Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities

Last night I finished reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I don't feel like doing a lengthy review, so I will summarize by saying that this is a beautiful story that I think everyone should read. I absolutely loved the characters!
Dickens has a style of character development that I have never encountered before, but I really enjoyed it. It seems as though he would start with a chapter where he introduces many characters all at once, and then the next several chapters would focus on one of those characters, further developing each one in turn. He then will introduce a new setting where some of your initial assumptions about the characters are challenged, followed by more chapters of development. This style produced a a small cast of very dynamic and well developed characters; and a reading experience that, while slow moving, is never dull.
I don't think there was ever a point in the book that was boring or difficult to get through. The thing that slowed me down in my reading was all the french words and history that is so prevalent. I highly recommend picking up the Penguin Classics version for its useful footnotes. Also, a good dictionary will be very handy.
The story was always good, but the final 100 pages are particularly excellent! I will say that my expectations were set pretty high by friends and family who recommended the book, so I admit that I wasn't as impressed with the ending as I thought I would be. Don't get me wrong, it was wonderful, but I just didn't find it as emotional, or as inspirational as I had expected.
Overall I would give it 4 stars out of 5. The missing star is only because it never produced any strong emotions in me. Everything about it is amazing! Charles Dickens truly is a master of literature.

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