Extended Audio Sample

Download A Tale of Two Cities Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Tale of Two Cities Audiobook, by Charles Dickens Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (400,237 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Dickens Narrator: Martin Jarvis Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2009 ISBN: 9781482978315
Regular Price: $37.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $17.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” It was the French Revolution. Unjustly imprisoned for years in the Bastille, Dr. Manette is reunited with his daughter, Lucie, and safely transported from France to England where they hope to return to their quiet lives. However, they are summoned to the Old Bailey in the trial of Charles Darnay, a young Frenchman falsely accused of treason. Strangely enough, Darnay bears an uncanny resemblance to another man in the courtroom: Sydney Carton, a dissolute barrister. It is a coincidence that saves Darnay from certain doom more than once.

The storming of the Bastille, the death carts with their doomed human cargo, and Madame Defarge, who knits beside the guillotine, are portrayed with drama, romance, and heroics that culminate in a daring prison escape in the shadow of the guillotine.

Download and start listening now!

BK_BBCW_000897

Quotes & Awards

  • “Beginning and ending with some of English literature’s most famous lines, Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities thrives on tension and conflict, all set against a bloody backdrop of the French Revolution…Through the senses, Dickens transports us deeper and deeper into another era with each turn of the page. Smell the acidity of red wine as it spills on the streets and ominously stains the faces, hands, and feet of peasants who lap it up in desperation; feel the competing emotions of heartache and hope as one of Lucie’s suitors stands trial; hear the cries of the raging mob and the clangs of their weapons as they storm the Bastille; see the glint of the guillotine as it falls swiftly to its victim below. The novel’s sense of urgency and intimacy will draw you in and propel you through one of the most tumultuous times in history.”

    Oprah’s Book Club

  • “What can be said about a book which provides us with the single finest opening line in English literature, outside of Genesis 1:1 in the KJV? Dickens was, without any doubt whatsoever, the finest writer of historical literature / romance fiction of the nineteenth century.”

    AllReaders.com

  • Oprah’s Book Club Selection, 2010

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Taylor | 2/19/2014

    " An interesting story about the French Revolution. Written like your favorite soap opera, but a little confusing at times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aaron Leclaire | 2/18/2014

    " Quintessential novel ... shady characters, murder, true love, sacrifice, and a surprise ending. Biblical themes throughout. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin Smith | 2/13/2014

    " A classic piece of literature that is worth its reputation in this readers mind. I couldn't stand the afterword for the most part though, and thought that Koch was overreaching on some of the themes of the work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elspeth Allison | 2/8/2014

    " Rather difficult to get in to but in possession of an exciting finish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 2/7/2014

    " This is one of those books that you know about but you haven't read...well,now I have. I have always liked Dickens, ever since I came across his works. There is definitely a challenge in his language, but it was definitely worth the effort. A very powerful novel displaying the cruelty as well as tremendous bravery and self-sacrifice that mankind is capable of. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joshua Steimle | 2/6/2014

    " Well, that wasn't half bad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kendra Hillier | 2/3/2014

    " One of my favorite Dickens book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katy | 2/2/2014

    " Starts rather slow but then is full of twists and turns and beautiful, bittersweet moments. If you are looking for an exciting classic (does such a thing exist?) then this is definitely the one to pick up. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Marchitto | 2/1/2014

    " Classic. Read this several times throughout my life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Niamh | 1/28/2014

    " So beautiful. It felt like I was reading poetry. Sydney Carton my heart aches for you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 1/26/2014

    " This is an excellent example of Victorian literature at its best with compelling characters, detailed descriptions of settings, fascinating historical background, and a rip-roaring plot full of deception and ridiculous coincidence. Modern novels are too often like modern movies; they start with an imaginative premise, build suspense for the first half, and fade at the end. In /A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens starts with a hodgepodge of disparate plotlines, develops them along with his characters through the middle of the novel, and brings them together with a flourish at the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Theresa Weldring | 1/22/2014

    " A truly beautiful piece of literature with some of the most memorable lines. Truly moving "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellie | 1/20/2014

    " Read it years ago when I was young for an English lit class. Would love to read it again. A wonderful story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Danielle Christine | 1/16/2014

    " I liked the book, but I felt like it was pretty confusing because Charles Dickens would go back and forth in time quite randomly (in my opinion). Other than that, the story was interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samara | 12/26/2013

    " Assigned during my freshman lit course in high school, I fell in love with this book. Easily on my top list of favorite books, this should definitely be on everyone's bucket list. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vicky Graham | 12/23/2013

    " My favorite Dickens- I re-read every few years "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darby Martin | 12/22/2013

    " Way better than I expected. Having to read it for school took some enjoyment out of it but it was still incredible. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judie | 12/15/2013

    " I read this in high school and couldn't stop crying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kesha | 12/11/2013

    " One of the best endings of any story ever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Theresa Weldring | 12/9/2013

    " A truly beautiful piece of literature with some of the most memorable lines. Truly moving "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annie Viard | 11/26/2013

    " seriously one of my favourite books by one of my favourite authors. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 c a t h e y | 11/24/2013

    " Rather slow in places, but it all ties up beautifully towards the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Robinson | 11/21/2013

    " An interesting book that most certainly kept my attention. But one word of advise: take it slow. Required reading for school forced me to read it quickly, and you don't quite get the entire aura of a serial writer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joanne | 11/20/2013

    " This book is a great book to start your dickens journey as its not very long but totally gripping from start to finish. If you don't think you 'do' dickens then try this . A love story but not of the usual kind but the love between a father and daughter and friend with friend . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Claire Caulfield | 11/18/2013

    " I was a little underwhelmed- but I still have the lingering feeling that this book is (or was) very important beyond face-value. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gemma | 11/18/2013

    " When I started this book, I thought that it was going to be tough going. I was so wrong. The story in this book just carries you through. I wish this book had been in my life before but now it is here, it's stuck. Wonderful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mercedes Brennan | 11/2/2013

    " I don't like the wordy-ness of Dickens, nor his flowery language so I did not enjoy this book; however, it's a very clear look into the French Revolution and a good critique of both sides in the conflict. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 8/3/2013

    " Had to read it for school and I was not expecting to like it at all and I loved it. I honestly think this could be my favorite book ever. The way the plot just falls together at the end is amazing and unexpected. This book is truly a work of art. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brennan Quenneville | 6/26/2013

    " The final two pages are arguably the greatest ending ever written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rana Zaki | 6/12/2013

    " love it ....most amazing novel I have ever read it..Charles dicknes have reached to the max when he was writing it. how do he describe suffer and hope, poor and hopeless people. gentlemen how have paid prices and do sacrifices. chapters love most is the jackle and 2 promises "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 George | 6/3/2013

    " I wanted to like this, because it's a classic. However, Dicken's wordiness had me longing for my next read. I keep seeing reviews that make me think I need to try Great Expectations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Merilee | 4/13/2013

    " This book was intriguing and drew me in, but also took a little while to get interested. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 2/12/2013

    " Some classics read well every time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 txtrvlgal | 9/23/2012

    " Read this book long long ago. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Olivia Abbott | 8/15/2012

    " I had to read this book for a class, so that took out some of what could have been enjoyable. But by the end I loved it a lot! At first it can be dull and slow moving, but if you carry on and force yourself to keep reading it will be well worth it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gemma | 7/17/2012

    " When I started this book, I thought that it was going to be tough going. I was so wrong. The story in this book just carries you through. I wish this book had been in my life before but now it is here, it's stuck. Wonderful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brennan Quenneville | 7/7/2012

    " The final two pages are arguably the greatest ending ever written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Georgiana | 7/5/2012

    " Great story, but it's really Simon Prebble's narration that's garnering the fifth star from me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Paul Szeliga | 6/23/2012

    " yes its classic, and brilliant, but did he need to use so many words? seriously he probably could have gotten his point across just as well, and perhaps more eloquently if only he had an editor, but he seems to love the sound of his own voice. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kevin Nesgoda | 5/25/2012

    " Dickens is dry and unoriginal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzan Edwards | 5/22/2012

    " Took awhile to get through this book but was well worth the effort. The characters were complex and well developed,the storyline held all the elements of a great historical novel, and of course it was superbly written. I did cheat and read Spark notes first so I had a basic overview. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Phil Villarreal | 4/23/2012

    " Drudgery. Dickens does a good job of establishing a sense of place and time and exposing socioeconomic inequities, but there are way too many uninteresting characters with too little to do. I was hoping for something more focused and dramatic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marjie Haning | 12/10/2011

    " Really a second read, but had forgotten how much work it is reading Dickens...still enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexia | 10/23/2011

    " Epic in scope, but lacked a personal connection to draw me in. The last famous last words of Carton rang hollow for me. I wish I could believe in that sort of sentiment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat Gerber-Relf | 10/3/2011

    " Charles Dickens never disappoints. This was a sort of reread from my school days, but I never really finished the book. A good story line, interesting characters. It seems that Dickens was not a fan of the french revolution, but it was a brutal fight, full of revenge. I liked the book very much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Wolf | 9/15/2011

    " I hate Lucy Manet, but the other characters are really interesting, especially Sydney Carton. Love Dicken's hatred of the law & Mr. Manet "recalled to life." A somewhat cursory view of the French Revolution with some too-extended metaphors, but it is still one of Dickens' best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jo Woodhead | 9/5/2011

    " One of my old favourites ... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kjwill5165 | 8/4/2011

    " I read it because it's my son's favorite book. I had to work to stay with the book as the many characters unfold slowly. It was well worth the wait as the book comes together so completely in the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric | 8/2/2011

    " This isn't the exact edition which I had read, but it was as close as I could find. At any rate, I loved the book a great deal. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caitlin Mcg | 7/2/2011

    " I liked this more then I thought I would but Christ almighty, Dickens, this could have been HALF as long and still just as effective. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Merrilee | 6/30/2011

    " My all time favorite book!!! Ingenious! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lillie | 6/28/2011

    " I read through DailyLit emails, a great way to read or re-read the classics. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brenda | 6/26/2011

    " I hate Dickens, and have always had a serious dislike for this book. Wrote a paper on it even. Boring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shams | 6/25/2011

    " What a book! What an ending! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dyah | 6/22/2011

    " need a lot of vocab skill to understand this book.. for me of course. but after all, it's gorgeous! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria | 6/22/2011

    " One of my faves, read many many times. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens (1812–1870) was born in Landport, Portsmouth, England, the second of eight children in a family continually plagued by debt. A legacy brought release from the nightmare of debtors’ prison and child labor and afforded him a few years of formal schooling. He worked as an attorney’s clerk and newspaper reporter until his early writings brought him the amazing success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. He was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, and he remains popular, responsible for some of English literature’s most iconic characters.

About the Narrator

Martin Jarvis, OBE, has recorded more than 150 Just William stories for the BBC. These have become international audio bestsellers. He won the Theatre World Award for his starring role on Broadway in By Jeeves; his West End appearances include works by Ayckbourn, Frayn, Pinter, and Wilde. Screen successes include everything from Stargate Atlantis, Doctor Who, and Numb3rs to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Oscar-winning Titanic.