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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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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.
Classics,contemporary fiction, Politics, Philosophy, Economics - a weekly eye on The New Yorker & The Guardian and dense word style/play.
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.
I like to escape with urban fantasy and radio comedy but like to mix it up with classics and travelogues.
Having struggled in the past with Dickens but having rediscoverd my love of Jane Austen via audible audiobooks - I took the plunge with the Tale of Two Cities since I am planning a trip to Paris soon. Well, what a wonderful experience. The beauty of the language, the devices Dickens uses like repetition, and the laugh out loud humour all came alive in this audiobook experience. All credit goes to Martin Jarvis - what a fantastic talent in voicing these characters, bringing the lyricism out so perfectly. However, I was unprepared for the emotional response the experience evoked - so if you are apt to shed a tear at poignant moments make sure you are on your own for the end of this and not walking home actually sobbing out loud like I was - how embarrassing!
One of the main reasons I listen to audio books is to reacquaint myself with novels I have read in the past. I loves books, not just for the stories they contain, but because they are books. I love the feel and the smell of the paper. I love the sense of anticipation of what the next page turn will bring.
But there are so many good books out there, and so little time. I won’t be on this Earth long enough to read all I want to read even once, let alone to re-read any of it! To do so would be at the exclusion of some other great story.
However some books demand re-reading, and that is where audio books have found their place in my life. Now, as I walk, drive, prepare dinner, do my ironing etc. I can re-visit some of the worlds greatest literature, and what better example of such a story than A Tale of Two Cities?
This is a remarkable book. The story is meticulously constructed and the world is described with Dickens’ trademark poetic attention to detail. It also suffers from the usual flaw in Dickens’ work, in that the characters are what E.M. Forster describes as being ‘flat’ and not ‘round’. However the story unfolds with such confident style and momentum that you are breathlessly swept along to the books immortal closing lines.
The text of A Tale of Two Cities speaks for itself. However, when Martin Jarvis speaks it, the story comes alive in a whole new way. He breathes such a distinct voice into each character that at times I was sure there was more than one person reading. He doesn't just read the story, he becomes it. During the storming of the Bastille I was so overwhelmed that I had to stop in the middle of the street, and I stood there enraptured until the siege had ended.
While I would always recommend just reading an actual book, especially if it is your first encounter with a story, this Martin Jarvis rendition of A Tale of Two Cities is definitely worth your time and money. Unquestionably five stars.
"A Rediscovery of an Old Friend"
My mother, an English teacher for many years, impressed a deep love for the classics upon me. Dickens remains a personal favorite as I love the depth of his characters, the movement of the action, and the timeliness of his stories.
Tale is a perfect example of Dickens' writing at its finest. Weaving an intricate story of family and friends embroiled in the French Revolution, the author leaves the listener on edge at the end of every chapter; one simply cannot hit the pause button but instead must know what happens next.
When I was in tenth grade (many more years ago than I care to admit), my class read this novel, and we actually read it aloud. Suffice it to say, the narrator of this version has much more talent than my classmates and me. :) The narrator absolutely brought this book to life. The character voices were outstanding (although the one for Lucy was a bit odd, but it worked OK). You could not only hear but feel the passion of the marvelous text.
I hope you enjoy this lovely version. I believe it's one you'll want to turn to again and again.
This is an absolutely outstanding audiobook. The story is one of Dickens' most enthralling works, and Martin Jarvis' narration captures its essence with unmatched passion. Dickens' wit sparkles in Jarvis' voice as brightly as the darkness and helplessness loom heavily. The characters come to life in all their facets, keeping up with the lively narration. If you are looking for the right Dickens for entertainment, you can't go wrong with A Tale of Two Cities. And if you are looking for the right version of this masterpiece - you will enjoy this one tremendously.
"Enchanting, inspiring, exciting"
One needs some patience to get used to Dickens' style in the early parts of this wonderful book, but listening to the audio helps make the story understandable. And like so many of life's treasures that require work before reward, this story pays off the patient reader in the end with emotional and intellectual paybacks that top all books I know of except possibly Les Miserables. My first attempst to read the book led nowhere, but finally I listened to the audio and read the book at the same time (more or less) and I got hooked into a book that I rank as one of the two best fiction works I have ever read (and I am a teacher of English with 30 years experience, and a bookworm too...) I have now read and listened to the book about ten times and I plan to revisit it again, at least every two years....it is too good to ignor.
"Best made Better"
The reader of this book brings it to life in a way far superior to the written word. It's always been a classic and my favorite, but now it's even better.
"Very well portrayed"
An excellent version of this classic tale. The voice is extremely clear and effectively portrays the numerous characters in the book - to the point that, even if you can't remember their names, you recognise them by the reader's tone.
"Excellent In Every Way"
This may just be the quintessential audiobook version of A Tale of Two Cities. I have a preference for a single narrator of the classics such as the Dicken's novels (as opposed to multiple actors) and Martin Jarvis is absolutely excellent in this role. His main narration of the text is confident and consistent with no affectations or pregnant pauses and the voices he gives to the characters are spot-on.
If you are new to the great 'A Tale of Two Cities', then you are in for a particularly exciting treat. If, on the other hand, you are returning to it again (as was my case), Martin Jarvis may just make you think you are hearing it for the first time. 'It was the best of times....'
For any fan of Dickens, this is a no-brainer. The narration is terrific and it only adds to the story. I will leave the critical review of Dickens' view of the French Revolution to others. For my money, this is one of the best ways to enjoy this classic novel. Highly recommend.
"Great Book, Fantastic Narration"
This book is a little richer and less formulaic that some Dickens novels (and I like most Dickens novels.) There are some great themes running through it. You might even shed a tear at the beautiful ending.
The narration on this book is one of the best I have ever heard. The voices are so well created and differentiated that the narrator could have never read "said ___" etc and I would have known exactly which of the 5-6 characters in a scene was talking.
A wonderful version. I've started this book several times, but only now finished it. I'm glad I did. This has given me a new appreciation for the power of Dickens' writing. I strongly recommend it.
OOhhhhh...such a hard book to read or listen to -- at first - then it is as great as David Copperfield or his other works. The characters are so well exemplified. Mr. Dickens is a wonder to beyond at creating characters and making them so believeable and entertaining. You really get to “know” them. Everyone, give this reading a real chance. This is one of my favorite all-time books. Bravado!
And, Martin Jarvis, reading is fantastic. I question if there was indeed only one reader. He plays each character. I would almost call it a dramatization.
A great story. A heartfelt story. Yet -- history. You learn something in the reading (or listening) of this story. Human nature - be it compassion or barbarism - is human nature and we are probably all capable of both put into certain circumstances.
All in all, this is so worth your time. It is entertaining, enlightening, and pure wonder at the wisdom of Dickens words. I loved it!!
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