"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness."
The most famous and possibly the most popular of Dickens's novels, A Tale of Two Cities shows a master of dramatic narrative extracting gold from the ore of history. If the bloody tableau of the French Revolution were not in itself sufficient for a dozen novels, Dickens added to it a professional resurrectionist, an authentic ogress, and an antihero as convincingly flawed as any in modern literature. Here, too, are all of Dickens's recurring themes: imprisonment, injustice, and cataclysmic violence; resurrection and the renunciation that makes renewal possible.
Public Domain (P)2011 Listening Library
I've read other dickens novels. I knew nothing about this one in advance.
I learnt a great deal about the French Revolution. Wiki'd certain items to help me follow the story.
Very enjoyable, but sad story. So alien to the times we know now. A warning too, for how cruel revolutions are.
I wasn't keen on the narrator to start with, but I got used to him.
"A tale of two cities"
John Lee is a masterful narrator whose rich British voice is perfect to bring this classic novel to life. It would have been fabulous to have this technology available during my misspent youth. It would have offered a much deeper appreciation for the story and the language . I'm putting many books read by John Lee on my wish list now!
"John Lee Tells A Tale Most Wonderfully Told"
Few could be the comparisons of a more remarkable tale - and fewer still the comparisons of those able to tell it...
Of course, the story itself needs no defense - the genius of the author will forever stand upon its own merit. But, for those of the persuasion that this wonderful classic deserves the best of narrators, I must declare that I am of the unshakable opinion that John Lee is just the man. His performance is truly exhilarating - even addictive. The ease with which he flows through the French pronunciations, the many colorful individuals he personalizes and brings to life, his ability to freely switch between characters (not to mention his precision and accuracy of "staying true" to the dialect he invents for each of them!), as well as the intrinsic quality of his deep, strong voice, all barely begin to give a glimpse of the incredible talent of this narrator. To listen to this man tell this tale is to enjoy with the greatest of pleasure...
This is a magnificent reading of a true classic. John Lee's performance is absolutely spectacular--his dead-on characterizations (including that of the aloof Dickens narrator) and accents of each of the numerous characters of 'Tale of Two Cities' make this recording a joy to listen to. As I tell my friends about it, it makes me want to listen to the story again!!
Historical fiction at its finest!
I had never read 'Tale of Two Cities' or knew anything about the book until listening to this recording. By the time I reached the ending, I was totally engrossed and invested in every one of the characters. It is a challenging, provocative story which steadily ratchets up in nail-biting intensity until the magnificent pay-off in the end.
John Lee, Simon Prebble, and David Timson. These guys know how to read Dickens.
John Lee is magnificent. I can't say enough about him. And this story is timeless and brilliant.
"Remarkable performance by John Lee"
The force of John Lee's voice brings to life a story that in its own right is surpassingly moving, but in a way that would have touched greatly even its eternally incomparable author.
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