a tale of two cities

Title :: A Tale of Two Cities
Author :: Charles Dickens
Completed :: Feb 25 2008
Challenges :: 888 Challenge : 1001 Books
Rating :: 4/5

Having been warned that this would be a difficult book to read I have to wonder why. It was perfectly straight forward and if I may say beautifully written. The plot started right from the beginning so there was no dull overture to get through (well actually there was a short introduction of sorts to the time but it was short). Perhaps the person who warned me is either a) afraid of Dickens or b) thinking of the wrong book. In fact my copy had a few illustrations here and there that were a nice addition to the text.

I plan on reading Les Misérables later this month so this book was a perfect literary introduction to the French Revolution since Dickens tale takes place in the years leading up to the revolution and ends during the Reign of Terror. With the story taking place in both London and Paris and the characters of Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton who are in love with Lucie Manette give the book a nice symmetry. I liked how all the characters moved throughout the book in this circle that eventually showed that they were all connected in one way or another. Madame Defarge was a character I liked what with her listening in the shadows calmy knitting in the corner. But then later her calm demeanor became bloodlust and she was out in the streets holding people down with her foot while she stabbed them with a knife. Her cruelty and desire to see Darnay's née Evrémonde neck offered up to the guillotine changed my attitude towards her. She truly is the antagonist in Dickens book. This book has it all, plot, excitement, terror, love, passion, fear, anger, sympathy, hate, happiness, action - you name it. I definitely recommend you read it, it's definitely not something to be afraid of and come on it's only 390 pages, that's nothing.

Other Thoughts ::
: you're next - reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link!

. listening . another place to fall . kt tunstall . eye to the telescope .

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posted by Ashleigh @ 15:37,

8 Comments:

At 10 March 2008 at 16:06, Blogger Danielle said...

I saw this as a movie when I was little, but I've never read the book. I went ahead and read the first couple of chapter for Les Mis this morning (I take a bus to work--this will now be my bus book for the forseeable future)--all of a sudden I was in the mood for something French, so I'm happy to be reading it! Has your copy arrived yet?

 
At 11 March 2008 at 23:32, Anonymous Spectre said...

Not Les Mis, but Les Misérables, please... I'm sorry, but it greatly bothers me. No hard feelings.

 
At 12 March 2008 at 01:29, Blogger Ashleigh said...

I'm sorry but I did write Les Misérables in this post... I know I've abbreviated it before but this is my blog and not an academic paper to be graded. But I understand how little things can bug people - trust me! :) Almost everyone uses Les Mis - even the production website is lesmis.com. Just like Phantom of the Opera is The Phantom, Lord of the Rings - LOTR, etc.

 
At 12 March 2008 at 16:45, Anonymous Spectre said...

I'm sorry, it's just one of the quirks I have that I can't quite shake off. And I acknowledge that this is a private place and I have no right to say that. Still, if I may add just one more thing, Les Mis is quite different from The Phantom, and LoTR I come across in some scholarly works about the Trilogy. Oh, well. . . Victor Hugo would just laugh it off or, should he be in a bad mood, have the lame abbreviation scraped out from the production website. ^^*

 
At 12 March 2008 at 20:21, Blogger Ashleigh said...

No worries I'm not mad! :) Like I said before there are a ton of things that bother me too so I completely understand. :)

 
At 13 March 2008 at 15:41, Blogger Danielle said...

I think I was the offending party--sorry about that. It was a matter of laziness that made me abbreviate Les Misérables in my comment above. ...didn't mean to annoy anyone...

 
At 13 March 2008 at 23:13, Blogger Ashleigh said...

Ha! Ha! It was you Danielle! Here I was wondering what they were talking about because I did write the title out in this post but then I realized I abbreviated it over in a comment on your site and I thought that's what they were on about. No worries! Abbreviate away on my site. I'm lazy too! :) That's the nice thing about blogs you can say and write what you want if people don't like it they can go elsewhere right? To each their own. But seriously no hard feelings folks this here is a friendly blog! :)

 
At 20 March 2008 at 14:39, Blogger Danielle said...

I came back to read the comments here and wondered, too, when I looked at your post again what Spectre was referring to, then looked up to my comments and though uh oh. So many people abbreviate it I didn't even think twice about it, but I may be more self conscious about it now. I wonder if saying LM is any better? :)

 

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    ashleigh (ash'lė) n.
    1: egyptologist; currently living in the uk attempting to obtain a phd in egyptology, hoping in the end there will be a job.
    2: literary; reading to escape reality, to improve conversation, for inspiration.
    3: crafter; crocheting and needlework, creating heirlooms, keeping the world warm.
    4: dreamer; head in the clouds, full of fantasies, wishing to be someone else, somewhere else.
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