For those people who love a gripping story with an ever surprising and always thrilling plot, A Tale of Two Cities is the perfect book for them. Written by one of the most prominent and prolific classic writers of all times, A Tale of Two Cities takes it’s readers on an electrifying joyride, giving them a chance to live and experience the lives of the characters described so vividly in the book.
Set in the late 1700’s when despair and misery were a common household name and peasants in France were readying themselves for a revolution, the story of A Tale of Two Cities explores themes like social injustice and it’s disheartening parallels, politics and family, and life and it’s big questions. The heart-wrenching story with all it’s valuable lessons is some of Dickens’ best work, and his genius way of pulling the reader in to explore the depths of their own consciousness through his stories, makes A Tale of Two Cities one of the all time greatest classics in the history of literature.
The Story is centered around the Manette family, a small middle-class family with not too much wealth but all the health and happiness in the world. They live in London, and the family comprises all of two people, Doctor Manette and his beautiful daughter, Lucie. A symbol of perfection, Lucie’s beauty and warmth are the reason for the happiness in Doctor Manette’s life, but he was not always a happy man.
A French doctor by origin, he had been imprisoned for 18 years without any reason or any trial, and then released with just as little warning or reason as the former. Shattered from his experience, he found saviors in his little girl who was all grown up now and radiant in every possible manner, along with a weary British businessman by the name of Mr.Lorry who rescued him and his daughter and took them back to England where they could spend their lives in peace.
Doctor Manette and Lucie’s small but happy lives are disrupted when they are call in to testify as witnesses in a treason case against a man named Charles Darnay. When Lucie’s charming testimony and a little trickery from a lookalike of Darnay help him win the case, he is quickly consumed by Lucie’s beauty and perfection and falls in love with her. In a well thought of twist, Darnay’s lookalike, a man by the name of Sydney Carton, falls in love with her too. But always doubtful and blissfully comfortable in his suffering, Carton believes he will never be good enough for Lucie and makes way for the better man in her life.
Darnay and Lucie get married and live happily together for several years. Their wedding night is the fateful night when Charles reveals to his new family that he is actually a French nobleman in disguise; the son of one of the notorious Evremonde brothers who also happened to be the the devils responsible for having Dr.Manette arrested all those years ago. Choosing to love Charles for who he is, Dr.Manette accepts him into the family and they are happy till the day when Charles gets a letter from the steward of his former father who was stabbed to death in the middle of the night, requesting that he save him from the angry French peasants.
This is where the story takes readers back to the second city, where the lives of the peasants are growing increasingly miserable everyday and the revolution has called for the beheading of the french royalty. In his attempt to secretly rescue the steward, Charles sets out to France only to find himself arrested and at the mercy of the rebels a few steps into the boarder. Dr.Manette finds out and rushes to France to help his new son in law, where he is regarded as a sort of celebrity, as all formerly falsely accused victims of the French nobility were. His heroic status earns him points with the rebels and helps him free Charles, who through the unforgiving wrath of band faith gets arrested again, this time, for the crimes of his father. However there is still yet another tragic twist in the story of A Tale of Two Cities.
The beauty of this story is in the way that Dickens has told the story of one human life through the characters of several different people in the book. Every character in the book is a representation of a part of who each and every one of us are, and each of these people are mirror reflections of the different shades within ourselves.
Sydney Carton, brilliant but insufferable, represents the part of us that takes joy in suffering and never has enough faith to believe that we are made for bigger things. Charles on the other hand reflects that part of us which fights the Sydney in us, and his determination to stray from his roots and who he is by blood to become a better person signifies the corner in our hearts that is constantly fighting the suffering and the insecurities we face in life and trying to be hopeful, to be better.
Lucie represents the purest part of our hearts, where good overcomes evil and the dark is defeated by light. She is a representation of our hopes, our dreams, who we strive to or wish we could be, and always the better half of our conscience. And last but not least, Dr.Manette is a representation of the part of us which is tired and weary from trying to fight against and being the victim of all the injustice we see around us, the part which is content with living a small, happy life surrounded by the people we love.
And together, they all come together to tell the life a human, the life and the big questions that each and every one of us face at some point in life.
This beautiful tale of suffering, empowerment, good and evil, light and dark, happiness and misery, is one of the most enthralling and enticing of Dickens’ works. The audiobook of A Tale of Two Cities is beautifully narrated and told with passion, and for the few hours a day when you are listening to it, you will be pulled into a different world, a different life, a different time.
The almost tactile descriptions and emotionally stimulating situations and lives of the characters will mesmerize listeners and send them into a trance of literary ecstasy. For lovers of the literary arts this audiobook is a must listen. Dickens’ peculiarly brilliant command over the language and his picturesque descriptions nestled among his highly intelligent plots make A Tale of Two Cities one of the most enjoyable books in the history of literature and are just a few of the reasons why it is, and always will be one of the classics!