Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)'s Reviews > A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
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This is a pretty good novel that once started is very hard to put down. It builds, and builds relentlessly to its horrific climax at the end. Dickens paints a bleak and stark picture of the terror that was the early days of the French Revolution. His characters immediately immerse you in a Europe full of spies and friends and foes. The contrast between the goodness of Charles Darnay, and the Manettes, and the evil of the Defarges (especially Madame Therese Defarge!) is striking; and then the ambiguity, for much of the novel, of Sydney Carton. This book is full of moral lessons for all of us, even in this age of globalism. It is so easy for the moral fabric of society to completely breakdown in a matter of days if all of us are not continually vigilant.

I have to say, in closing, that A Tale of Two Cities, in my humble opinion is not one of my favorites. I understand it, and I understand why Dickens wrote it. While this may be heretical to some, I don't find ATOTC as compelling or elegantly sweeping as, for example, Dombey and Son, Little Dorrit, Bleak House, or Our Mutual Friend.
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message 1: by Laurel (last edited Jul 10, 2009 07:16PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laurel Hicks To me, A Tale of Two Cities is more compelling for its poetry than for its characters. The carefully balanced sentences and the rich imagery keep taking me back to it. I think Dickens gives a very balanced perspective on the French Revolution, too, and that is not easy to do.


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