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Extended Audio Sample A Tale of Two Cities Audiobook, by Charles Dickens Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.1 out of 54.1 out of 54.1 out of 54.1 out of 54.1 out of 5 4.10 (224 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Dickens Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2008 ISBN: 9781400176366
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"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. . . we were all going to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period. . . "

So begins one of the best loved novels by one of the most beloved writers of all time. This audiobook, "A Tale of Two Cities," by British author Charles Dickens, begins on a cold, dark evening in 1775. Mr. Jarvis Lorry, a prominent London banker, finds himself with a mission. He must inform the lovely, young Lucie Manette, who is also his ward, that her father, whom she thought long dead, had been found. The next step is to enter politically-torn pre-Revolutionary Paris and bring him home.

Thus is set in motion a story of intrigue, unfaltering devotion to family and a love story that pits two men vying for the hand of one woman, two men so destined by the hands of Fate that t heir lives will be irretrievably changed because of their love for Miss Lucie Manette.

This audiobook is much more than a love story. Set in Paris and London in the years leading up to the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the narrator takes the listener through a series of events leading up to the French Revolution. The excesses of the French aristocracy, the growing discontent of the commoners, the revolutionary spirit of much oppressed people and the horrors of La Guillotine – all are presented in rich detail. The story continues long after the rebellion and the New Republic has taken charge of the government. The Manettes and their loved ones are caught up in the heat of political change, their lives hanging in the balance.

Charles Dickens was a British novelist who lived in Victorian England from 1812 -1870. His writings included over 30 titles, with over 20 being novels. His works were first published in serial form with each installment being highly anticipated by audiences both in England and across the ocean in America.

His works called attention to social issues during the Industrial Revolution, including the harsh lives of impoverished children of his time, often forced to work in appalling conditions. His books helped bring about much-needed child labor laws and social change. He was a master storyteller. His vivid imagination introduced the world to characters ever since known by their names: Ebenezer Scrooge, Oliver Twist, Tiny Tim and dozens of others.

Whether you are revisiting books you regard as old friends that you first met in high school, or are reading "A Tale of Two Cities" for a college course, you’ll appreciate the convenience of its being available for easy downloading in audiobook format. Not only can you review the story and its events while commuting, you can listen to it while on your daily walk, while exercising at the gym or as you prepare your evening meal. Classic novels became classics because they have added inestimable value to people’s lives and continue to be assigned by teachers, professors and parents who want to pass down certain values to their own children. These are timeless books that remain in high demand.

This novel provides a highly charged examination of human suffering and human sacrifice, private experience and public history, during the French Revolution.

A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens’s most exciting novels. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, it tells the story of a family threatened by the terrible events of the past. Doctor Manette was wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille for eighteen years without trial by the aristocratic authorities. Finally released, he is reunited with his daughter, Lucie, who despite her French ancestry has been brought up in London. Lucie falls in love with Charles Darnay, another expatriate, who has abandoned wealth and a title in France because of his political convictions. When revolution breaks out in Paris, Darnay returns to the city to help an old family servant, but there he is arrested because of the crimes committed by his relations. His wife, Lucie, their young daughter, and her aged father follow him across the channel, thus putting all their lives in danger.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gerry | 2/20/2014

    " One of the best books ever written! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie Klingensmith | 2/19/2014

    " This is a wonderful, thought provoking book. It takes quite a bit of effort, as the style of English is unfamiliar and lots of seemingly unimportant details turn out to be significant later. But it is a great story, with all kinds of theological themes woven in. This story will stay with me for a long time, especially Sydney Carton and his unrequited yet redemptive love for Lucie Manette. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 2/19/2014

    " I finally came around to reading this book and really enjoyed it. I had no idea what it was about. Yes, I supposedly studied it in school, but the Clif's Notes did not give me the same feeling as the real text. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sɑɳɗrɑ☼ | 2/19/2014

    " I loved this book but I felt like I would have loved it more if I hadn't had to read it for class. Still a great book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pablo Gomez | 2/18/2014

    " One of the greatest novel of all time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 2/16/2014

    " Somewhere between initially finding Dicken's style a little presumptively wordy and sobbing my heart out at the end, this grabbed me without me even noticing. The characters are clear and engaging, the context detailed and gritty and the plot compelling. I love a story about redemption and this also had strong elements of love and resurrection as well which I really enjoyed. It gave me a much stronger feel for the realities of the French revolution too. A top notch read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Payne | 2/16/2014

    " Found it quite gripping actually. Not read much Dickens, but he grabbed me with this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jemma | 2/15/2014

    " Another great example of weaving disparite threads together. A bit verbose as all Dickens is but that is mostly quality writing and worth braving a bit of excess to experience. Not his best work though, even if some of the Characters like Dr Manette and Citizeness Defarge are vividly brought to life. Probably would be a lesser author's best work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aparna | 2/14/2014

    " Though it tested my patience in the beginning, in the end, it turned out that my patience was well rewarded. A tale of two cities was an amazing book and my heart went out to the characters who were very well portrayed. It had all the essential elements, the suspense, an interwoven plot, the romance and the perfect dark character that made the book an interesting and wonderful read.It gave an insight into the lives in England and France in the eighteenth century and the french revolution or La Guillotine. All in all, an amazing and wonderful read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leigh Ann | 2/14/2014

    " A great book. A must read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maryann Diedwardo | 2/14/2014

    " My list of favorites includes this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurel | 2/13/2014

    " Read this driving between Paris and London - 1960 when I was 14 - thrilling! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lauren Beck | 2/13/2014

    " It was the best of books, it was the worst of books, it was a book some loved, it was a book others abhored, it was filled with sentences of eloquence, it was filled with sentences of tediousness, its chapters brought pure clarity, its chapters brought pure confusion, reading it was painless, reading it was agony, we had an entire novel before us, we had nothing before us, English teachers were going direct to paradaise, some students were going direct the other way -- in short, the book was so far unlike the present books, that some of the noisiest authorities insisted on it being read, for enjoyment or for suffering, in the superlative degree of education only. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Manar | 2/13/2014

    " I love the unexpected end ,it is a sacrified ,true love one "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yui | 2/12/2014

    " I read this in my 9th grade English class. Though I understand Charles Dickens is a name to be familiar with, I cannot see why this is required in the curriculum for all 9th graders. I am not saying this was a book not worth reading, and I am certainly glad I had my teacher to help me figure out the archaic language of Dickens, but if I were asked what I learned or received from reading this book, I am not sure I'd have an answer. Other curriculum-required books such as Lord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird, I can understand. A Tale of Two Cities just gave me nothing to work with and I can't see why this is so significant to high school reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bessie James | 2/11/2014

    " I just read it twice in a row recently and I found the second reading was so much more enjoyable. You get used to the language on the first reading and it is so much easier to appreciate the story, the flow of some of the longer descriptions, etc. You realize that virtually every character is important and every sentence has a purpose, "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roger | 2/11/2014

    " Well worth a re-read, 40 years or more after I last read this masterpiece. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexia | 2/10/2014

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna Busa | 2/10/2014

    " This book made such an impression on me in twelfth grade that I chose for my first aol instant messenger name North105. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharla | 2/10/2014

    " I admit I've never actually read any Dickens before, though I've seen many movie versions of A Christmas Carol etc etc and so on and so forth! Often when I finally get around to reading a classic, I find that the story isn't really what I expected ... and A Tale of Two Cities wasn't what I expected either, although I'm not quite sure what that was. In any case, I did get a bit bogged down in the language and some of the terminology (a lamplighter? Huh?) but that is my failing, not the author's. In the end, I found the story entirely compelling, very carefully plotted out, with a completely satisfying and bittersweet ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 R.J. Evanovich | 2/9/2014

    " As always, an excellent re-read. Last time I read this book was 40 years ago. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Glyn Pope | 2/8/2014

    " Forget the wading through mud that I know some people find with Dickens. This is a tale superbly told. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Raquel | 2/8/2014

    " I hated, HATED this book. It was required reading freshmen year. The only assigned book that I resorted to using Sparknotes for that year. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Muhammed | 2/7/2014

    " One of my Favorite books for Dickens as I enjoyed the plot and the story telling of the French Revolution. the writer was able to describe the events so that you live it yourself "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 H5angela | 2/6/2014

    " The first time I read this book was last summer, and I was completely lost and confused and it did not speak to me in any way at all until the last couple chapters when I realize what Sydney Carton is doing: he is dying for Charles so Lucie will be forever happy. That managed to leave a favorable impression on me. Well, for English 12 this year, lo and behold, I was miffed that the final book to read was the one and only A Tale of Two Cities. So I resigned myself to what I needed to do, hunkered down with my playlist of favorite classical and movie soundtracks, and read it again. I was astonished. I was absolutely unprepared for the feelings it inspired in me. In short, I related to the book, I enjoyed the book, I understood the characters and their actions, and I felt even more deeply the grandeur of Sydney Carton's final sacrifice. I really got his character this time around. He is one of my favorite literary heroes. I will disregard Dickens' occasional habit of drawing out a boring scene unnecessarily and his propensity to be wordy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sɑɳɗrɑ☼ | 2/6/2014

    " I loved this book but I felt like I would have loved it more if I hadn't had to read it for class. Still a great book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 bbbbbbrr | 2/5/2014

    " Dicken's writing is so clever and playful that I would probably enjoy the book without a good story behind it. ut the story and characters are pretty good, too. It looses a little bit toward the end. Archaic in some ways. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenn Johnson | 2/4/2014

    " By far, my FAVORITE Dickens novel, behind Oliver Twist. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 The Amusing Muse | 2/4/2014

    " Reading this book took longer than I anticipated, but it was well worth the effort. I was surprised by the ending and ultimately discovered that I LOVED the book. I don't know if I would have enjoyed this as much if I'd read it when I was in school as I did now. I highly recommend reading this novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam Philp | 2/2/2014

    " One of Dickens' best. The build up to the ending and the ending itself are almost overwhelming. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lesli Dustin | 2/2/2014

    " This was one of those books on my bucket list of books. It wasn't a chore to get through like I thought it was going to be(only took me a week); it actually kept me turning pages and sometimes I couldn't put it down. But I didn't understand some of it and I got confused here and there; could probably use a second reading. Wishing I had taken notes of characters; some of them are introduced in the beginning and play an important role at the end. Dickens is a master of character development and so I enjoy reading him and getting to know and love the characters. In my mind, this makes up for the ever-present themes of the human condition and the miserable mortal existence. I love the theme of redemption throughout. I feel smart for having read it and would recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sonia | 2/2/2014

    " Imagine this book being a chessboard. Dickens spend the first 200 pages putting his pawns on the board, talking about the form and the shape of the game, but nothing moves. By the time you wonder if the game will ever start, he makes 5 moves. The last 200 pages are as fascinating as watching Kasparov put on his best play. It makes you glad you patiently waited, and didn't put the book down. It's a descent in the hell of the French revolution, and it's so monstrous that you have to remind yourself that, yes, it really did happened. It took me 2 weeks to get through the excruciating first part, 3 days for the second part. So for that reason, I will say that this novel was the worst of books, and the best of books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emma Hoyle | 2/1/2014

    " Only book I've read several times. Best Dickens by far (except for A Christmas Carol, of course!). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve Shilstone | 2/1/2014

    " It was the best of books, and not even close to the worst of books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ahmed Youssef | 1/30/2014

    " One of the best novels you can learn from, words can draw pictures too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 1/30/2014

    " Some classics read well every time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sabrina Smith | 1/30/2014

    " I loved this book so much, when I finished it, I slept with it for a week! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Sterckx | 1/28/2014

    " The devotion of the original suspect X. A great thriller. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruth Pieterse | 1/28/2014

    " I'm a huge Dickens fan. An excellent story with strong and wonderful characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy Mahan | 1/25/2014

    " Another required reading in High School. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 1/25/2014

    " Somewhere between initially finding Dicken's style a little presumptively wordy and sobbing my heart out at the end, this grabbed me without me even noticing. The characters are clear and engaging, the context detailed and gritty and the plot compelling. I love a story about redemption and this also had strong elements of love and resurrection as well which I really enjoyed. It gave me a much stronger feel for the realities of the French revolution too. A top notch read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Austin (AJ) Webster | 1/23/2014

    " I thought that this was one of Dickens' least impenetrable works. Engrossing, exciting, and compelling. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicholas Adcock | 1/22/2014

    " Good book, wordy and complex (but that is characteristic of Dickens). Great characters, easily recognizable symbols/motifs of the French Revolution. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 KarenV | 1/21/2014

    " This was slow going for me until it actually reached the French Revolution, after which I sped through to the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dr Jack | 1/20/2014

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rubi G | 1/20/2014

    " While I didn't really like this book, I really enjoyed reading about what felt like a behind the scenes of the incidents leading up to the french revolution. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shirley Eiswerth | 1/20/2014

    " My favorite book of all time! "

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

    " One of my favorite classics! I've read it twice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Arielle | 1/19/2014

    " 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 c a t h e y | 1/19/2014

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Grant Mortimer | 1/19/2014

    " Fantastic plot but I feel like it contains a lot of unnecessary words and could be more succinct and still convey everything. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Georgiana | 1/18/2014

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mosab | 1/18/2014

    " Best novella i read in years , complex views of troubled times , yet ultimately fun "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 1/17/2014

    " Cleverly written drama about the French Revolution, told from a British perspective. Dickens is elegant, witty, charming, and erudite in this prosodic trot from London to Paris and back and back again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adrian Lamont | 1/16/2014

    " It was a really good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darya | 1/15/2014

    " Complicated tale of deceit and treachery, rich vs poor, and, of course, revolution and revenge. Now I know where the line, "This is a far, far better thing," comes from. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimberly | 1/11/2014

    " Knitting, knitting, knitting. Now whenever I see women knitting I will be terrified. Great book. I don't like it as much as other Dickens novels but it is still really good. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 novia | 1/11/2014

    " I couldn't pass 30 pages...sorry "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca Sutherland | 1/11/2014

    " A classic of loyalty and selflessness, this Dickens classic lives up to its fame. It's really rather a short read, I was surprised to discover. It appears a bit slow at first but takes off after the first few of chapters, so be sure to pay close attention to the symbolism within the first few chapters to keep up with the rest of the story. If the reader wants a complete effect of what Dickens is writing about and why, do a historical search on the French Revolution. It makes the story that much more potent and really only takes a handful of minutes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marwan Alabassiry | 1/4/2014

    " I've read that book four years ago ... And I think that I must read it again . Tremendous story and great characters , Inquisitive non-like experience . In short ; Best of Dickens' novels ever . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kaushal | 1/3/2014

    " THE best book by Charles Dickens "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marwan Alabassiry | 1/2/2014

    " I've read that book four years ago ... And I think that I must read it again . Tremendous story and great characters , Inquisitive non-like experience . In short ; Best of Dickens' novels ever . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cara | 1/1/2014

    " Confusing but an inspiring ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gregg Sanchez | 12/29/2013

    " Plodding at times, but an intricate plot line that makes the book well-deserving of its place among the classics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hoppy Agarwal | 12/25/2013

    " I read it so young that it had imaginary enchanted vision kind of thing on memory, will read it some time again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vicky Graham | 12/25/2013

    " 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 Bill | 12/24/2013

    " Wow, this is a tough read. Once you get the style of the prose it becomes easier. This is one you should read because it is a great story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 12/22/2013

    " When I become discouraged about the behavior of mankind, I am reminded of this book, and it restores my hope. What a fantastic plot and intriguing characters! Charles Dickens can't be topped, in my book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Razan Assi | 12/22/2013

    " this book is so awesome "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary Gilbert | 12/20/2013

    " I really didn't fully realize the tragedy that befell France during the revolution, until I read this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shirley | 12/19/2013

    " I lied. I did not finish this book. Did my best, but it was painful. "

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

    " The first book I've ever read about French revolution and it is such a great piece--the vivid description of the complex hatred between the aristocratic class and the deeply oppressed poor people. Cruel revenge takes the life as the price. Breathtaking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 iprefernot2 | 12/9/2013

    " "These are desperate times and these are unsavory indivduals who will take desperate measures to get what they want." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tanya | 12/9/2013

    " This book was so hard for me to continue reading but I'm so glad I did! In the end I loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elena | 12/7/2013

    " I read the last chapter and I cried. Then I read the last few paragraphs, and I cried again. This was an amazing book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annmbray | 12/6/2013

    " Never realized the phrase "It's a far, far, far better think..." came from Dickens. Happy but bittersweet ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cara | 12/6/2013

    " Confusing but an inspiring ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Onur | 12/6/2013

    " Well, the story and the final was surprising. I finally had a chance to read that book and it took 2 weeks to end it, but i am happy to read that book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Penny | 12/6/2013

    " I loved this book, returning to it after many years and finding new characters I had forgotten, themes misunderstood, and a compelling ending which made me almost miss my tube stop! This is probably one of Dickens' most accessible books as it seems to have fewer characters and a simpler storyline. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Madeline | 12/5/2013

    " Classic Dickens: the writing was dry and dreary. Its one redeeming quality was the ending. The last 5 chapters or so were OUTSTANDING!!!! I would love to see this done as a mini series for television. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paulette | 12/5/2013

    " My "D" book for 2013. Love Dickens! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Matt | 12/4/2013

    " Got halfway through, gave up. Impossible to maintain interest in this book. I loved David Copperfield, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirley Xu | 12/3/2013

    " I love how the one-star raters all haven't finished the book. Well, it's one of those types of books. It'll be something that you swear you'll end up hating the first few chapters, but later on, it gets really good. It's one of the few English class books I was assigned that actually made me cry. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Betsy Ellsworth | 11/30/2013

    " Loved this book. Taught it back in the days when I taught history. A classic must-read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gina Lento | 11/30/2013

    " I can't believe kids would complain about reading this book in high school.....this book was amazing! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tim | 11/30/2013

    " crazy how different my reading of this was this time from years ago when i read it. brilliant stuff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 11/26/2013

    " 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. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Paul Szeliga | 11/24/2013

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peggy | 11/17/2013

    " First read as a teen in Lit class and it really opened my eyes to what a good book should be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Evelyn Vanzant | 11/12/2013

    " This is one of my all time favorites. I read it first in High school, later just for fun and now with my daughter's book club. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nada | 11/8/2013

    " One of the best novels ever which antedated the French Revolution "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Minrain | 11/6/2013

    " Believe it or not ,until the last chapter,I was still expecting Carton would somehow get out of it but apparently I was so very mistaken.Maybe I was too naive.Ok so Carton sacrifices himself for the one he loves . How very touching. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 11/3/2013

    " Slow going but such a wonderful, fantastic story. One that teaches us about the power of sacrifice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Isabel Capdevielle | 11/2/2013

    " I just finished the spanish edition (which had a lot of gramatical and ortographic errors) and I'm still assimilating the beautiful and moving ending. I understand now the reason this book is considered a masterpiece and Dickens a genius. I loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lia Marcoux | 10/31/2013

    " Oh Sydney. I love you, Sydney. You're my kind of wastrel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Justin | 10/23/2013

    " I read this book my Sophomore Year in High School. I didn't particularly like it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer Deaton | 10/16/2013

    " Essentially a soap opera for the times - throughly engaging and exciting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Irene | 10/13/2013

    " Good book just not what I like to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Grant Mortimer | 10/12/2013

    " Fantastic plot but I feel like it contains a lot of unnecessary words and could be more succinct and still convey everything. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mandee | 10/10/2013

    " SO good, I shed a tear for many books but seldom does a book give me the chills and make up almost panic for the characters themselves. I was sobbing at the end of it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam Philp | 10/4/2013

    " One of Dickens' best. The build up to the ending and the ending itself are almost overwhelming. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joshua Steimle | 9/27/2013

    " Well, that wasn't half bad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mo | 9/21/2013

    " Required reading in high school. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aubrey Wynne | 9/16/2013

    " This book has it all. Love, action, violence, revenge, and some of the best villains of all time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angela Biggs | 9/12/2013

    " This will always be my favorite book because it was the first as a teenager to make me weep and the only one since then. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aria Etain | 8/23/2013

    " Absolutely loved this book!! A classic tale that must be read by all. I couldn't help crying at the end... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kerry Beavers | 8/11/2013

    " The middle section drags but the book three is exciting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan Mcaleer | 8/10/2013

    " I read this in high school and really loved it. However, as an adult, I cannot get past page 60. I keep trying, but oh well!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cecilia | 8/4/2013

    " A heavy book but Charles Dickens was an incredible writer. I always enjoy anything written by him. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joshua Eiben | 7/31/2013

    " Utterly boring. If I hadn't had to read it for Freshman English in high school, I probably wouldn't have even bothered to finish it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Delores Cook | 7/30/2013

    " Read in high school, love the first line. Must rereadsoon! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 c a t h e y | 7/24/2013

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

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Drakeflock | 7/24/2013

    " Yea, I'm going back to Young Adult books... This was a real task to finish. I suppose I'm glad I read it--represents the French Revoltion in stark, personal terms, but I'm going to have do the classics over the summer, not in my first year of teaching. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole Mclernon | 7/22/2013

    " The only Dickens book I actually enjoyed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 7/21/2013

    " When I become discouraged about the behavior of mankind, I am reminded of this book, and it restores my hope. What a fantastic plot and intriguing characters! Charles Dickens can't be topped, in my book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney | 7/19/2013

    " such a beautiful classic. one of my all-time favorites "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darla Stumpp | 7/13/2013

    " Thank goodness for Spark notes - Enjoyed the experience of this epic novel but would not have had the pleasure without the support of background. Will tackle "Great Expectations" next. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Heather Taylor | 6/8/2013

    " I know it's a classic. I was trying to listen to it while I worked and I couldn't follow it at all. Two hours in and I couldn't tell you what is was about so I gave up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 6/7/2013

    " I hate slow beginnings which is the only reason i gave it a 4 instead of a 5. This book was really good. I always thought that I would hate Dickens after attempting to read David Copperfield, but I actually really loved this one! :D "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colleen Moser | 5/20/2013

    " Read it in high school and remember loving this. Want to read it again. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jacqueline | 5/16/2013

    " I found it difficult to keep focused on the story. However, my interest peaked toward the middle and I wanted to know how it ended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lia Rock lantz | 4/22/2013

    " Read this in high school about 30 years ago and loved this classic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom Elliott | 4/19/2013

    " The last third (or so) of the book makes the long setup worth it. Madame DeFarge and Miss Pross, 'nuff said. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rana Zaki | 4/18/2013

    " 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 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Evelyn Vanzant | 4/7/2013

    " This is one of my all time favorites. I read it first in High school, later just for fun and now with my daughter's book club. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 R. | 3/25/2013

    " enjoyed it very much... good story, well written. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jess | 3/15/2013

    " He got paid by the word, and boy can you tell. Ugh, throw in some dialogue once in a while, Mr. Dickens. Spice it up. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Talbot Hook | 3/8/2013

    " Well, it was a story. And, well, Dickens. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 3/2/2013

    " I have not read this book in 30 years or more, but I remember it being my favorite Dickens story. A true hero in Sydney Cotton and a great look into the French Revolution. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Darcysmom | 2/27/2013

    " Charles Dickens is not now and has never been my cup of tea. Despite this fact, I have had to read a considerable amount of his catalog of writing. It is proof that teachers have a sadistic streak. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Petra | 1/29/2013

    " I read this book on Audio and Book version at the same time. Being a English as a Second language girl, it was a hard read without the audio. It really helped doing both at the same time and I got way more details out of the book than my husband who only read it in book version. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole Mclernon | 1/24/2013

    " The only Dickens book I actually enjoyed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rob Lofland | 1/21/2013

    " In all of literature, is there any purer expression of love. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine Taegar | 1/11/2013

    " A must read. One of the best classics I have read. Definitely on my top 10 books of all time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Wolf | 1/10/2013

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nabilah | 1/6/2013

    " I think this is the perfect first novel for beginners to Charles Dickens. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Irene | 12/15/2012

    " Good book just not what I like to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annabelle | 11/30/2012

    " Dickens is a classic - must read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary Gilbert | 11/28/2012

    " I really didn't fully realize the tragedy that befell France during the revolution, until I read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 becky | 11/11/2012

    " amaaaaaazzzzzziiiiiinnnnnnng! its a must read people! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison | 11/6/2012

    " This was my fifth time reading this book, and my first time teaching it to my AP students. And I loved it just as much as I did the first time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathan Agena | 10/28/2012

    " A really great storyline. If only Dickens wrote the book in a way people could understand better... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elspeth Allison | 10/25/2012

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bonnie | 10/11/2012

    " Very good...once you get used to the language. Great story! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Holly Adamson | 9/29/2012

    " I loved it. It was so very good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ugo Agada-uyah | 9/23/2012

    " 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 Marjie Haning | 9/19/2012

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Evgeny | 9/16/2012

    " One of my favorite books of all time "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzduell | 9/13/2012

    " Wow...that took a long time! I enjoyed it, but I think I will review the Spark notes to see what I missed! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Folkheart Press | 9/3/2012

    " Dickens work is always a great read. The characters and their situations are remarkably alive... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 8/22/2012

    " One of my favorite classics! I've read it twice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Holly Adamson | 8/16/2012

    " I loved it. It was so very good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jayna Santine | 7/29/2012

    " Oh my! Fabulous book by Charles Dickens. The detailed descriptions provide an insight into how sparse and desolate life was for a majority of people during that unstable time in history. Recommend viewing spark notes as you read each chapter or two. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vinay Nair | 7/29/2012

    " One of my FAV5 book . . . "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Messick-Milone | 7/17/2012

    " The one Dickens classic I can say I truly enjoyed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amber | 6/8/2012

    " This book was great, but Dickens is so time consuming and requires a lot of concentration. He has a very interesting sense of humor but when he wasn't being funny, I was either feeling depressed or daydreaming about the book I was going to read afterwards. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rohit Mishra | 5/20/2012

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauretta | 4/25/2012

    " I listened to the audiobook. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ailidh | 4/8/2012

    " What an excellent read! I really enjoyed this book, it was amazing! It needed lots of concentration but, I needed to reread parts of it at times "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin Crow | 3/11/2012

    " I had to read this in high school and I'm glad I did. I still remember a lot from this amazing book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ugo Agada-uyah | 3/6/2012

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

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 zzzz | 2/29/2012

    " I was prepared to give this book 1 star but then I remembered how much I liked Madame Defarge so it gets 2 stars instead. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Glyn Pope | 2/14/2012

    " Forget the wading through mud that I know some people find with Dickens. This is a tale superbly told. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy Mahan | 2/7/2012

    " Another required reading in High School. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Khater | 2/6/2012

    " A book that I never get bored of. And every time it is read, it's almost as if it's the very first time again and again and again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Luis | 2/5/2012

    " Great book about the French revolution and the way it was seen by Dickens. It shows both the possibilities and the dangers of a revolution. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Benkurtwilson | 2/3/2012

    " This is the real deal. I compare all books I read to this one in terms of beautifully painted scenes, dynamic and moving characters, powerful but not overbearing imagery and metaphors, and well-executed drama. This is my favorite book from one of my favorite authors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Johnnie | 2/1/2012

    " I would give this five and a half if I could. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denis Materna | 1/27/2012

    " I read this some time ago. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela Baena | 1/15/2012

    " Excellent read. It has everything: injustice, hope, love, drama, French Revolution, sacrifice. Hats off to Dickens, definitely one of my favorite authors. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Wolf | 1/8/2012

    " 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 Jennifer Deaton | 12/30/2011

    " Essentially a soap opera for the times - throughly engaging and exciting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly Dinnan | 12/27/2011

    " my fav book of all time! have read it three times! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bernardo Sulzbach | 12/23/2011

    " Full review on my blog. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 12/19/2011

    " Much better the 2nd time around. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ro Laberee | 11/21/2011

    " I waited until both feet were planted in middle-age before reading, not sure why. It is a great, great book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie Bowerman | 11/18/2011

    " Listened to this audio book on the way to and from Charleston, sometimes confusing myself by listening to the same chapter twice. (Wait, how can he be getting arrested again?) It is a far, far better thing I do.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colleen | 9/21/2011

    " So much about this book was different than I'd remembered it that I'm glad I revisited it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bülent Güven | 9/5/2011

    " I learned something about of France freedom war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Omar Maklad | 8/25/2011

    " the most beautiful Novel i read in my life "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emma Hoyle | 8/20/2011

    " Only book I've read several times. Best Dickens by far (except for A Christmas Carol, of course!). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan Brunner | 8/7/2011

    " Seriously, is there a more famous combination of opening and closing lines in literature? What a wonderful read! "

  • 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 Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.