Jessica's Reviews > A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
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Jan 17, 2011

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I see now why I never was able to get into Dickens ... Yes, the sentences are beautiful, but it;s overwrought, drawn-out and oddly paced (due to being written in installments?), exaggerated and black-and-white. I guess the adjective "Dickensian" should have warned me about some of this. But what I didn't expect at all is the absolutely terrible female lead. In 150 pages, Lucie hasn't done anything but be golden-haired and virtuous. (Although, on the gender-queerness front, I do like uptight banker Mr. Lorry's repressed attraction to redheaded force-of-nature Miss Pross. In one sentence, he suspects her of being secretly a man; in another, he's noticing how tight her bodice is).

Howeverm it's interesting to read in conjunction with The Many-Headed Hydra, a Marxist history of 17th- and 18th-century European capitalism that I've been working my way through slowly but excitedly. Dickens writes much like a contemporary reporter for The Nation: A Tale of Two Cities paints a dispossessed and despairing late 18th century working class suffering food shortages, brutal government crackdowns, torture and capital punishment. Though given his Dickensianness, you can't help wondering how much he's piling it on.
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message 1: by brenda (new) - added it

brenda moyo hi!
my name is Brenda,
i saw your contact address while going through some pages here and i was pleased with it,if you want to know more about me please do get back to me on this email address (

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