30 November, 2017


Title: Tale of Two Cities
Author: Charles Dickens
Series: -
Genres: Classics, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Penguin
Release: 1859
Source: Paperback/Audiobook
Pages: 489

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'Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death; -- the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!'

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.

This edition uses the text as it appeared in its serial publication in 1859 to convey the full scope of Dickens's vision, and includes the original illustrations by H. K. Browne ('Phiz'). Richard Maxwell's introduction discusses the intricate interweaving of epic drama with personal tragedy.

EXPECTATIONS: This book was originally picked as a buddy read by Martyna and me but because it was not that interesting we went for something else. I however did finish it while puzzling and let me just tell you that I remember puzzling way more than this book. 

THE WORLD: I would actually call this book a historical fiction because it takes place majority of time in France during French Revolution. To be honest even if I did not know Dickens was an English writer I could totally see it in this book. Just like very very strong sexism Dickens dislike of French people is extremely noticeable in this book. Frankly if you are French I would highly advice you not to read this book because you will be definitely offended. 

CHARACTERS: So I just went to SparkNotes to see what characters really were in this book. But I will be honest with you, the characters in this book were shallow and plain and just none developed. And of course all the women were insistently described as stupid and only useful if they are pretty. Oh and yes as I already mentioned Dickens made sure that we as readers would see french people as stupid as it gets. I have only read Great Expectations by Dickens before and yes there was really harsh sexism in it but it was never as ridiculous as things were in this book. Frankly if I read Tale of Two Cities first I would have never ever picked another book of Dickens again. Characters of this book pain oh so much in comparison to Great Expectations.

ROMANCE: I already mentioned that women are only useful in this book when they are pretty. There really were such statements where Dickens would write how disgusted his character is with an ugly woman. So when it comes to romance I just do not accept any of the romance present in this book as true romance. 

GOOD: It was actually a very good puzzling book. I would never read it as a priority to spend my time but as an audiobook it was fine. 

BAD: Sexism. Nationalism. Arrogance. Yes I am talking about Dickens himself here. Frankly his views are very strong in this book so I think it is no surprise that I passionately despise Dickens. Of course now you will ask why then I read his books? Well my dear reader, I read his books because it is considered classics and I want to see what is so special about them. Yes majority of time I get burned and end up wasting my time and nerves but then other time for example when I read Tolstoy I came upon War and Piece and despite Tolstoy being a sexist I still ended up really enjoying his book. 

OVERALL: If you are a classics fan like a die hard classics fan then go ahead and read it. But if you just read classics from time to time I would recommend Great Expectations over this on always. 

What do you think about TALE OF TWO CITIES?



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