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BookLust: A Tale of Two Cities June 5, 2010

Posted by A. Robinson in BookLust, Life List.

I read this one a while back, but it’s taken me a while to get around to posting the review.  If you’re interested, this was on the BBC Top 100 list.

Let me say, I entered this reading expecting a lot.  I’m not a Dickensonian or anything like that (is that what they’re even called?), but I really, really liked Great Expectations.  I mean, A LOT.  Let’s just get this out of the way now: A Tale of Two Cities is not Great Expectations.  Not even close.

The plotline itself is interesting enough and centers around the French Revolution.  The main character has been imprisoned in the Batille for years and reenters the world a changed, desolate man.  Only finding his long lost daughter can bring him out of his revere, but he finds himself pitched back into chaos.  The story moves from England to France and back to England in parallel storylines, which can get confusing at times; overall, though, I found the book easy to navigate.

The main problem is that, for being about the French Revolution, the book is just so incredibly dull.  We see little of Dickens’ wit here, and compared to Great Expectations, it’s practically nonexistent.  Even more problematic was how heavy-handed Dickens was here.  He practically bashes the reader over the head with his “Pro-England, the French are savages” message.  There’s little delicacy, and I found myself balking at Dickens’ agenda here.

2 out of 5 stars (not Dickens’ best)



1. Lindsey - June 9, 2010

I’d like to say I took a cue from the 100 best list and read Bridget Jones’ Diary and it was hilarious. :p Old Charlie isn’t as humorous it seems.

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