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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.

(P)1999 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (195 )
5 star
 (118)
4 star
 (37)
3 star
 (24)
2 star
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Overall
4.2 (57 )
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3 star
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Story
4.4 (54 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    David Filey, United Kingdom 17/11/2007
    David Filey, United Kingdom 17/11/2007 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    70
    ratings
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    31
    13
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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 Santiago, Chile 29/04/2006
    Javier Santiago, Chile 29/04/2006 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
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    35
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    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.

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul & Susy London United Kingdom 31/03/2007
    Paul & Susy London United Kingdom 31/03/2007 Member Since 2006

    We share the same taste thereabouts.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
    ratings
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    60
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    "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 KARRINYUP, Australia 22/03/2012
    fiona KARRINYUP, Australia 22/03/2012 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
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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
  •  
    Martin Waterlooville, Hants, United Kingdom 20/08/2009
    Martin Waterlooville, Hants, United Kingdom 20/08/2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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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!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clare WyfoldUnited Kingdom 13/06/2009
    Clare WyfoldUnited Kingdom 13/06/2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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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
  •  
    Julie 15/05/2008
    Julie 15/05/2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
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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
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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
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    2
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    "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 2005

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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    367
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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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 24 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • K. Hicks
    Dallas, TX
    01/09/07
    Overall
    "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.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • David M
    Rancho Mirage, CA, USA
    08/03/06
    Overall
    "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....'

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Cheimon
    New York, NY USA
    02/11/08
    Overall
    "Truly exceptional"

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Penelope
    Antigo, WI, USA
    10/12/07
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Doug
    Columbus, NC, United States
    10/08/07
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The-Organist
    12/11/06
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mike
    Malibu, CA, USA
    03/06/07
    Overall
    "Top notch!"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Wolfpacker
    Memphis, TN
    16/04/07
    Overall
    "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.
    Highly Recommended!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Steve
    Colorado Springs, CO, USA
    15/02/07
    Overall
    "Outstanding"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Linda
    York, SC, USA
    24/08/06
    Overall
    "Brillant!!"

    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!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 38 results PREVIOUS124NEXT

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