A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations: Two Novels (Oprahs Book Club)

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I have never read a classic. I've always found them intimidating and hard to read. I thought I wouldn't understand them and they would be boring. But I figured they had to be called "classics" for a reason. I just finished A Tale of Two Cities which is divided into 3 sections. I started out thinking "see this is why I never read classics" but by the end I was thinking "I can't believe it's taken me this long to read a classic, it was brilliant! I was determined to finish this book and continued to give it a chance. After that point the book was hard to put down and lived up to how Jonathan Franzen described it: I'm glad Oprah chose this book, A Tale of Two Cities would have probably been the last classic I would have chosen to read.

But I'm glad I did. It was a powerful story of ultimate love and self sacrifice as well as ultimate evil and horror. I liked the historical aspect of the book, learning about the French revolution.

Oprah Chooses Charles Dickens for Oprah's Book Club

The suspense was intense and the story touches your soul in a way things rarely do. At the end tears were streaming down my face and blurring my eyes where I could hardly finish the book. Bravo, Charles Dickens, bravo. Sep 12, Neil Coulter rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: I don't know if I'd read A Tale of Two Cities since 10th grade I think it used to be required reading for a lot of us in school in those days.

I remember enjoying it back then, but I wasn't prepared to return to it and find that it is such a brilliant, hilarious, exciting story. My wife, who has taught the novel a number of times in high school classes, suggested that we all read it together as bedtime stories. I thought at first that this was a crazy idea, because I know how complicated Dicke I don't know if I'd read A Tale of Two Cities since 10th grade I think it used to be required reading for a lot of us in school in those days.

I thought at first that this was a crazy idea, because I know how complicated Dickens's sentences can be, and how long it might take us to get through the book. And as we started it, I still thought it was kind of a crazy idea, because the beginning starts rather slowly and demands a lot of intuitive, contextual understanding. But once the characters and setting are established, the story quickly starts moving toward its inevitable conclusion, and it was extremely fun to share together in the evenings. I remembered the general outline of the narrative, but I'd forgotten many details along the way.

In particular, I didn't remember the full character arc of Jerry Cruncher, nor did I remember the climactic confrontation between two very strong female characters. I doubt 10th-grade me understood Mr. Lorry very well, and now I find him fascinating and admirable. I did remember loving Sidney Carton, but looking back at him from middle age is even better than looking up to him from youth.

Were we to have another son, I think "Sidney Carton" would be a great choice for his name. I really resonated with so much of Carton's struggle against darkness and hopelessness. I always find it hard to write anything worthwhile about a long and beautiful novel such as this one. View all 5 comments. Neil Coulter Christina wrote: I read it in college and absolutely loved it!

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I bet a lot of us read it long before there was a Goodreads to keep track of it. Janet Thanks for your recommendation Neil.


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I love both works, they are probably my favorites. I reread Great Expectations with my son when he was in sixth g Thanks for your recommendation Neil. I reread Great Expectations with my son when he was in sixth grade. It never gets old. Aug 20, Tracey rated it it was amazing Shelves: The story of love, revolution, friendship,and sacrifice. It is a relevant today as it was on publication in serial form in Some things shouldn't be forgotten and this story is one of those things. The idea that the oppressed came to be the oppressors is a frighteningly real one. The power mad woman whose very words can bring someone to there death, The beautiful and loving wife one so far remove I have just finished A Tale of Two Cities and I am in awe of the story and the man that wrote it.

The power mad woman whose very words can bring someone to there death, The beautiful and loving wife one so far removed from the other but in this story of light and dark good and bad right and wrong there are many comparisons to be drawn. I cried at the end and during for the strength of some of the characters and the sheer will of others to do what needed to be done. I am rambling a little and will possibly edit this or do a full review in days to come.

If not then all I can say is read this, savor the writing the the prose the wonderful literature that I along with countless millions have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy because though this was my first Dickens rest assured it will not be my last. Great Expectations This started off so well In the first book we are introduced to Pip an orphan who is being 'brought up by hand' by his cruel to the extreme older sister and her blacksmith husband Joe who is lovely and tries to help Pip when his sister lays into him. The meeting in the graveyard between Pip and 'The prisoner' is a truely scary one and the writing so descriptive I read over it twice just because Pip is in time summoned to the house of the rich if eccentric Miss Havisham where he meets the beautiful cold and proud Estella her adopted daughter.

Miss Havisham is a wonderously described character the likes of which I had never read of before and I love her to bits,, I see all her things and her wedding paraphernalia all rotted and wasted. This first book of the 3 is a work of art for me. I read in pictures towards the end of part 1 Pip discovers he has been given some money by a secret benefactor and travels to London leaving his family, Estella and his old life behind with Great Expectations. The second part of the the story book 2 is about Pips life in London where he meets the Pocket family very odd and wittily described and his guardian Mr Jaggers but really not much happens in this part of the story.

Pip is growing up making friends, deliberating on who his benefactor may be and not a lot else really. Part 3 was where the action is taken up again and we find out that his new life is the direct result of something that happened in part 1. I really enjoyed this book and I loved some of the characters Miss Havisham and the loony Mrs Pocket so obsessed with the fact that she thinks she is descended from royalty that all she does all day is read a book about titles and her plethora of children are not being brought up or dragged up but are literally 'tumbling up'.

The book is long and has taken me an age to read due to holidays birthdays and life in general getting in the way. I will not say anymore about the end part other than it was as it should be and I felt satisfied with it. All in all a very character filled book and sublime writing. View all 4 comments. Jun 24, Amanda Burke rated it really liked it. I finally finished this one. Both the teens had to read it for their high school lit class with their fab teacher not me! And I realized we should use bigger words. Because words are beautiful.

A classic sacrifice of love in a sea of psychotic political hate. Best of times, worst of times.

A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations (Oprah's Book Club)

Apr 21, Kelly rated it really liked it. Put Off - noun Put aside your books and come for a walk. This book has always put me in such a One thing before I start on my before review.. This book has always put me in such a tremor since the day I encountered this gothic Yahoo, this towering Hun yes, they all mean the same thing in the Thesarus.

There is no other dead white male who bothers to cool my coffe Put Off - noun There is no other dead white male who bothers to cool my coffee right quick okay, it's an exaggeration, Milton makes me squirm too. But in the event of one close patron's death, I decided to honor them with putting myself to the task. What my purpose of getting a dual copy when I only managed to read one, and knew ahead of time I would only read one, is beyond me. But I can say this: I owe Charles Dicken a fervent and eternal apology. And also to my friend who I am most certain didn't go up there so she is more than happy to meet me down there.

For as long as I have avoided Dickens, you'd think I'd like him more. Or at least, more than I think I do at the moment. I grew up hating this guy. And hate is not a strong enough word, it's used way too much. I was venemous towards Two Cities and little Ollie. First time I took pleasure in bad mouthing a made-up person. And, as I quite spiritually found, that was a good thing. It was the plainest thing: I should have waited.

From all my bookish friends, I have not heard that. But then, they don't remember half the character quirks or memorable dialogue either. There are certain books that must wait upon our shelves until we are older. Some, when we are MUCH older. Trying to conquer Great Expectations at 11 was not a fabulous idea. It was just pretentiousness. I do believe I have yet to suck out all the poison in my snake bite. Pip, to me, is indestructibly cute. Couldn't find a better word for the little scrapper. His voice charms one, I think, though the beginning was droll.

My sister the BMW gives licks much oh, much too sharp. Or something of that rot. Further down the supposedly straight path: Pip gets in some more trouble, there's mist, a creepy lady of gentle-lady upbringing, and her beastly little ward. I'm not much of a fighter. More of a runner. But I felt there should have been some root pulling going on here. I was pretty well dazzled by Dickensian language. I was hoping to be, as famous as his style made him.

But the four stars was really for Tale of Two Cities, which I won't be able to finish in this edition, but I have a scrappy hardback that will soon assuage my fretting. Aug 22, Tiffani rated it it was amazing Shelves: I hardly knew ye. I only read A tale of two cities from this edition will save Great expectations for another time and was astounded! I was simultaneously caught up in the story, the style, the tempo, and vocabulary such as: Perhaps I shall read critique by the by, but upon completion of this novel, I am enamored. It wi Charles Dickens!

It will take a place among my all-time favorites. I will also do a video review here at my channel: I do appreciate what Dickens was doing with this novel though. They were definitely the most interesting, the most complex. I think I might have also been expecting a bit more action since this is taking place during the French Revolution, but all there was were a lot of characters sitting around talking about action rather than actually doing something. Through pop culture I was already spoiled about the dramatic ending, but it was nice to read everything leading up to that ending and getting a better understanding.

I think there are things in this book to appreciate, certain scenes, certain characters, certain moments, that make it all worthwhile. And I feel the need to just bring up "Great Expectations" since this is a bindup, but I really have no intent on reviewing it because it's a book I've reread over and over I think this was my 5th reread I want to say.

So just for the sake of going ahead and bringing it up: I love "Great Expectations. So much going on, compared to "A Tale of Two Cities. Highly recommend "Great Expectations" because I think it's one of those classics that's easy to get into and easy to read. Jun 15, Nicole rated it liked it. This was confusing to understand at first. Dickens has a way about him in which his narrative lays out the pieces of a puzzle while keeping the bigger picture being put together in the dark: Enjoyable and set against the background of the French Revolution, I can see the appeal of this boo This was confusing to understand at first.

Enjoyable and set against the background of the French Revolution, I can see the appeal of this book as a classic. Jun 27, Chelsea rated it really liked it Shelves: I had previously attempted to read this book twice but found it very trying to get past the first few chapters. The writing is true to it's time period and to Dickens in that it is flowery and the vocabulary is archaic.

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I confess I had to look a few words up. There were so many characters and plot lines started at the same time I found it hard to foll So I just finished A Tale of Two Cities and started Great Expectations but thought I'd write my review of the first while it was still on my mind. There were so many characters and plot lines started at the same time I found it hard to follow during these first few chapters probably why I had given up in the past. I can only imagine how difficult it would have been to try and follow this book as you waited for the weekly chapters to be released over a 7 month period as it was originally released, I would have given up then too.

That said once you get through the first third of the book and have a solid grasp of the characters Dickens does a great job of tying it all together and you find all those characters and plots really do have there place. And for the last third of the book I found myself staying up way too late reading and having trouble putting the book down.

I think this book is also a great read for anyone studying the French Revolution to get an idea as to what the atmosphere was like and also why there was so much discontent. I have always found the this part of French history a bit ridiculous if not even comical, I have a dark sense of humor only because the french ousted a king only to follow him with a dictator and emperor and eventually a king again.

Really a lot of blood shed for no real outcome, but I digress. Overall this first book of the set is a great read. So this book was a lot more linear in it's plot than A Tale of Two Cities which made it easier to follow but it was not nearly as intriguing. I found myself frequently asking, "Who cares? Jan 05, Miles Zarathustra rated it it was amazing. This is a review of "Tale of Two Cities. The whole thing seems random and haphazard at first, but it all fits together in the end The last third or so of the story was in the "couldn't put it down" category.

Dickens' pe "Tale" is a good read, especially the later chapters. Dickens' perceptiveness of the fickle nature of justice and the plight of the underclasses makes for an engagingly human narration. I found that keeping a brief list of the character names and the years was quite helpful. Not sure how I feel about the edition, a Borders closing sale acquisition beautifully printed but with no annotations. Annotations do get in the way of the flow of the text sometimes, and I think I got most of what was going on without them.

But if your edition has them, that's probably better. The Cliff notes available for free online, which I am reading afterward cleared up several mysteries, but also contain spoilers, so I wouldn't recommend reading them beforehand. Their explanation was essential to my comprehension of the first few pages, filled with rich allusions decipherable only to someone familiar the time current to when Dickens wrote.

Although not essential to the plot, nice to have. I think this one is worth a re-read, now that I understand better the shape of the plot. Sep 13, Fyza Parviz Jazra rated it really liked it. A profoundly human story about family, friendship, and love set in rural Maine - emotionally gripping and moving. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention dickens classic charles classics french school revolution edition kindle listening literature themes pages english collection chapters audiobook historical sydney question.

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Oprah Chooses Two Dickens Novels as 65th Book Club Selection

Please try again later. The novels and stories of Charles Dickens have been around for almost years for a reason. He is simply one of the best novelist who ever lived. Originally released in serialized form in magazines, each fresh installment would create an uproar a Read More The novels and stories of Charles Dickens have been with us for years for a reason. He is simply one of the better novelists. Originally released as serialized form in magazines, each new installment would create an mark as many readers rushed to the bookshops for the latest offering fresh off the presses.

In the United States, the ships carrying the magazine issues from England would often be stormed by readers who couldn't even wait for them to be unloaded. Such was the fervor Dickens' writing created. With A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, you have two of his best novels in one handy volume at a great price.

It's a tale of redemption, secrets, romance and tragedy. There is something for everyone in this timeless novel and like all good fiction, there is also valuable lessons to be learned.

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Great storytelling is a timeless gift. With two amazing novels , you're in for a nice treat. Audio CD Verified Purchase. This has to be one of the best deals in audiobooks: The novels are both great, of course, but the readings vary in quality: Whoever thought it would be a good idea to have an American narrate Dickens? Narrator Buck Schirner did his best to vary his vocalizations to give life to the different characters, but too often his attempt to render British accents descended to caricature, his female voices were overly insipid, and for some reason he gave Sydney Carton an American drawl so that he sounded more like an Old West gunslinger than a debauched London lawyer.

His portrayal of Miss Havisham was so eerie and yet so utterly appropriate to her character and station it gave me goosebumps. This was one of those cases when listening to the audiobook was much more satisfying than reading the text would have been, because my own imagination would have fallen short of Michael Page's stunning rendering of all the characters. He has a new fan, and I'll be looking for his name on future audiobook purchases! Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.

Two Dickens classic rolled into one with a dozen or more illustrations for each separate book. Illustrations were more "mood" pieces including old sailing ships, jail cells, street ways, and even a guillotine which I thought fine, but several images were repeated in the book s and given the heavy emphasis on the great dialogue written by Dickens I expected much more artwork comprised of people than were present. I thought the two books were ok overall, but I'm still wanting to shop for some better illustrated versions. One person found this helpful.

Listening to This Audiobook. Charles Dickens is a wonderful author, putting character and perspective to historical fiction. You truly get involved in the story line and care about the characters. You can hardly go wrong when you select a classical piece of literature like "A Tale of Two Cities," and "Great Expectations.

This product was perfectly packaged and delivered before the expected delivery date. I appreciate both very much. I recommend both the product and the seller. I had read Great Expectations in 9th grade, and it was enjoyable to revisit it years later. Dickens obviously had fun with his characters in this book. Two great stories that everyone should read.

The characters are rich in character and flaws making them very human to me. Every character is important to telling the story. I'm not a fan of Dickens but I definitely enjoyed these 2 stories. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. See all reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 5 months ago. Published 10 months ago. Published 12 months ago. Published 1 year ago. Estella was set to reek Miss Havisham's revenge on men'". Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Two Novels Oprah's Book Club. Set up a giveaway. What other items do customers buy after viewing this item? Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Great Expectations Penguin English Library. Feedback If you need help or have a question for Customer Service, contact us. Would you like to report poor quality or formatting in this book? Click here Would you like to report this content as inappropriate?