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A Tale of Two Cities | [Charles Dickens]

A Tale of Two Cities

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"; "It is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known"; so the novel begins and ends with some of Dicken's best-known words, and between the two is every Briton's view of the worst excesses of the French Revolution.
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Publisher's Summary

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"; "It is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known"; so the novel begins and ends with some of Dicken's best-known words, and between the two is every Briton's view of the worst excesses of the French Revolution.

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (235 )
5 star
 (145)
4 star
 (45)
3 star
 (28)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
4.3 (97 )
5 star
 (57)
4 star
 (25)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.4 (93 )
5 star
 (66)
4 star
 (10)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    David Filey, United Kingdom 17/11/2007
    David Filey, United Kingdom 17/11/2007 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    14
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    "The best of books, the best of readers"

    Possibly Dickens' greatest work, certainly English literatures greatest opening AND closing lines 'A Tale of Two Cities' may also be the incomparable Martin Jarvis's greatest reading.
    His characterisation enhances the written text, bringing life to the already lively players in this masterpiece.
    Possibly the best of the hundreds of auido books I have enjoyed.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Javier Sánchez-Collado 29/04/2006 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    1
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    10
    Overall
    "A"

    This audiobook is like a good symphony conducted by a really great director. It is an amazing work by Martin Javis: so many diferent voices that it seems as if he were 10 actors.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin Waterlooville, Hants, United Kingdom 20/08/2009
    Martin Waterlooville, Hants, United Kingdom 20/08/2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "Outstanding classic"

    This gripping, stirring tale deserves its accolade of 'literary classic'.

    And Martin Jarvis' narration is a match for Dickens' genius with his mellifluous tone and versatile array of different character voices.

    Loved it. You can't go wrong buying this audio book!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul & Susy London United Kingdom 31/03/2007
    Paul & Susy London United Kingdom 31/03/2007

    We share the same taste thereabouts.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    12
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    1
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    Overall
    "Dickens and Jarvis doing what they each do best"

    Martin Jarvis employs his great range in making each of the many characters in this book burst into life. And it's a great story of injustice and hate, full of initial mystery which unfolds layer after layer as it draws all the players togther in the final act. Some of Dickens lends itself to some judicially abridging but 'A Tale of Two Cities' all in all stays on track and is worth going the full distance.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fiona 22/03/2012
    Fiona 22/03/2012 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    49
    24
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    0
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    "Don't fall for a cheaper version of this book!"

    I made the mistake of purchasing a cheaper (unrated) version of this book. I spent a good few hours slogging through it, with many rewinds to clarify the story, by the end of the first download I reached a point where I thought that this book was beyond me but I did not want to declare defeat. Having previously listened to Martin Jarvis narrate Great Expectations I decided to download his version of a Tale of Two Cities. I am so thankful I did so as it has been an enjoyable listen, and with some additional historical background information from a Dicken's site, an informative read. This is the version to download.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clare WyfoldUnited Kingdom 13/06/2009
    Clare WyfoldUnited Kingdom 13/06/2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    4
    2
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    0
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    "Great story, brilliant narration"

    This was an absolute pleasure to listen to. Martin Jarvis is brilliant and keeps your interest in the long convoluted Dickensian passages as well as so cleverly playing all the characters. He even manages to say the well known opening and ending with new emphasis and meaning.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jules 15/05/2008
    Jules 15/05/2008

    mulberrybush

    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
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    18
    9
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    "A really enjoyable listen"

    Martin Jarvis does the Tale of Two Cities brilliantly. I never thought I'd find Dickens so compulsive and I've listened to this more than once. Highly recommended. If you don't think you are a Dickens fan - try this!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Egrette LONDON, United Kingdom 09/12/2010
    Egrette LONDON, United Kingdom 09/12/2010 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
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    12
    5
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    "A Tale of Two Cities"

    I loved this. I think it is my favourite Dickens novel. I got my friend who could never read beyond chapter 3 to listen to this. She enjoyed it so much that as soon as she finished she immediately began listening to it from the beginning. The narrator is excellent and his reading immerses you into the story that you are there. I will certainly listen to this again and I know my friend will, too. In fact she chided me for not telling her about listening to the audiobook before.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Nottingham, Notts, United Kingdom 03/02/2009
    Jane Nottingham, Notts, United Kingdom 03/02/2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    1
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    Overall
    "a Tale of Two Cities"

    Having just finished listening to this I felt moved to write a review! I thought this was absolutely superb. Beautifully read by Martin Jarvis, he brought the characters alive and as you listened you felt they were there beside you. I can't recommend this too highly enough

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom 28/06/2008
    Stephen Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom 28/06/2008 Member Since 2012

    Classics,contemporary fiction, Politics, Philosophy, Economics - a weekly eye on The New Yorker & The Guardian and dense word style/play.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    407
    ratings
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    179
    176
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    48
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    "By which all others are judged....."

    A cultural heritage which places the Victorian novel at the centre of all we do and the trained voice as the medium through which it is delivered....it's a shame that we are giving this away and our kids aren't being taught this stuff at school isn't it? In our day it was one Dickens per year in the class-room, Martin Jarvis as Uriah Heep on the telly of a Sunday tea time and an illustrated version on the bookshelf in the parlour.
    Now look at us....Facebook, MySpace and Britain's Got Talent...nice to escape back into those characters, that story and most of all that voice.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 29 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Jefferson
    Fukuoka, Japan
    30/05/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A True Classic Marvelously Read"

    This is a marvelous audiobook version of a true classic novel. I was immediately gripped by it from the opening chapters (a vivid set piece depicting a coach traveling through a stormy British night over bad roads in danger from highwaymen) until the very end. It made me chuckle (especially in the scenes involving Jerry Cruncher, the dubious "tradesman" who can't abide his wife's "floppin'" (praying) against him), moved me to tears (especially in some scenes involving Dr. Manette or Sidney Carton), frightened me (especially in the scenes with the implacable Madame Defarge and her knitting needles), appalled me (especially in the scenes involving Saint Guillotine), and impressed me (especially when Dickens gets on one of his patented rolls describing something like when the wine barrel breaks outside the Parisian wine shop and the locals come crowding around on their hands and knees to drink up the wine from between the sharp cobblestones, using their hands and handkerchiefs and pushing mud from the gutters up to form wine dams and generally becoming inebriated and red-dyed, prefiguring the bloodshed to come…). Never a dull moment. Informed with Dickens' hatred of social injustice and systemic brutality and pitiless cruelty and with his love of love in any form.

    And Martin Jarvis reads like a man possessed, giving each of the main characters their own distinct voice, becoming excited or quiet appropriately, bringing out all the nuances of Dickens' text, making the listening experience so vivid and cinematic in the mind.

    I would give this more than five stars (but there is a place in the first part and a place in the second where strange electric noises pop up for several seconds).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • CHET YARBROUGH
    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States
    21/06/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A TALE OF TWO CITIES"

    Though – A Tale of Two Cities – is considered Charles Dickens’ most famous work, it is not his best. Dickens offers historical and personal perspective in “A Tale of Two Cities” but empathy for his characters is often missing; i.e. empathy that makes one gasp for air or suppress a tear.

    Dickens provides a primer on revolution in “A Tale of Two Cities”. What is seen in today’s Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and other “Arab Spring” countries are boiling cauldrons. Their societies are roiling at the extremes of the pendulum; the killing continues. New and hopefully better societies will come from their revolutions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jefferson
    Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan
    30/05/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A True Classic Marvelously Read"

    This is a marvelous audiobook version of a true classic novel. I was immediately gripped by it from the opening chapters (a vivid set piece depicting a coach traveling through a stormy British night over bad roads in danger from highwaymen) until the very end. It made me chuckle (especially in the scenes involving Jerry Cruncher, the dubious "tradesman" who can't abide his wife's "floppin'" (praying) against him), moved me to tears (especially in some scenes involving Dr. Manette or Sidney Carton), frightened me (especially in the scenes with the implacable Madame Defarge and her knitting needles), appalled me (especially in the scenes involving Saint Guillotine), and impressed me (especially when Dickens gets on one of his patented rolls describing something like when the wine barrel breaks outside the Parisian wine shop and the locals come crowding around on their hands and knees to drink up the wine from between the sharp cobblestones, using their hands and handkerchiefs and pushing mud from the gutters up to form wine dams and generally becoming inebriated and red-dyed, prefiguring the bloodshed to come???). Never a dull moment. Informed with Dickens' hatred of social injustice and systemic brutality and pitiless cruelty and with his love of love in any form.

    And Martin Jarvis reads like a man possessed, giving each of the main characters their own distinct voice, becoming excited or quiet appropriately, bringing out all the nuances of Dickens' text, making the listening experience so vivid and cinematic in the mind.

    I would give this more than five stars (but there is a place in the first part and a place in the second where strange electric noises pop up for several seconds).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • InsideADog
    Goleta, CA
    25/06/10
    Overall
    "Fantastic"

    I had not read this book before and found I enjoyed every minute. Martin Jarvis is a brilliant reader and brought the story to life. As soon as I finished I started it again as Dickens connects everything and by listening a second time got so much more out of it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Howard
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    05/01/10
    Overall
    "Fabulous"

    Probably the finest tragic romance written in the English language superbly rendered into the audio format. Six stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States
    26/10/09
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stick With It"

    It took me a while to finish this novel, and I actually listed to several other audio books before coming back to it. If you stick with it to the end you really do begin to care about what will happen to the characters.

    The narration is excellent although sometimes a bit quick. Which can lead to wanting to replay certain sections for more clarity about what is actually happening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • N. Dandridge
    So. California
    17/10/08
    Overall
    "There's a Reason Dickens is so Famous"

    I hadn't read Dickens since high school but now, 30 years later, decided to give him a try. The man really is an amazing author with wonderful characters, great plot and pacing, and a sense of humor. I will definitely read more of his books. The narrator of the audiobook made it even more enjoyable. This is the first time I have sought out a narrator's name so that I can find more of his books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Pittsboro, NC USA
    15/10/08
    Overall
    "Gorgeous"

    Wonderful narration. I haven't heard many audio books, but it's hard to imagine this one being done any better. Rich characters and scenes, precisely drawn by Dickens.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nicky Gleason
    Tumwater, WA, United States
    24/06/07
    Overall
    "Highly recommended"

    Loved this book on audio -- one of my favorite audio book experiences, a very pleasant surprise. Took me an hour or two of listening to become completely hooked, but after that I literally couldn't put it down -- stayed up till all hours to hear the final passages. The only audio book that ever made me cry. Just lovely.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Guy
    virginia beach, VA, USA
    01/08/06
    Overall
    "Great classic..."

    I tried to listen to this on CD a few years ago, but I would find my attention wandering. I gave it another try, and I'm glad I did. The narrator is wonderful, and this is a book I will listen to again in the future.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 38 results PREVIOUS1234NEXT

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