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A Tale of Two Cities
 
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A Tale of Two Cities [Formato Kindle]

Charles Dickens
3.5 su 5 stelle  Visualizza tutte le recensioni (2 recensioni clienti)

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Sinossi

Novel by Charles Dickens, published both serially and in book form in 1859. The story is set in the late 18th century against the background of the French Revolution. Although Dickens borrowed from Thomas Carlyle's history, The French Revolution, for his sprawling tale of London and revolutionary Paris, the novel offers more drama than accuracy. The scenes of large-scale mob violence are especially vivid, if superficial in historical understanding. The complex plot involves Sydney Carton's sacrifice of his own life on behalf of his friends Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette. While political events drive the story, Dickens takes a decidedly antipolitical tone, lambasting both aristocratic tyranny and revolutionary excess--the latter memorably caricatured in Madame Defarge, who knits beside the guillotine. The book is perhaps best known for its opening lines, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," and for Carton's last speech, in which he says of his replacing Darnay in a prison cell, "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known." -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

L'autore

Charles John Huffam Dickens February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic who is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period and the creator of some of the world's most memorable fictional characters. During his lifetime Dickens' works enjoyed unprecedented popularity and fame, but it was in the twentieth century that his literary genius was fully recognized by critics and scholars. His novels and short stories continue to enjoy an enduring popularity among the general reading public.

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3 di 4 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Sublime! 8 marzo 2012
Formato:Audio CD|Acquisto verificato
Chi ama il suono melodioso della lingua inglese deve ascoltare questi CD del capolavoro di Dickens letto dal grande attore shakespeariano Ian Richardson. Come Diana Rigg, di cui fu amico, Richardson ( mancato nel 2007 )proveniva dalla Royal Shakespeare Company. Un maestro della recitazione del blank verse e della mimesi poliforme dei timbri vocali.
Saluti. Prof. Alessandro Mussini
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0 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
2.0 su 5 stelle Troppo vecchio 29 agosto 2013
Di npiero45 RECENSORE TOP 1000
Formato:Formato Kindle|Acquisto verificato
Ho provato anche Dickens ma gli anni si sentono. La forma sa di vecchio, e come non potrebbe, lo stile è d'altri tempi, per forza direte. Quindi anche questo è un testo che si aggiunge a quelli che ho lasciati per la strada...si fa per dire, dato che è in formato elettronico. Leggete altre recensioni, la mia non ha valore in questo caso.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 su 5 stelle  1.740 recensioni
579 di 619 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle An Eighth Grader reviews A Tale of Two Cities 29 giugno 2000
Di Un cliente - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
This book is incredible. I read it last year (in eighth grade), and I love it. I love Charles Dickens' language and style. Whoever is reading this may have little or no respect for my opinions, thinking that I am to young to comprehend the greatness of the plot and language, and I admit that I probably do not completely appreciate this classic piece of literature. I do read above a 12th grade level, although that doesn't count for a whole lot. It took me a while to get into this book. In fact, I dreaded reading it for a long time. But nearer to the end, I was drawn in by the poignant figure of a jackal, Sydney Carton. In his story I became enthralled with this book, especially his pitiful life. After I read and cried at Carton's transformation from an ignoble jackal to the noblest of persons, I was able to look back over the parts of the book that I had not appreciated, and realize how truly awesome they are. I learned to appreciate all of the characters, from Lucy Manette to Madame Defarge. I also was affected by all of the symbolism involved with both the French Revolution, and the nature of sinful man, no matter what the time or place. My pitiful review could never do justice to this great book, please don't be discouraged by my inability.
215 di 232 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle A Tale of Two Cities 27 luglio 2001
Di mp - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
The more Dickens I read, the more impressed I become at his skill as a writer. No matter the form, be it short, long, or a monolith like some of his best works, Dickens excels at changing his style of characterization and plot to fit whatever mode he writes in. "A Tale of Two Cities" is one of his shorter novels, and he manages to make the most of out of the allotted space. The compression of the narrative sacrifices Dickens's accustomed character development for plot and overall effect, but what we get is still phenomenal.
"A Tale of Two Cities" begins in 1775, with Mr. Lorry, a respectable London banker, meeting Lucie Manette in Paris, where they recover Lucie's father, a doctor, and mentally enfeebled by an unjust and prolonged imprisonment in the Bastille. This assemblage, on their journey back to England, meets Charles Darnay, an immigrant to England from France who makes frequent trips between London and Paris. Upon their return to England, Darnay finds himself on trial for spying for France and in league with American revolutionaries. His attorney, Stryver, and Stryver's obviously intelligent, if morally corrupt and debauched, assistant, Sydney Carton, manage to get Darnay exonerated of the charges against him. Darnay, a self-exiled former French aristocrat, finds himself compelled to return to France in the wake of the French Revolution, drawing all those around him into a dangerous scene.
Dickens portrays the French Revolution simplistically, but powerfully, as a case of downtrodden peasants exacting a harsh revenge against an uncaring aristocratic, even feudal, system. The Defarge's, a wine merchant and his wife, represent the interests of the lower classes, clouded by hatred after generations of misuse. Darnay, affiliated by birth with the French aristocracy, is torn between sympathy for his native country in its suffering, and his desire to be free of his past.
"A Tale of Two Cities" is a novel driven by historical circumstance and plot, much like the works of Sir Walter Scott, wherein the characters themselves assert less agency, finding themselves forced to deal with the tide of epic events. Richard Maxwell's introduction to this newest Penguin edition does a good job outlining the themes of doubling and literary influence that Dickens works with. One specific influence I discerned in reading "A Tale" that Maxwell doesn't metion is Edmund Burke's "Reflections on the Revolution in France," which if nothing else, gives the feeling that the rampant violence of the early revolution and the later Reign of Terror has brought about an irreversible change in human nature. While Dickens remains cautiously optimistic throughout the novel that France can recover, the tone of the novel speaks to the regression of humanity into a more feral, primal state, rather than advertise any real hope for its enlightened progress.
Despite the supposed dichotomy between England and France in the novel, Dickens seems to suggest throughout that there are no real differences, due to the way that human nature is consistently portrayed. With England in between two revolutions, American and French, Lucie's sensitivity early in the novel to hearing the "echoing" footsteps of unseen multitudes indicates a palpable fear that the "idyllic" or "pastoral" England he tries to portray is not exempt from the social discontent of America or France. In this light, stolid English characters like Miss Pross, Jerry Cruncher, and Jarvis Lorry appear to almost overcompensate in their loyalty to British royalty. In a novel that deals with death, religion, mental illness, I could go on and on for a week, but I won't. One of those novels whose famous first and last lines are fixed in the minds of people who've never even read it, "A Tale of Two Cities" demands to be read and admired.
128 di 138 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Turbulent times in London and Paris 27 aprile 2005
Di Peter Reeve - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
The period from 1775 - the outbreak of the American Revolution - to 1789 - the storming of the Bastille - is the turbulent setting of this uncharacteristic Dickens novel. It is his only novel that lacks comic relief, is one of only two that are not set in nineteenth-century England and is also unusual in lacking a primary central character. London and Paris are the real protagonists in this tale, much as the cathedral was the 'hero' of Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris. Dickens was writing at a time of great turmoil in his personal life, having just separated from his wife, and no doubt the revolutionary theme was in tune with his mental state.

The result is a complex, involving plot with some of the best narrative writing to be found anywhere, and the recreation of revolutionary Paris is very convincing. The device of having two characters that look identical may seem hackneyed to modern readers, but it is here employed with greater plausibility than in Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson or Collins's The Woman in White.

Dickens was inspired to write this story by reading Carlyle's newly published history of the French Revolution. Those events and their aftermath stood in relation to their time much as World Wars I and II do to ours, that is, fading from living memory into history, yet their legacy still very much with us. In many nineteenth-century novels, especially Russian and British works, you get a sense of unease among the aristocracy that the revolution will spread to their own back yard. In the case of Russia, of course, it eventually did.

I have often recommended A Tale of Two Cities as a good introduction to Dickens for younger readers. This is based on my own experiences, because it was a set book in my English Literature class when I was 15 and I remember thoroughly enjoying it. Yes, it is challenging, with its somewhat archaic language and its slow development, but you cannot progress to an enjoyment of great literature without being challenged.
45 di 45 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
1.0 su 5 stelle This book was abridged and did not say so on the order form nor on the cover. I could not use it! 22 febbraio 2013
Di Joan Florsheim - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Formato Kindle|Acquisto verificato
i would NOT recommend this product because it is abridged and doesn't say so on the cover. It was a big disappointment!
122 di 132 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
3.0 su 5 stelle It is the best of books, it is the worst of books.... 11 maggio 2006
Di Newton Ooi - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
I was first introduced to this book when I was 14 years old in my 8th grade English class. I found it utterly overwhelming; in its cast, its plotlines, its settings, its themes and most of all, in the intricate web the various relationships create. I only understood three things about this book. First, the two cities are London and Paris. Second, France was convulsing itself with the French Revolution while England was undergoing changes that would prepare it to enter the Industrial Revolution. Third, English in Dickens' time did not resemble English at the end of the 20th century, but somehow seemed similar to the English used in Hollywood epic movies from the 1950s and 1960s like Spartacus, Ben-hur, the Ten Commandments, Cleopatra, etc...

Years later, I picked up this book and reread it. I considered this a labor, not of love, but of duty. This book is so famous and used so often in English literature classes that I felt I had to read it again for a deeper understanding. What I got from this book a 2nd time around is a profoundly subtle yet accurate sociological and psychological study of what happens to a society and a community that is built on shaky foundations. Specifically, France was an aristocracy where a tiny minority owned all the land. The rest of society was organized into tiers that varied in their opportunities of becoming landowners. Because of this pyramid structure, most of the people hewed to the social order knowing that yes they get crapped on by those above them, but there's always somebody below them to take advantage of.

Eventually this social Ponzi scheme comes to a screeching halt with the French Revolution. Enough people have had enough that they decide to start over. In the process a lot of people get killed and a lot of property changes hands. So woven into this story of a society's collapse are individual tales of woe, revenge, sacrifice, retribution, love and lust. Some are wrongly imprisoned or executed, while others willingly trade places to free those who have been marked for punishment. Families are torn asunder, and friendships are made and betrayed.

Overall, this book is a classic; though not appropriate for anyone not in their mid-teens yet. Its careful depiction of a society warrants its reading for those interested in 18th century Western history. But it should be read with notes and study guides for its depth and complexity can easily lose the interest and focus of many readers.

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&quote;
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, &quote;
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&quote;
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. &quote;
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&quote;
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! &quote;
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