12 Sep 2011

Literary review - Charles Dickens' 'Tale Of Two Cities'

I haven't quite finished Dickens' classic novel Tale Of Two Cities, but I worry it will take me another few weeks as it is very heavy going so I'm writing up my review now.
It is my first Dickens, and I started it because I found out that it was the best-selling book of all time, and if 200 million people recommend it then it has to be worth a go. Firstly, for a novel like this you need to be in the right mindset to appreciate it, Dickens' prose is beautiful and inspiring (I even copied a few lines down, for example "So does a whole world, with all its greatnesses and littlenesses, lie in a twinkling star") but there were times when I just wanted to continue with the plot and characters, and didn't want to be barraged with anymore adjectives that I had to look up in the dictionary (i.e. I googled them). The biggest problem I faced with this book was confusion about when and where I was. I would finally suss out what had just happened, when Dickens mixed up the story again (but I managed to get back on my feet after a while). However, if you have faith in this book, it is rewarding in the end, the characters come together (my favourite was Madame Defarge) and there are some beautiful scenes and imagery. I am fond of historic books, it encourages me to go out and learn parts of history, in this case of course the French Revolution, that I had very little knowledge of before.
Overall, I would recommend this book to someone who is willing to stick it out (and reread a few chapters perhaps?) because it is an immensely enjoyable and beautifully written novel. I am defiantly considering David Copperfield now...

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