Book Review: A Tale of Two Cities

Author: Charles Dickens

Summary: Goodreads

Pages: 489

Genre: Classic, Historical Fiction

Rating: tealstartealstartealstartealstar

If Dickens had Facebook Messenger:

Me: how was your morning

Charles: It was simultaneously quite enlightening and yet quite predictable. Along the streets, as I was walking to my office, in the day of light, I pondered over what the children think about as they saunter and stroll and tramped and treaded to the building of education. Looming overhead was the brilliant, blinding ball of sunshine pounding on their backs. Oh, does the not the sun show mercy, does it not know it’s brightness at once shining is ever so terrible? The sun..

Charles is typing..

Me: Lolz ok cool

i really liked your book


I kid you not, I think he probably spent half a page writing about the mail at the beginning of the book. And yet somewhere along the way, I fell in love with this story.

I praise Dickens for his wonderfully developed characters. I don’t think I’ve ever read a classic that I felt so emotionally attached to the characters. Every character is struggling with some darkness inside themselves amidst bloodshed and revolution. Their character revelations are always dramatic but so eloquent and sincere that you can’t help but be invested in them. There’s a wonderfully diverse set of characters that play so well off each other and give a glimpse of what it’s like to be the face of humanity in such a revolution. My personal favorite is Madame Defarge followed closely by Sydney Carton. And at the end of it, everyone is to blame, the nobility for being insensitive to the plight of the peasants but also the peasants for becoming the nobility and for being insensitive to basically.. everyone. Charles Dickens really likes foils and having characters with their counterparts play against one another.

The way Dickens crafts imagery is just phenomenal. The way he compares certain images to the ocean or what have you just seamlessly blend in from one scene to the next without sacrificing the flow of the story. He creates this atmosphere of bloodshed and tragedy by letting the reader see that through his frequent use of light and dark and shadows. Surprisingly, AToTC actually has a pretty exciting plotline. He puts in a little tidbit that doesn’t seem important at first but later on becomes a huge part and it all comes together at the end really well.

If you do decide to read this classic at one point or another (which I recommend you do), I highly recommend reading the no fear version. It puts the original text alongside the modern interpretation and it was so helpful to understanding the language whenever I didn’t understand the phrasing of a sentence etc. I did also listen to the audiobook (free on Youtube because it’s public domain now). I thought the way the narrator enunciated made it really easy to follow and that was also really helpful.

Don’t read this book because just because it’s mandatory, don’t read it just because you feel like you should, don’t read it because it’s a classic, read it because it’s such an insightful portrayal of humanity during a time of no humanity.

If you’ve read any Dickens, let me know which one I should read after this one! Do you like Dickens?



13 thoughts on “Book Review: A Tale of Two Cities

  1. I have not read A Tale of Two Cities yet, but it’s on my TBR and currently sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read. Don’t you just love his writing and his characters?! HAHA I find him to be such a great storyteller. I know his famous work is Great Expectations which I have read before and did have a hard time understanding since I was like 12 or something. However, I definitely recommend Oliver Twist! It’s a personal favorite of mine. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true, he’s an amazing storyteller and there were so many quotes in this book that I wanted to write down. I think I saw your review of Oliver Twist and it really made me want to read it! Omigosh Great Expectations is so daunting for anyone let alone a 12-year old. I would have probably given up reading it lol. Most people seem to recommend Oliver Twist and Great Expectations so those are on my TBR! Thanks! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was. I thought it was a childrens book when I was reading it because of the edition that I bought made it look like it was a novel for kids. HAHA

        Yes Great Expectations is probably his most popular work. But definitely do read Oliver Twist. I am being biased here but it’s really good and I hope you will like it,too. If not, at least you gave it a try. HAHA

        Happy reading! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I read Oliver Twist and loved it, but my dad’s favorite book ever is A Tale of Two Cities and his second favorite is Great Expectations so I’m TERRIFIED because they’re classics which I have a hard time reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Classics are hard to read! I always forget how much focus they require whenever I read them LOL. I actually had a hard time with this one for the first couple of chapters because he’s so wordy lol but then the audiobook really helped and the no fear version.


    1. Thank you so much! And yes, Dickens writes characters beautifully although he might do that better with his other books especially Great Expectations since it’s so much longer. But I think you’ll still really like this one 🙂


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