revolution, friendship,and sacrifice.It is a relevant today as it was on publication in serial form in 1859. Some things shouldn't be forgotten and this story is one of those things. The idea that the oppressed came to be the oppressors is a frighteningly real one. The power mad woman whose very words can bring someone to there death, The beautiful and loving wife one so far removed from the other but in this story of light and dark good and bad right and wrong there are many comparisons to be drawn. I cried at the end and during for the strength of some of the characters and the sheer will of others to do what needed to be done. I am rambling a little and will possibly edit this or do a full review in days to come. If not then all I can say is read this, savor the writing the the prose the wonderful literature that I along with countless millions have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy because though this was my first Dickens rest assured it will not be my last. ps Will read the second book in the volume soon I have Great Expectations of it :) Great Expectations This started off so well... In the first book we are introduced to Pip an orphan who is being 'brought up by hand' by his cruel to the extreme older sister and her blacksmith husband Joe who is lovely and tries to help Pip when his sister lays into him. The meeting in the graveyard between Pip and 'The prisoner' is a truely scary one and the writing so descriptive I read over it twice just because... Pip is in time summoned to the house of the rich if eccentric Miss Havisham where he meets the beautiful cold and proud Estella her adopted daughter. Miss Havisham is a wonderously described character the likes of which I had never read of before and I love her to bits,, I see all her things and her wedding paraphernalia all rotted and wasted. This first book of the 3 is a work of art for me. (I read in pictures) towards the end of part 1 Pip discovers he has been given some money by a secret benefactor and travels to London leaving his family, Estella and his old life behind with Great Expectations. The second part of the the story book 2 is about Pips life in London where he meets the Pocket family very odd and wittily described and his guardian Mr Jaggers but really not much happens in this part of the story.Pip is growing up making friends, deliberating on who his benefactor may be and not a lot else really. Part 3 was where the action is taken up again and we find out that his new life is the direct result of something that happened in part 1. I really enjoyed this book and I loved some of the characters Miss Havisham and the loony Mrs Pocket so obsessed with the fact that she thinks she is descended from royalty that all she does all day is read a book about titles and her plethora of children are not being brought up or dragged up but are literally 'tumbling up'. The book is long and has taken me an age to read due to holidays birthdays and life in general getting in the way. I will not say anymore about the end part other than it was as it should be and I felt satisfied with it. All in all a very character filled book and sublime writing. I liked it very much but didn't love it like I do ToTC so this for me is ****

  5. 3 out of 5

    Amanda Burke

    I finally finished this one. Both the teens had to read it for their high school lit class with their fab teacher (not me!) so I hunkered down amid the old language. And I realized we should use bigger words. Because words are beautiful. A classic sacrifice of love in a sea of psychotic political hate. Best of times, worst of times.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Put Off -noun 1....also, set aside. to put out of the way; place to one side: Put aside your books and come for a walk. This book has always put me in such a...well. One thing before I start on my before review..who says I cannot walk and read? 6 miles a day, every day. Hah! This book has always put me in such a tremor since the day I encountered this gothic Yahoo, this towering Hun (yes, they all mean the same thing in the Thesarus). There is no other dead white male who bothers to cool my coffe Put Off -noun 1....also, set aside. to put out of the way; place to one side: Put aside your books and come for a walk. This book has always put me in such a...well. One thing before I start on my before review..who says I cannot walk and read? 6 miles a day, every day. Hah! This book has always put me in such a tremor since the day I encountered this gothic Yahoo, this towering Hun (yes, they all mean the same thing in the Thesarus). There is no other dead white male who bothers to cool my coffee right quick (okay, it's an exaggeration, Milton makes me squirm too). But in the event of one close patron's death, I decided to honor them with putting myself to the task. The task. What my purpose of getting a dual copy when I only managed to read one, and knew ahead of time I would only read one, is beyond me. But I can say this: I owe Charles Dicken a fervent and eternal apology. And also to my friend who I am most certain didn't go up there so she is more than happy to meet me down there. Demned 'ooligan. For as long as I have avoided Dickens, you'd think I'd like him more. Or at least, more than I think I do at the moment. I grew up hating this guy. And hate is not a strong enough word, it's used way too much. I was venemous towards Two Cities and little Ollie. First time I took pleasure in bad mouthing a made-up person. Dickens loped along the to-read list with Dee Brown, William Shakespeare, Anton Chekov (who I will most likely sink my teeth into next), and Elizabeth Gaskell. And, as I quite spiritually found, that was a good thing. It was the plainest thing: I should have waited. From all my bookish friends, I have not heard that. But then, they don't remember half the character quirks or memorable dialogue either. There are certain books that must wait upon our shelves until we are older. Some, when we are MUCH older. Trying to conquer Great Expectations at 11 was not a fabulous idea. It was just pretentiousness. So, Great Expectations..and part of Two Cities (aye, poetic souls in authordom spit fire at me). I do believe I have yet to suck out all the poison in my snake bite. Pip, to me, is indestructibly cute. Couldn't find a better word for the little scrapper. His voice charms one, I think, though the beginning was droll. ooh, poor me. My sister the BMW gives licks much oh, much too sharp. Or something of that rot. Further down the supposedly straight path: Pip gets in some more trouble, there's mist, a creepy lady of gentle-lady upbringing, and her beastly little ward. Admittance: I'm not much of a fighter. More of a runner. But I felt there should have been some root pulling going on here. I was pretty well dazzled by Dickensian language. I was hoping to be, as famous as his style made him. But the four stars was really for Tale of Two Cities, which I won't be able to finish in this edition, but I have a scrappy hardback that will soon assuage my fretting. Hopefully.

  7. 3 out of 5

    Tiffani

    Charles Dickens! I hardly knew ye. . . I only read A tale of two cities from this edition (will save Great expectations for another time) and was astounded! My previous readings of Dickens must have been wrong book/wrong time, because I loved his writing. I was simultaneously caught up in the story, the style, the tempo, and vocabulary such as: 'tergiversation' and 'accoutred' and 'incommodiousness'. Perhaps I shall read critique by the by, but upon completion of this novel, I am enamored. It wi Charles Dickens! I hardly knew ye. . . I only read A tale of two cities from this edition (will save Great expectations for another time) and was astounded! My previous readings of Dickens must have been wrong book/wrong time, because I loved his writing. I was simultaneously caught up in the story, the style, the tempo, and vocabulary such as: 'tergiversation' and 'accoutred' and 'incommodiousness'. Perhaps I shall read critique by the by, but upon completion of this novel, I am enamored. It will take a place among my all-time favorites.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stacie (MagicOfBooks)

    I will also do a video review here at my channel: http://www.youtube.com/magicofbooks “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens is set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution, following the plight of the French peasantry as they seek justice against the aristocracy. “A Tale of Two Cities” has been one of those classics that I have been determined to read for the longest time. Even if you’ve never read the book, there’s a good chance you have heard the opening lines, “It was the I will also do a video review here at my channel: http://www.youtube.com/magicofbooks “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens is set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution, following the plight of the French peasantry as they seek justice against the aristocracy. “A Tale of Two Cities” has been one of those classics that I have been determined to read for the longest time. Even if you’ve never read the book, there’s a good chance you have heard the opening lines, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” and even the final line of the novel, “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.” The opening and ending of the novel are perhaps some of the most recognizable in literature. So I was pretty excited to finally read this novel, especially since I adore “Great Expectations” and have read it numerous times. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that impressed with “A Tale of Two Cities.” For the most part, I found myself a bit bored, I kept zoning in and out, I couldn’t concentrate. I do appreciate what Dickens was doing with this novel though. It’s about the poor rising up against the aristocracy, something that is relatable in every century. And I do think Dickens’ prose was gorgeous, especially the whole ending when things get really tense, and there’s a certain melancholy that hits you hard. I guess, for me, I would have liked a stronger focus on Lucie, Charles Darnay, and Sydney Carton. Instead, what I got, were all these other characters that I didn’t particularly care for. More than anything, I was upset with the lack of Carton and Darnay, two characters that I thought were huge in this book, but they weren’t in it nearly as much as I would have liked. They were definitely the most interesting, the most complex. Maybe I just went into this book with high expectations and the book just didn’t live up to it. I think I might have also been expecting a bit more action since this is taking place during the French Revolution, but all there was were a lot of characters sitting around talking about action rather than actually doing something. Overall, though I was a bit disappointed with this book, I’m glad I finally got around to reading it. Through pop culture I was already spoiled about the dramatic ending, but it was nice to read everything leading up to that ending and getting a better understanding. I would still recommend this book, especially if you have read a few Dickens’ books and want to read more. I think there are things in this book to appreciate, certain scenes, certain characters, certain moments, that make it all worthwhile. And I feel the need to just bring up "Great Expectations" since this is a bindup, but I really have no intent on reviewing it because it's a book I've reread over and over (I think this was my 5th reread I want to say). So just for the sake of going ahead and bringing it up: I love "Great Expectations." Amazing, memorable characters. An intricate plot. So much going on, compared to "A Tale of Two Cities." And can I just say: Pip/Estella are up pretty high as far as favorite literary couples go, right alongside Darcy/Elizabeth and Jane/Rochester, which might sound weird considering how horrible Estella is to Pip. Highly recommend "Great Expectations" because I think it's one of those classics that's easy to get into and easy to read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This was confusing to understand at first. Dickens has a way about him in which his narrative lays out the pieces of a puzzle while keeping the bigger picture being put together in the dark: as you continue digging into the story, that’s when the small details from the first half of the book start coming together as significant and the way that the characters are entangled together become clearer. Enjoyable and set against the background of the French Revolution, I can see the appeal of this boo This was confusing to understand at first. Dickens has a way about him in which his narrative lays out the pieces of a puzzle while keeping the bigger picture being put together in the dark: as you continue digging into the story, that’s when the small details from the first half of the book start coming together as significant and the way that the characters are entangled together become clearer. Enjoyable and set against the background of the French Revolution, I can see the appeal of this book as a classic. **A Tale of Two Cities**

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    So I just finished A Tale of Two Cities and started Great Expectations but thought I'd write my review of the first while it was still on my mind. I had previously attempted to read this book twice but found it very trying to get past the first few chapters. The writing is true to it's time period and to Dickens in that it is flowery and the vocabulary is archaic. I confess I had to look a few words up. There were so many characters and plot lines started at the same time I found it hard to foll So I just finished A Tale of Two Cities and started Great Expectations but thought I'd write my review of the first while it was still on my mind. I had previously attempted to read this book twice but found it very trying to get past the first few chapters. The writing is true to it's time period and to Dickens in that it is flowery and the vocabulary is archaic. I confess I had to look a few words up. There were so many characters and plot lines started at the same time I found it hard to follow during these first few chapters (probably why I had given up in the past). I can only imagine how difficult it would have been to try and follow this book as you waited for the weekly chapters to be released over a 7 month period as it was originally released, I would have given up then too. That said once you get through the first third of the book and have a solid grasp of the characters Dickens does a great job of tying it all together and you find all those characters and plots really do have there place. And for the last third of the book I found myself staying up way too late reading and having trouble putting the book down. I think this book is also a great read for anyone studying the French Revolution to get an idea as to what the atmosphere was like and also why there was so much discontent. I have always found the this part of French history a bit ridiculous if not even comical, (I have a dark sense of humor)only because the french ousted a king only to follow him with a dictator and emperor and eventually a king again. Really a lot of blood shed for no real outcome, but I digress. Overall this first book of the set is a great read. Great Expectations: So this book was a lot more linear in it's plot than A Tale of Two Cities which made it easier to follow but it was not nearly as intriguing. I found myself frequently asking, "Who cares?" and overall think the story with it's great commentary on pride and forgiveness could have been summed up in about half the words it was written with. So I would give A Tale of Two Cities 4 stars but Great Expectations only 3.

  11. 3 out of 5

    Miles Zarathustra

    "Tale" is a good read, especially the later chapters. This is a review of "Tale of Two Cities." I have not (yet) read 'Great Expectations.' I found the first part was somewhat slow and confusing, though still enjoyable. The whole thing seems random and haphazard at first, but it all fits together in the end ... every last bit, though it wasn't until I read the Cliff notes that I was able to piece together how. The last third or so of the story was in the "couldn't put it down" category. Dickens' pe "Tale" is a good read, especially the later chapters. This is a review of "Tale of Two Cities." I have not (yet) read 'Great Expectations.' I found the first part was somewhat slow and confusing, though still enjoyable. The whole thing seems random and haphazard at first, but it all fits together in the end ... every last bit, though it wasn't until I read the Cliff notes that I was able to piece together how. The last third or so of the story was in the "couldn't put it down" category. Dickens' perceptiveness of the fickle nature of justice and the plight of the underclasses makes for an engagingly human narration. I found that keeping a brief list of the character names and the years was quite helpful. Possibly essential. Not sure how I feel about the edition, (a Borders closing sale acquisition) beautifully printed but with no annotations. Annotations do get in the way of the flow of the text sometimes, and I think I got most of what was going on without them. But if your edition has them, that's probably better. The Cliff notes (available for free online, which I am reading afterward) cleared up several mysteries, but also contain spoilers, so I wouldn't recommend reading them beforehand. Their explanation was essential to my comprehension of the first few pages, filled with rich allusions decipherable only to someone familiar the time current to when Dickens wrote. Although not essential to the plot, nice to have. I think this one is worth a re-read, now that I understand better the shape of the plot.

  12. 3 out of 5

    Fyza Parviz Jazra

    Charles Dickens bildungsroman novel 'Great Expectations' was released periodically from December 1860 to August 1861. Many of the characters from the book have taken a prominent place in our popular culture, e.g., awful yet wizardly love forsaken Miss Havisham, the beautiful and cruel Estella, and the naive narrator of the novel Pip. But I feel it is not just another Dicken's novel with the good being utterly good and the villains the most wicked. There is a ton of gray matter in their personali Charles Dickens bildungsroman novel 'Great Expectations' was released periodically from December 1860 to August 1861. Many of the characters from the book have taken a prominent place in our popular culture, e.g., awful yet wizardly love forsaken Miss Havisham, the beautiful and cruel Estella, and the naive narrator of the novel Pip. But I feel it is not just another Dicken's novel with the good being utterly good and the villains the most wicked. There is a ton of gray matter in their personalities; but of course, this being a Victorian novel, the goodness hails victorious in the end. Pip breaks the stereotypes and recognizes his real beneficiaries; whether it be his ignorant brother in law Joe, or the ex-convict benefactor Abel Magwitch. Miss Havisham, too, does some good in the end and regrets her past mistakes, Estella sees the trueness of Pip's love, Jaggers and Wimmick form a more familial work relationship, Joe finds love again with Biddy, and Abel gives his money to make Pip a gentleman. Does Pip fulfill the great expectations that were bestowed upon him? I believe so. His world as a middle-aged man, albeit still devoid of Estella's love, is a happier one than what he possessed as a child.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    ::::::::::::::Review for 'A Tale of Two Cities':::::::::::::::: This book was fantastic!! It's on my new top ten list. It's so intricate! Dickens weaves together the characters, places, and events flawlessly, like a beautiful tapestry. Or better yet, knitted together. ;-) I can't recommend this book highly enough. The plot is absolutely wonderful. Nothing is lacking from this book. :::::::::::::Review for 'Great Expectations' ::::::::::::::::: This book was good, but nowhere near as good as "A Tale ::::::::::::::Review for 'A Tale of Two Cities':::::::::::::::: This book was fantastic!! It's on my new top ten list. It's so intricate! Dickens weaves together the characters, places, and events flawlessly, like a beautiful tapestry. Or better yet, knitted together. ;-) I can't recommend this book highly enough. The plot is absolutely wonderful. Nothing is lacking from this book. :::::::::::::Review for 'Great Expectations' ::::::::::::::::: This book was good, but nowhere near as good as "A Tale of Two Cities." Like I said I liked it, but didn't love it. It went a little slowly at parts. The whole book kind of had the feel of (as I call it) a 'boy movie.' What I mean by that is a movie where the lighting is low and creepy the entire time. Also I really didn't like the end of the book. I was holding out for a happy ending, and well, it wasn't as happy as I wanted it to be. My copy also included the ending as originally conceived by Dickens, but I didn't like that ending either. Over all it's a fine book. There's enough reason to read it simply in the fact that it's famous literature. Who knows, you might really like it. :-)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I first read Dickens in high school and when Oprah named it her book club pick, I thought I'd try it again. A favorite passage in Great Expectations, Pip to Estalla: "Out of my thoughts! You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since--on the road, on the sails of ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, I first read Dickens in high school and when Oprah named it her book club pick, I thought I'd try it again. A favorite passage in Great Expectations, Pip to Estalla: "Out of my thoughts! You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since--on the road, on the sails of ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil." 720-721

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    Great Expectations: I liked this book MUCH more than the other although it wasn't until the last 100 pages that I really didn't want to put it down and needed to know how the story concluded. A Tale of Two Cities: Reading other people's reviews, I feel the same way - that it took me almost halfway through the book to understand who everyone was and what was going on (maybe I should have read a synopsis of the book first). I found the language difficult and the rhythm offbeat. Maybe if I'd read thi Great Expectations: I liked this book MUCH more than the other although it wasn't until the last 100 pages that I really didn't want to put it down and needed to know how the story concluded. A Tale of Two Cities: Reading other people's reviews, I feel the same way - that it took me almost halfway through the book to understand who everyone was and what was going on (maybe I should have read a synopsis of the book first). I found the language difficult and the rhythm offbeat. Maybe if I'd read this with a group and we discussed it along the way it would have been more enjoyable. The last hundred pages or so I did start to get into it and had a picture of the time painted more vividly in my mind. To think about what facing the guillotine was really like.... and how brutal and blood-thirsty people were was frightening. It did illuminate a time that I would like to know more about.

  16. 3 out of 5

    Donald Crane

    For some reason, I was never required to read A Tale of Two Cities in high school, and 35 years later, I picked it up. It was educational - although it is a novel, I learned a lot about the French revolution - and eventually captivating. It did, however, take awhile to get to the point of "I can't put this down." It has been awhile since I've read Dickens; perhaps the last time was Great Expectations a few years ago. (That one, I read in high school, again in college, and probably twice more sinc For some reason, I was never required to read A Tale of Two Cities in high school, and 35 years later, I picked it up. It was educational - although it is a novel, I learned a lot about the French revolution - and eventually captivating. It did, however, take awhile to get to the point of "I can't put this down." It has been awhile since I've read Dickens; perhaps the last time was Great Expectations a few years ago. (That one, I read in high school, again in college, and probably twice more since.) Dickens' language is a bit hard to follow at times, simply because it was the prevailing way to communicate in the mid-eighteenth century, and more than once during this book, I found it a helpful way to fall asleep at night. The book's conclusion, however, was riveting, unexpected, and poignant. Well conceived, even though it requires some concentration to get through it.

  17. 3 out of 5

    Sierra

    It never crossed my mind that I gonna hate this book ever or even Dickens himself.For me Great Expectations in particular had memories for me ,since I studied it before at a boring place we called it school nowadays.What I had read now was just one of the most boring & shallowest thing I've ever read in my entire life. The thing is Dickens doesn't have it when it comes to writing about details,narrating or even describing the characters.The only thing he has got is the plot, the idea rather t It never crossed my mind that I gonna hate this book ever or even Dickens himself.For me Great Expectations in particular had memories for me ,since I studied it before at a boring place we called it school nowadays.What I had read now was just one of the most boring & shallowest thing I've ever read in my entire life. The thing is Dickens doesn't have it when it comes to writing about details,narrating or even describing the characters.The only thing he has got is the plot, the idea rather than that nothing! Dickens..sir I have been living in a lie for more than 10 years that you were one of my favorite authors but it turned out to be a lie, a lie that have left a big ache in my heart!

  18. 3 out of 5

    Elizabeth Turnage

    In Barnes & Noble last night I noticed these two were packaged together and part of Oprah's Book Club....who woulda thought? I used to devour Dickens as an 11- 13 year old...when i read Dickens, Thackeray, Austen, Bronte, and Hardy. I would choose one of the Classics series at the library that had the list of all in the series on the back, take it to my Dad, who would suggest one to read next. Little did I realize he had me read almost every great 19th century British novel until years later In Barnes & Noble last night I noticed these two were packaged together and part of Oprah's Book Club....who woulda thought? I used to devour Dickens as an 11- 13 year old...when i read Dickens, Thackeray, Austen, Bronte, and Hardy. I would choose one of the Classics series at the library that had the list of all in the series on the back, take it to my Dad, who would suggest one to read next. Little did I realize he had me read almost every great 19th century British novel until years later when I was an English major! What I wonder -- can digital readers make it through these tomes that describe the itty-bitty details of life? Could I do it now? Not sure. I may try.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bridget Thelen

    If Dickens had the constants forced by today's readers the story would be much more favorable to the common audience. Because of dense descriptions, most readers discard the book before the story begins. When opened with a patient, interested mind, readers will be consumed by the romantic tale and fall in love with radically complex characters and the story will consume their mind, as well as their heart.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marian Mcclellan

    I schlepped myself through this book in high school and wondered what all the fuss was about. Only grandmothers should read this book to discover the unforgettable characters he paints and the way he makes descriptions of places feel like characters. He's a poet as well as a story teller. I loved reading Great Expectations second because it's much lighter feeling with more humor and less melodrama. It makes me want to re-visit all the other assigned classics that bored me in high school.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ellen November

    Well, this book takes a lot of concentration, but I'm giving it a go.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. As I read A Tale of Two Cities, I kept flipping to the description on the inside cover and reading very slowly to make sure I wasn't missing something... "There the lives of the 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." I would read that over now and then, and think to myself... am I missing something?! Then after battling my way almost all the way thr As I read A Tale of Two Cities, I kept flipping to the description on the inside cover and reading very slowly to make sure I wasn't missing something... "There the lives of the 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." I would read that over now and then, and think to myself... am I missing something?! Then after battling my way almost all the way through this rich and difficult old tale (I take full responsibility as failed reader to have struggled so badly, btw) I finally came to understand the 'enmeshed love' bit... and I came to it with a shock! In that instant I felt like someone reached in through my chest and grabbed my heart with icy fingers. I nearly screamed out "NO" at the top of my lungs, and tossed my cappuccino into the lap of my unsuspecting neighbor... nearly I say. Thankfully I remembered myself just in time before setting the entire cafe into the same state of turmoil I felt inside. A Tale of Two Cities is not what I would call an easy read, but it has to have the most surprising and heart-wrenching ending that I have ever read, and is well worth the challenge. I know for Sydney it wasn't about winning the girl, but he most definitely won her heart in the end (whether he meant to or not) and he won mine too while he was at it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Hu

    So glad the first sentence explains everything, saved me a ton of time ;)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Bought this edition even though I already owned both books because it's just so dang pretty.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mehak

    A tale of two cities ,this is one of the historical novel of Charles Dickens .in this novel Charles dickens says that it was the best of time ,it was the worst of times,it was the age of wisdom ,it was the age of foolishness ,it was the epoch of belief ,.this period is also called the period of French revolution .in equality ,despair,un wealth ,love ,self sacrifice. In this novel there is also a tale of three lovers .actually this movement is based on two cities of England .paris ,London .before A tale of two cities ,this is one of the historical novel of Charles Dickens .in this novel Charles dickens says that it was the best of time ,it was the worst of times,it was the age of wisdom ,it was the age of foolishness ,it was the epoch of belief ,.this period is also called the period of French revolution .in equality ,despair,un wealth ,love ,self sacrifice. In this novel there is also a tale of three lovers .actually this movement is based on two cities of England .paris ,London .before the French revolution there was so many discrimaintion between the high class and low class ..there was majority of jealousy between one an other. In this novel I read some best lines that a person who love some one but don't show his feelings till to his death.

  26. 3 out of 5

    Maïté

    My god, this has to be the hardest book I've ever read. It's been a month and I've only just finished 'A tale of two cities'. I've always wanted to read more classics but the difference with today's writers is huge. The sentences are so long and so many things re described in so many details. It took me a while to figure out the story and to get a rhythm going. I still have to read 'Great expectations' but I think I'll read another book first, just to give my brain a rest. But the story was real My god, this has to be the hardest book I've ever read. It's been a month and I've only just finished 'A tale of two cities'. I've always wanted to read more classics but the difference with today's writers is huge. The sentences are so long and so many things re described in so many details. It took me a while to figure out the story and to get a rhythm going. I still have to read 'Great expectations' but I think I'll read another book first, just to give my brain a rest. But the story was really interesting and once you figured it all out you're kinda wishing for more. Must've been an awful time to live in though.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ana María

    The universality of Dickens... "In this respect, the house was much on a par with the Country; which did very often disinherit its sons for suggesting improvements in laws and customs that had long been highly objectionable, but were only the more respectable. Thus it had come to pass, that Tellson’s was the triumphant perfection of inconvenience." (A Tale of Two Cities)

  28. 3 out of 5

    Isabel

    Amazing and breathtaking story. The Character development of everyone is amazing. Dickens expresses the French Revolution perfectly, showing the opposites in every way. Not only is the writing throughout the whole story astonishing, but the ending as well. Definitely on my re-read list.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Jack

    Definitely dense, but worth while.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pete Chambers

    How Villain turns Hero love love love

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