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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
3.00000249851338 out of 53.00000249851338 out of 53.00000249851338 out of 53.00000249851338 out of 53.00000249851338 out of 5 3.00 (400,238 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Dickens Narrator: Simon Prebble Publisher: Craig Black Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9781470802943
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Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities is a sprawling tale of London and revolutionary Paris with a complex plot portraying the results of terror and treason, love and supreme sacrifice.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”—opening line of A Tale of Two Cities

It was the time of the French Revolution, a time of great change and great danger. It was a time when injustice was met by a lust for vengeance, and rarely was a distinction made between the innocent and the guilty. Against this tumultuous historical backdrop, Dickens’ dramatic story of adventure and courage unfolds.

Unjustly imprisoned for eighteen years in the Bastille, Dr. Alexandre Manette is reunited with his daughter, the gentle Lucie Manette, and safely transported from France to England. It would seem that they could now take up the threads of their lives in peace. As fate would have it, however, the two are summoned to the Old Bailey to testify against a young Frenchman, Charles Darnay, 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, as the two men’s fates become intertwined with that of the Revolution.

And there is Madame Defarge, a female revolutionary who has an implacable grudge against the aristocratic Evrémonde dynasty and who knits as she watches the beheadings.

The storming of the Bastille, the death carts with their doomed human cargo, the swift drop of the blade of La Guillotine—this is the French Revolution that Charles Dickens vividly captures. Brilliantly plotted, the novel is rich in drama, romance, and heroics that culminate in a daring prison escape in the shadow of the guillotine.

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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
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

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

    " It took me a month to read this book, of and on. It needed the time. I forget how wonderful Dickens' writing is. How descriptive. How brilliant. How truthful. The language isn't written like this anymore. We don't have the patience for it anymore. But, if you have the time to give, this is a story worth savoring "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bernardo Sulzbach | 1/15/2014

    " Full review on my blog. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denis Materna | 1/15/2014

    " I read this some time ago. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rohit Mishra | 1/11/2014

    " After I finished this book I had two emotions; one, I felt happy for the first time that I was literate, and two, I realized the flaws in me that I can't ever write something like that. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca Wood | 12/28/2013

    " It was hard for me to get through, but I may read it again. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Phil Villarreal | 12/23/2013

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dr Jack | 12/4/2013

    " What a book it is a must read. Grab it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex | 10/26/2013

    " Absolutely excellent. Not much else to say about it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tabitha Tufts | 8/21/2013

    " When I read this book I didn't like it. I found it confusing and depressing. Looking at it again I like it more. You need to focus on characters instead of plot, gives you a good window into history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Arielle | 8/11/2013

    " Yes, I know it's a classic, but my attention was always slipping from the story and the whole love story was really impossible. It made me frustrated at certain points. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yvonne Carter | 7/20/2013

    " Good classic read, of course takes place during French Revolution. Story line revolves between London and Paris "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 6/11/2013

    " Obviously this is an excellent book. It was definitely slow reading and a 2nd-read of it wouldn't hurt! Takes place during the French Revolution and the Storming of the Bastille - it helps if you are familiar with the details of these. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzan Edwards | 5/16/2013

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leeann | 3/19/2013

    " It is a very, very, VERY long book so only start it if you have time on your hands. It can seem tedious at times, but in the end is worth it. It's not the most fantastic book, but has the elements that make up most classics and tells a tale of love and hope among evil and despair. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin Smith | 11/28/2012

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ed Hartnett | 11/13/2012

    " I first read this in high school and then again very recently. I loved the book on both occasions. I must read more of Dickens!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vicki Dull | 10/20/2012

    " A classic good vs. evil human scenario - played out on historical revolutionary backdrop "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Adams | 7/20/2012

    " Classic Dickens, and a gripping story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krista | 4/9/2012

    " It is very different and much more interesting as an adult than when I was forced to read it in high school. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annie Viard | 3/13/2012

    " 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 Dan | 1/29/2012

    " I remember that I read this book, and I remember that I greatly enjoyed it. Besides that, I remember little. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Derek | 11/27/2011

    " Always have, and probably always will be swept away with this dramatic story. Great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ugo Agada-uyah | 9/5/2011

    " i learned more about the tragedies of the French revolution from this one book than from any history book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauretta | 8/22/2011

    " I listened to the audiobook. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 7/31/2011

    " Some classics read well every time. "

  • 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. "

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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

Simon Prebble, a British-born performer, is a stage and television actor and veteran narrator of some three hundred audiobooks. As one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices, he has received thirty-seven Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie in 2010. He lives in New York.