Sunday, December 20, 2009

2nd Quarter ORB

2nd Quarter Outside Reading Book Review
A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Chapman and Hall, 1859.
Genre: Historical Fiction

A Tale of Two Cities takes place during the French Revolution. The tale is to describe a place and time of aristocracy, trouble, and everyday life, in London and Paris. It shows the social side to many characters. Charles Darnay, a French aristocrat, living in England is trying to hide his identity as a member of the Evrémonde family. His uncle, Marquis Evrémonde, is arrogant and cruel, and when revolutionaries try and seek him, they find astonishingly that he is murdered. Charles Darnay is to become the new Marquis. Sydney Carton, an Englishman, rather is a wastrel of his life. He chooses to defend Darnay, when he is convicted of treason. Soon when Darnay is executed Carton takes his place confidently.

“Stands as Dickens's most memorable effort to see a world in a very small space; a work short by its nature…yet curiously at its ease among giants.” - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. “Detailed like everyday life, focused, and simple.”

Because Dickens writes with two narrators, it gives the book an uncommon edge. At times, the narrator is unknown, and sometimes might just be Dickens himself. It is often sarcastic, and sour. It seems, as is its stress after stress, because it all has to happen during a tough time, such as the Revolution. Other characters in the book are protecting Darnay from revolutionaries, and they all get their own time to speak. In the end it all comes together, and wraps itself like a present.

“This universal watchfulness not only stopped him on the highway twenty times in a day, by riding after him and taking him back , riding before him and stopping him by anticipation, riding with him and keeping him in charge.” (302)

When picking up this book, I knew it would have been something of my affection. I say this because; I had done quite some research on books set to the French Revolution. Last quarter, I read The Red Necklace. This book was also set to the French Revolution and that I rather enjoyed very much. I’ve never read anything by Charles before so this was my first and I have got to say his voice was spectacular. Over the top, I was really surprised and it’s a classic, which gives it more reason to discover. I’d pick up a Charles Dickens book any day now. It’s now or never, and I chose now.


  1. 1) I think that Steph loved the book, she says she would read something by the author again.

    2) She notices that it's written in two, narritve voices, which makes it different from other books she's read.

    3) I think that the reviewer did pick an interesting part of the book to explain, it made even made me wonder about more details of the story.

    4) I'm not quite sure how this review is "comparable" to others. It seems to be about a different book than other people read though.

    5) I don't really plan on reading this book, I like more modern books. It just doesn't seem like a topic I would be interested in.

    Good job Steph!

  2. I think you really liked this story. You indicate that you might read another book by the same author again, and your writing style is positive and supportive.
    In your review, you notice that the book is told with two different narrorators, giving it an "uncommon edge".
    The passage you chose leaves a lot of questions for a reader, questions that tempt the reader to find out and read the book.
    The novel you have chosen is somewhat uncommon, therefore given your review a different flavor from the others. Comparatively, I thought this was a very good review.
    I do not plan on reading this book. I would perfer a story more in tone with fantasy and science fiction.

  3. I think Steph really enjoyed this book because she even says that she might read something else from this author.

    She recognizes that the book is written in two narrative voices,which stands out from other books she's read.

    The passage Steph chose leaves alot of questions for the reader. It tempts us to further engulf ourselves into the book and entices us to read more.

    THis book review is different from others I have read, but a good kind of different it spices thing up a bit.

    I might read this book because I enjoy not only hooror and romance but old fashioned european things which this book is filled with.

    HI steph :)