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A Tale of Two Cities / Great Expectations

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  14,913 Ratings  ·  172 Reviews
A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations
Paperback, deckle edge, 834 pages
Published December 6th 2010 by Penguin
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May 22, 2016 Selene rated it really liked it
A Tale of Two Cities
4 Stars

Great Expectations
4 Stars
Dec 23, 2010 Katherine rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Aug 20, 2013 Tracey rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 21, 2011 Kelly rated it really liked it
Put Off
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
Aug 22, 2012 Tiffani rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Jun 27, 2012 Chelsea rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Miles Zarathustra
Jan 05, 2012 Miles Zarathustra rated it it was amazing
"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
Fyza Jazra
Sep 13, 2016 Fyza Jazra rated it really liked it
Charles Dickens bildungsroman later 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 the 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 bad being awfully villainous. There is a ton of gray matter in their personal
Jul 03, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who can read old English
::::::::::::::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
Jan 10, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: awards-classics
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,
Feb 07, 2011 Stacey rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
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
Donald Crane
Nov 20, 2011 Donald Crane rated it really liked it
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
Nov 26, 2011 Sierra rated it did not like it
Shelves: novel
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
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 ...more
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.

Marian Mcclellan
Feb 20, 2011 Marian Mcclellan rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 05, 2011 Ashley rated it really liked it
Bought this edition even though I already owned both books because it's just so dang pretty.
Ellen November
Well, this book takes a lot of concentration, but I'm giving it a go.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew Hu
Apr 01, 2013 Andrew Hu rated it it was amazing
So glad the first sentence explains everything, saved me a ton of time ;)
Angela Blount
Oct 03, 2016 Angela Blount rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, historical
If I were to rate the set, 4 Stars feels about right.
3.5 Stars for GE, and 5 Stars for A Tale of Two Cities.

For me, the disparity between the two stories is strong. GE has more of that dragged out serial-publication feel, with some of the more heavy-handed emotional elements that remind me of Oliver Twist. (Although it came together in the end more foreseeably and less conveniently.)

A Tale of Two Cities, on the other hand, is a historical that captures and conveys all of the crazed fervor of a
Dec 24, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it
Probably everything that needs to be said about Charles Dickens has, by now, already been said. I can't imagine I have anything new to add. I am very happy that I finally got around to reading these two works and meeting their inhabitants. I am also happy to once again experience what a fine writer Dickens was. Of course, his greatest strength is in the indelible characters he creates, but he also writes wonderfully. Both of these books contain passages of surpassing beauty and power. Two great ...more
Adam B.
Jan 20, 2014 Adam B. rated it liked it
Shelves: 7th-grade
In A Tale of Two Cities, one of Charles Dickens's many focuses is about the atrocities of the French Revolution. This book is set in 1775, 1783, and 1789, the first part of the book is set in 1775, the second 1783, the third 1789. The events in this book take place in one of two cities, London or Paris. Paris and France are described as being extremely dark, dreary, and depressing, while London is given a brighter mood. This book is told in a third-person, omniscient point of view. The main char ...more
Sep 16, 2016 Jamie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
I give this 3 stars because I really liked A Tale of Two Cities, but did not really like Great Expectations.

The writing in these two stories is very different, and I actually liked the writing better in Great Expectations, but the story was just something I could not get into.

I could not stand Estella and was annoyed at everything in the story revolving around her. I started enjoying the story much more towards the end when she wasn't as big a part of it. I much prefer the original ending to t
Jun 01, 2012 Geoff rated it really liked it
I don’t want to boil this down to a love story, because it is so much more, but we all know my responses generally focus on one theme that really strikes me and the love of Pip for Estella definitely overwhelmed everything else (with the exception of his learning to love Magwitch). But seriously, how can you not be bowled over by the following quote?

“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
John Roskelley
Nov 26, 2013 John Roskelley rated it it was amazing
I found "A Tale of Two Cities" and "Great Expectations" in the same volume at my library, so I read both over the course of about four weeks. My only real exposure to Dickens had been TV movies of "Oliver Twist," so I wasn't prepared for the English manner of speaking in the period. It took some "getting used to" and I was finally able to cruise through many verrrry long spoken sentences or thoughts, even keeping track of phrases set off as explanations. In "Tale" I didn't fully comprehend who o ...more
Dec 18, 2016 Christina rated it liked it
4 stars to A Tale of Two Cities. Enjoyed the writing and the story.
Despite the fact that Great Expectations was, by far, not my favorite, I chose to give it 3 stars because I appreciate Dickens as one of my favorite authors.
Feb 05, 2016 Dr.J.G. rated it really liked it
A Tale of Two Cities:-

A tale of two Cities:-

Two cities, two nations at crossroads of different sort, two men who look alike, in times of turmoil, the French revolution. Classic by a maestro. One of his best, which is saying a lot.

Paris and London, during the French revolution - the event that scared the upper classes all over Europe. Revolution across the Atlantic had already made them nervous with few poor emigrants and rich alike banding together and throwing off the yokel of monarchy and a
Buthina Almahbashi
Apr 15, 2013 Buthina Almahbashi rated it really liked it
A Tale of Two Cities (1859) was first serialized. A Tale of Two Cities delineates imprisonment of individual citizens. This novel engaged with major social problems Dickens’ view of social commitment deep and as his art matured. His structure differed and he relied more and more on metaphor rather than reported fact.
In A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens portrayed skillfully how poor people of the lower class suffered from oppression and injustice then they strove fiercely to get rid of that heavy b
Adam Baray
Jan 10, 2013 Adam Baray rated it really liked it
I read these two books over the course of summer 2012 and winter 2012-13 so one memory is fresher than the other. With that in mind...

I was drawn to "TTC" because of its use in the world of LOST (LOST fanatic here). It was used as a tittle and used theme wise. "TTC" is at heart a love story that takes place in the time leading up to the French Revolution. Dr.Manette is held prisoner in the Bastile and eventually is freed and is taken in to the care of his beautiful and perfect daughter Lucie who
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What is your favorite Dickens novel? 4 13 Nov 19, 2016 11:39PM  
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Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and sho ...more
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