A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Synopsis:
The destinies of two men who look almost like twins are intertwined with a prisoner of the Bastille and his golden-haired daughter, as the drums of the French Revolution bring death, destruction, and La Guillotine ever closer.

Review:
A Tale of Two Cities is three of five for the Classics Challenge. I don’t think I’m going to accomplish the goal, not because I wasn’t reading but because I should’ve signed up for Anna Karenina. Oh well.

Dickens I have loved, and Dickens I have left half read. This fell somewhere in the middle for me. About halfway through, I seriously considered putting it down, fed up with the overly contrived plot and the sentimentalization of Lucie Manette. But then Dickens unleashed the hell of the Terror, and those passages hooked me completely.

I remember crying at the end of Tale of Two Cities when I read it in high school, but in re-reading it I had no memory of reading it before. I usually have a very good memory for books, so I’m not sure what that means. In this reading, the book just didn’t grab me emotionally the way David Copperfield and Great Expectations did–and given my memory of it, I really thought that would be the case. I’m not even that inspired to write about it, except perhaps to say that I wish Dickens had included knitting patterns in the book. I’m a bit tired of making hats want to learn how to count heads like Mme Defarge.


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