“A Tale of Two Cities” By Charles Dickens

tale“A Tale of Two Cities”
By Charles Dickens
Narrated by: Simon Prebble
Length: 14 hrs and 42 mins
Release date: 03-23-11
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Sometimes I have to go back and revisit a classic.  Sometimes it’s just to see if what I took from the book the first time still holds or to see if in my growing age and wisdom I can gain new insights.  I’m really not sure why I revisited this classic.  I hated it in high school.  (pretty sure i only read part and lied on the book report)  I re-read the book back in the late 90s and had a hard time keeping focused on it and put it down many times.   This time around I thought, “Well, let’s try the audiobook.”    If I’m being perfectly honest, it is still boring, and hard to complete this arduous task.

I do have to say that the audiobook was the best version I had experienced, but the subject matter just wasn’t my cup of meat.  Simon Prebble presented the book perfectly, I can’t blame him for the lack of interest I have in the French Revolution.

I did give it that good ol’ college try.  (Actually a lot better than my slacker college tries ever turned out to be.)  I know how Dickens uses the cities of London and Paris as settings to show the reasons for the Revolution, but it felt like I was in that prison with Dr. Manette.  I guess really, I’m not a fan of Dickens.

I’m not going to bore you with a summary of the book.  You should have read it by now, and if you didn’t maybe you just aren’t interested.  I think what made this most interesting was the fact that just after listening to this book, Disney+ streaming service released the recording of the Broadway production of “Hamilton,” and when they made references to the French Revolution, I fully understood what they were talking about, having had that bit of history fresh in my overcrowded brain.

I think I’ll tackle an audio version of “Moby Dick” next.  I really love that book.

Publisher’s Summary
Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities is a sprawling tale of London and revolutionary Paris with a complex plot portraying the results of terror and treason, love and supreme sacrifice.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”—opening line of A Tale of Two Cities
It was the time of the French Revolution, a time of great change and great danger. It was a time when injustice was met by a lust for vengeance, and rarely was a distinction made between the innocent and the guilty. Against this tumultuous historical backdrop, Dickens’ dramatic story of adventure and courage unfolds.
Unjustly imprisoned for 18 years in the Bastille, Dr. Alexandre Manette is reunited with his daughter, the gentle Lucie Manette, and safely transported from France to England. It would seem that they could now take up the threads of their lives in peace. As fate would have it, however, the two are summoned to the Old Bailey to testify against a young Frenchman, Charles Darnay, falsely accused of treason. Strangely enough, Darnay bears an uncanny resemblance to another man in the courtroom: Sydney Carton, a dissolute barrister. It is a coincidence that saves Darnay from certain doom more than once, as the two men’s fates become intertwined with that of the Revolution.
And there is Madame Defarge, a female revolutionary who has an implacable grudge against the aristocratic Evrémonde dynasty and who knits as she watches the beheadings.
The storming of the Bastille, the death carts with their doomed human cargo, the swift drop of the blade of La Guillotine—this is the French Revolution that Charles Dickens vividly captures. Brilliantly plotted, the novel is rich in drama, romance, and heroics that culminate in a daring prison escape in the shadow of the guillotine.
Public Domain (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.