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A Tale of Two Cities (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

Our Price $ 6.80  
Retail Value $ 8.00  
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Item Number 420666  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   544
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.7" Width: 5.1" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2003
Publisher   Penguin Group USA
Age  18
ISBN  0140437304  
EAN  9780141439600  

Availability  184 units.
Availability accurate as of Jan 20, 2017 07:19.
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Item Description...
Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities portrays a world on fire, split between Paris and London during the brutal and bloody events of the French Revolution. This Penguin Classics edition of is edited with an introduction and notes by Richard Maxwell. 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...' After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille the aging Dr Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There, two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil lanes of London, they are all drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror and soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine. This edition uses the text as it appeared in its first serial publication in 1859 to convey the full scope of Dickens's vision, and includes the original illustrations by H.K. Browne ('Phiz'). Richard Maxwell's introduction discusses the intricate interweaving of epic drama with personal tragedy. Charles Dickens is one of the best-loved novelists in the English language, whose 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. His most famous books, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield and The Pickwick Papers, have been adapted for stage and screen and read by millions. If you enjoyed A Tale of Two Cities, you might like Dickens's The Old Curiosity Shop, also available in Penguin Classics.

Publishers Description
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille the aging Dr Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil lanes of London, they are all drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror and soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine. This Penguin Classics edition uses the text as it appeared in its first serial publication in 1859 and includes the original illustrations by H. K. Browne ('Phiz'). Richard Maxwell's introduction discusses the intricate interweaving of epic drama with personal tragedy.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Buy A Tale of Two Cities (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens & Richard Maxwell from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780141439600 & 0140437304

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More About Charles Dickens & Richard Maxwell

Charles Dickens Charles Dickens (1812 70) had a happy childhood until age twelve when, due to his father s confinement in debtors prison, he was forced to leave school to work in a factory. He taught himself shorthand and worked as a parliamentary reporter until his writing career took off with the publication of Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837). As a novelist and magazine editor, Dickens had a long run of serialized success, including Oliver Twist (1838), David Copperfield (1850), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), and Great Expectations (1861). In later years, ill health slowed him down, but he continued his popular dramatic readings from his fiction to an adoring public, which included Queen Victoria. At his death, The Mystery of Edwin Drood remained unfinished.
Frederick Busch (1941 2006) was the author of eighteen works of fiction, including Closing Arguments, Girls, and The Mutual Friend, a novel about Charles Dickens. The winner of numerous awards, he was the Fairchild Professor of Literature at Colgate University.
Jane Smiley is an American novelist. In addition to her many novels (including Ten Days in the Hills, Horse Heaven, and A Thousand Acres), she wrote a short biography of Charles Dickens for the Penguin Lives series (2001)."

Charles Dickens was born in 1812 and died in 1870.

Charles Dickens has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Annotated Books
  2. Bantam Classics
  3. Barnes & Noble Classics
  4. Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading
  5. Bullseye Step Into Classics
  6. Campfire Graphic Novels
  7. Classic Collection (Brilliance Audio)
  8. Classic Lines
  9. Classic Starts
  10. Classical Comics: Original Text
  11. Clothbound Classics
  12. Collins Classics
  13. Cover to Cover Classics
  14. Dover Giant Thrift Editions
  15. Dover Holiday Coloring Book
  16. Dover Pictorial Archives
  17. Dover Thrift Editions
  18. Enriched Classics (Pocket)
  19. Enriched Classics (Simon & Schuster)
  20. Everyman's Library Children's Classics
  21. Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics
  22. Hardcover Classics
  23. Ignatius Critical Editions
  24. Modern Library Classics (Paperback)
  25. Norton Critical Editions
  26. Oprah's Book Club
  27. Oxford World's Classics (Paperback)
  28. Penguin Christmas Classics
  29. Penguin Classics
  30. Puffin Chalk
  31. Puffin Classics
  32. Radio Theatre
  33. Signet Classics
  34. Sparknotes
  35. Sterling Classics
  36. Tantor Unabridged Classics
  37. Unabridged Classics (Go Reader)
  38. Unabridged Classics in Audio
  39. Vintage Classics
  40. Word Cloud Classics

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Tale of Two Cities  May 22, 2010
What a book! After reading this, I've come to appreciate Charles Dickens as so much more than 'that guy who wrote the Christmas Carol.'

One thing I love is his ability to create a perfect storyline. Seriously, everything in this book fits together in the end like a perfect, completed puzzle. Components that were thought to be gratuitous at first will come back in major ways at later points in the book. Maybe it's just me, but I adore authors who blatantly show that they know exactly where they're going with every sentence of the story. The ending packs a serious punch, too.

The characters in this book are exceptional, as well. My personal favorite was Madame Defarge. It's probably me and my general love for 'the bad guy' in stories, but I loved every scene she was in. I also like the fact the Dickens gave her a reason for hating the aristocracy so much, as compared to her husband. The wood-sawyer/roadmender was interesting, too, if only for entertainment value. But of course, I'm sure anyone going around screaming "My little guilltine! Off with her head! Off his his head! Hahahaha!' for no apparent reason except to please the majority might interest anybody.

This book was also a strong commentary regarding the Revolution. It was interesting to see the ironic way in which Dickens compares the aristocracy to the angry revolutionaries. The revolutionaries are mad for the aristocracy hurting and killing the innocent. Then, they turn right around and start killing plenty of innocent people for the sake of watching their heads roll.

I understand this book isn't for everyone. The plot is complex, there are plenty of characters to keep track of, and it takes a long time to get exciting. But, trust me, if you stick with it, it will pay off in the end.
A Tale of Two Cities  Apr 21, 2010
One can challenge himself and learn numerous things about the history of the French Revolution by reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. This novel challenges readers because in order to understand the deeper meanings of why Dickens incorporates certain symbols, allusions, and motifs, one must develop a strong analyzing ability. For example, Dickens incorporates the motif of footsteps to foreshadow the revolution; without the ability to understand this, one may not understand what occurs in the beginning of the novel and why violence arises in society. Although one may realize comprehending A Tale of Two Cities becomes difficult and tedious, learning about knowledgeable information regarding the French Revolution becomes motivating.

By reading A Tale of Two Cities, one can learn a lot of information about the history of the French Revolution. One can learn from this book because Dickens depicts the state of the peasants and the aristocracy with great detail. Also, one can directly understand the hardships in the time of the Revolution and feel the misery in the people. For instance, "some men kneeled down, made scoops of their two hands joined, and sipped, or tried to help women, who bent over their shoulders, to sip, before the wine had all run our between their fingers" ( Dickens 32). This quotation portrays Dickens's meaningful writing.

A Tale of Two Cities interests people who enjoy reading challenging and educational books. Dickens's influential writing attracts people's attention. If one reads the novel, one cannot easily lose concentration in reading. A Tale of Two Cities attracts people's attention and strengthens a reader's capability and knowledge.
Excellent book!  Apr 21, 2010
A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, contains endless motifs, literary devices, dynamic characters, and more. Dickens' use of connotative language creates a tone and atmosphere throughout the entire book that keeps the reader hooked. The beginning of the story starts out slow, but Dickens' careful use of foreshadowing hints to many dark events in the near future. As a light read, this book appears lengthy and dull. However, a deeper look into the story reveals layers upon layers of literary devices, each symbolizing and representing a different aspect of the book and the French Revolution. The vast amount of knowledge A Tale of Two Cities contains about the Revolution is astounding. Due to the fact that the book came out around 150 years ago, some of the language seems hard to understand, but still worth reading. A Tale of Two Cities holds exceptionally round and developed characters such as Sydney Carton. He ties the entire plot together and helps provide a shocking ending that leaves readers amazed. Lucie Manette and Charles Darnay also contribute to the plot and make the story a memorable one. Through the writing of this book, Charles Dickens creates a masterpiece that withstands the test of time. The various literary tools he uses in his writing all combine to make this book excellent.
A Timeless Classic  Apr 20, 2010
In the text, A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens cleverly crafts the story of a family struggling through the grasp of the French Revolution. This tale makes the gruesome events of the Revolution approachable. The characters of Lucie and her family and friends all exhibit qualities that render them life-like. Lucie's undying love for her family, innocence, and her job of keeping her family intact contributes to the sympathy readers feel for her. The heartbreak of the Manette family at the persecution of Darnay gave readers insight to the conflicts of the Revolution at a personal level. Overall, the characters of the novel add a sense of connectivity to the novel. Dickens astoundingly, blends timeless feelings and emotions with an historic event, making A Tale of Two Cities relate to people of all ages and a book that is highly recommended.
WOW!!! Absolutely amazing book that stands the test of time!  Mar 24, 2010
Somehow I managed to get through Junior High, High School and even College (as an English major) without ever reading A Tale of Two Cities. Since I'm about to graduate, I figured it was time to read this classic and see what it's all about. I knew from a high level that it was about some of the dynamic between London and Paris at the time of the French Revolution, but not much beyond that.

I can honestly say that I wanted to give up a few times as I started. The famous opening lines were interesting ("It was the best of times it was the worst of times..."), but as the story went on, it was a balancing act. For the first 50 or 60 pages, I had to readjust myself to Dickens style. I had to try to care about a myriad of characters without knowing who was going to be important or what their importance would be. I was tossed around between a few locations and seemingly random stories. The writing was gorgeous, the characters were full and the situations were interesting, but the overall pacing of the story felt like it was crawling very slowly. I felt like I was turning page after page and gathering data that felt insignificant. I felt as though I had no clear understanding of the overall plot or the prospective arc of the story and thus I had no way of knowing how quickly (or if at all) I was progressing along that arc towards any type of intrigue, climax or conclusion.

Still, I loved the language and I was intrigued by the characters and wanted to find out how they would interact and where their paths would lead. So, I pushed through. As I passed into the 100+ page mark, I had a clearer idea of the relations of the characters and could start to guess at upcoming events. Halfway through the novel, the intensity really took off and for the last 150-200 pages, I had a hard time putting the book down because I was so invested in what was going on and truly NEEDED to know what was going to happen.

I felt that Dickens did a wonderful job creating vibrant characters that I could intimately invest myself in. I felt great compassion for Doctor Manette and Lucie. I had genuine concern for Charles. I literally shuddered as I got closer and closer to Madame Defarge. Even the peripheral characters and their more minor stories were engaging. I was worried about Cruncher and Miss Pross as they tried to escape Paris. It was interesting the way seemingly minor characters would wind in and out of the story taking on larger roles at times and even becoming highly pivotal characters.

In addition to the wonderful tension in the story and the amazingly vivid characters, I think one of the amazing aspects of this novel is the portrayal of the French Revolution itself. I'm not a historian by any stretch. My knowledge of the Revolution is largely limited to a brief history lesson in High School and reading and watching The Scarlet Pimpernel and Les Miserables. (I kept expecting the Pimpernel to swoop in and save the day...alas, he didn't)

So I have no idea how accurate Dickens portrayal is. But I did find that his descriptions of the buildup and eventual explosion of the Revolution is amazing. I loved that he showed some of the actions that led up to the hatred. As the book went on, the atrocities of the upper class became more and more heinous to the extent that I could relate and empathize with the Revolutionaries to some degree. But as the powder keg erupted into the absolute thirst for blood and vengeance, it became frightening how all-encompassing the hatred was. I really felt the sense of the flood that flowed through Paris and the absolute horror of the thing. While this is a work of fiction, I think this portrayal of the Revolution was absolutely amazing.

Now that I've finally read this novel, I feel really bad that it took me so long to get to it. I also feel like, now that I know the trajectory, the first ~50-100 pages would be more intriguing. I can truly understand why this book is considered a classic and is so open for discussions. It provides plenty of conversation about humanity and history. It also displays lots of intriguing literary techniques that are very cool.

I absolutely recommend that everyone makes time to read this book at least once in their life.

5 out of 5 stars

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