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A Tale of Two Cities / Great Expectations

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  15,621 ratings  ·  203 reviews
Two of the most beloved novels in all of English literature-together in one extraordinary volume.

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
Paperback, deckle edge, 834 pages
Published December 6th 2010 by Penguin Books
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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,621 ratings  ·  203 reviews

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May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
A Tale of Two Cities
4 Stars

Great Expectations
4 Stars
Neil R. Coulter
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
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 ...more
Dec 23, 2010 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
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
Amanda Burke
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 21, 2011 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 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
Stacie (MagicOfBooks)
I will also do a video review here at my channel:

“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
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Jun 27, 2012 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 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 Parviz Jazra
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 03, 2011 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 rated it it was amazing
So glad the first sentence explains everything, saved me a ton of time ;)
Bought this edition even though I already owned both books because it's just so dang pretty.
Just finished reading “A TALE OF TWO CITIES” and “GREAT EXPECTATIONS” by CHARLES DICKENS. I read this book while listening to the audible version of “A TALE OF TWO CITIES” narrated by SIMON VANCE. I read the audible version of “GREAT EXPECTATIONS” narrated by SIMON PREBBLE. This is #13 in my OPRAH’S BOOKCLUB READS & RE-READS BOOKCLUB. It is also #50 in my list for the 100 BOOKS EVERYONE SHOULD READ BEFORE THEY DIE bookclub. It is also #17 on my AROUND THE YEAR IN 52 BOOKS CLUB (A book with a ...more
Dec 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
I gotta say that I really thought this would be a nice tight story and I'd enjoy it, based on its reputation, but of all the Dickens I've read, this is my least favorite of them all. Gone is the glut of characters and words (Dickens is often accused of overwriting, but they're all good words, so what's the problem?) and gone are the memorable characterizations and the deft creation of villains.

Instead we have some competing storylines, a flash or two of some of what makes Dickens so enjoyable,
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Ana María
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
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)
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
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What is your favorite Dickens novel? 4 16 Nov 19, 2016 11:39PM  
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Charles John Huffam Dickens was a writer and social critic who 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 short stories enjoy lasting popularity.

“What the Devil, I say again!" exclaimed the gaoler,” 0 likes
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