A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations: Two Novels

( 154 )

Overview

Two of the most beloved novels in all of English literature-together in one extraordinary volume.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES
After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of the two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed ...

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A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations: Two Novels

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Overview

Two of the most beloved novels in all of English literature-together in one extraordinary volume.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES
After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of the two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of the guillotine.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS
A terrifying encounter with an escaped convict in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decaying Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor- these form a series of events that changes the orphaned Pip's life forever, and he eagerly abandons his humble origins to begin a new life as a gentleman. Dickens's haunting late novel depicts Pip's education and development through adversity as he discovers the true nature of his "great expectations."

This deluxe paperback edition features
*French flaps
*rough-cut high-quality paper
*complimentary front- and back-cover designs highlighting each novel and including foil and debossing

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142196588
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/6/2010
  • Series: Oprah's Book Club Series
  • Pages: 834
  • Sales rank: 325,823
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors’ prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and “slave” factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years’ formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney’s clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.

Biography

Born on February 7, 1812, Charles Dickens was the second of eight children in a family burdened with financial troubles. Despite difficult early years, he became the most successful British writer of the Victorian age.

In 1824, young Charles was withdrawn from school and forced to work at a boot-blacking factory when his improvident father, accompanied by his mother and siblings, was sentenced to three months in a debtor's prison. Once they were released, Charles attended a private school for three years. The young man then became a solicitor's clerk, mastered shorthand, and before long was employed as a Parliamentary reporter. When he was in his early twenties, Dickens began to publish stories and sketches of London life in a variety of periodicals.

It was the publication of Pickwick Papers (1836-1837) that catapulted the twenty-five-year-old author to national renown. Dickens wrote with unequaled speed and often worked on several novels at a time, publishing them first in monthly installments and then as books. His early novels Oliver Twist (1837-1838), Nicholas Nickleby (1838-1839), The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1841), and A Christmas Carol (1843) solidified his enormous, ongoing popularity. As Dickens matured, his social criticism became increasingly biting, his humor dark, and his view of poverty darker still. David Copperfield (1849-1850), Bleak House (1852-1853), Hard Times (1854), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1860-1861), and Our Mutual Friend (1864-1865) are the great works of his masterful and prolific period.

In 1858 Dickens's twenty-three-year marriage to Catherine Hogarth dissolved when he fell in love with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. The last years of his life were filled with intense activity: writing, managing amateur theatricals, and undertaking several reading tours that reinforced the public's favorable view of his work but took an enormous toll on his health. Working feverishly to the last, Dickens collapsed and died on June 8, 1870, leaving The Mystery of Edwin Drood uncompleted.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of David Copperfield.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Charles John Huffam Dickens (full name) "Boz" (pen name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 7, 1812
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portsmouth, England
    1. Date of Death:
      June 18, 1870
    2. Place of Death:
      Gad's Hill, Kent, England

Reading Group Guide

INTRODUCTION – GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Considered by many critics to be Charles Dickens's most psychologically acute self-portrait, Great Expectations is without a doubt one of Dickens's most fully-realized literary creations.

Work on Great Expectations commenced in late September of 1860 at what proved to be a peak of emotional intensity for its author. Two years before, Dickens had separated from Catherine, his wife of twenty-two years, and several weeks prior to the beginning of this novel, Dickens had burned all his papers and correspondence of the past twenty years at his Gad's Hill estate. This action, in retrospect, can be viewed as a sort of spiritual purge (think of Pip's burnt hands/Miss Havisham on fire)—an attempt to break decisively from the past in order (paradoxically) to fully embrace it, as he does so resonantly in this work.

The writing of Great Expectations, and by extension the creation of its protagonist, Pip, therefore, can be viewed as a kind of excavation for its author, a cathartic attempt to come to terms with the painful facts of his childhood—particularly the family's chronic economic instability, culminating in his father's imprisonment due to financial insolvency. Also paramount in his psychological make-up were Dickens's consignment at the age of twelve to work as a child laborer at Warren's Blacking factory (a secret no one but his closest friend, John Forster, knew) and his subsequent separation from his family as a result—all of which took place over the course of two months. This period in the young boy's life, then, represents both a literal and metaphorical "orphaning" and was certainly the crucible in which his personality was formed. This sense of primal loss, and fear of impending economic ruin, manifested itself later in Dickens's own Herculean and obsessive efforts to busy himself (often simultaneously) as a writer, editor, and public speaker—as if this were the only way he could ensure himself of financial solvency.

Where the creator (Dickens) and his creation (Pip) diverge is that the protagonist (through his suffering and disappointment) learns to accept his station in life. By the end of his saga, Pip has, for the most part, shed his illusions (his "expectations") and is able to live a simple but fulfilling life as a clerk in the company of his great friend, Herbert Pocket.

Dickens, on the other hand, it seems never adequately internalized the lessons of his own life and success. In an autobiographical fragment, he wrote: "Even now, famous and caressed and happy, I often forget in my dreams that I have a dear wife and children; even that I am a man; and wander desolately back to that time of my life" (as a child laborer).

Written in the last decade of his life, Great Expectations is also a meditation on the act of writing (as a book of memory) and the creative imagination, opening as it does with the young Pip (aged seven) in the churchyard, attempting to conjure up through sheer will, a physical picture of his (never-seen) parents by carefully studying the lettering on their tombstones. This memorable scene is a metaphorical attempt to raise the dead through an act of pure imagination.

Serialized between December 1, 1860, and August 3, 1861, Great Expectations was an extraordinary success, selling (midway through its run), over one hundred thousand copies weekly in Dickens's magazine All the Year Round. Published in book form in July 1861, it was considered by contemporary critics to represent a return to Dickens at the peak of his powers, deftly mixing comedy and tragedy and with a rich brew of major and minor characters. By the end of that summer, the book had gone through four printings. Later critics were equally responsive. Playwright George Bernard Shaw felt that Great Expectations was Dickens's "most compactly perfect book." The poet Swinburne believed the story of the novel to be unparalleled "in the whole range of English fiction."

Narrated by a middle-aged Pip, Great Expectations can be read on many levels—as a morality play of a young boy's coming of age, and his sudden and unexpected rise from the lower to the leisure class (due to the anonymous efforts of a mysterious benefactor). The novel can also be read as an ironic commentary: a social critique on money (as commodity) and how that commodity affects everyone around it. It can also be enjoyed as a rattling good mystery story replete with secrets, as well as with shady characters, thieves, and murderers of all stripes. In the end, Great Expectations is an unforgettable tale about fate, and how a chance encounter between an orphan named Pip and an escaped convict radically and arbitrarily alters the lives of everyone around them.

INTRODUCTION – TALE OF TWO CITIES

Beginning and ending with some of English literature's most famous lines, Charles Dickens's novel of the French Revolution thrives on tensions—the tensions inherent in those lines, tensions among people and conflicting beliefs, tensions that drive the forces of history. Much of the tension in A Tale of Two Cities is embodied in pairings, in comparisons and polarities: in that opening passage (best, worst; wisdom, foolishness; belief, incredulity; Light, Darkness; and so on), in political unrest (France, England; England, America), in social and economic strife (French aristocrats, underclass), and in characters, most notably the lookalikes Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton, but also numerous other confrontations and encounters. Tensions large and small give this powerful historical novel a sense of both urgency and intimacy.

Spanning from 1775 to the 1790s, with an epistolary flashback to the 1750s, A Tale of Two Cities shifts back and forth between London and Paris but is most memorable for its depiction of an increasingly unstable France. The poverty-stricken neighborhood of Saint Antoine, in the early chapters so squalid and miserable—so classically Dickensian in its resemblance to his portrayals of London in other novels—is by the end of the story a place of pitilessness and terror: oppression of a different kind. The novel is awash in blood, much of it ominously metaphorical—spilled wine, spilled sunset—but plenty of it spilled in acts of vengeance. The raging mobs moving through the streets, as in the scene of the taking of the Bastille, are frequently described as water: oceans, seas, floods that cannot be stopped, that will engulf each person in its path.

The violence seems inevitable, and indeed, like the novel itself, the characters are filled with a sense of inevitability. The tension that pervades the novel is most strongly felt in the moral certainty that determines the reality and the actions of many of the characters, whether French or English, aristocrat or working class. The Evrémonde brothers cannot conceive of any order other than a world in which the nobility has the power to do as it pleases. Their descendent Charles Darnay, turning his back on the life he was born into, believes he will be accepted, and his call for restraint heeded, by those newly in control. Since childhood, Madame Defarge has been determined to exterminate the aristocracy. Doctor Manette has complete confidence that he will succeed in getting Darnay released from prison. Even the most iconic character, Sydney Carton, who skulks through the novel disheveled and drunk, is sure of one thing: that he has wasted his brilliant promise and his life. Once he makes up his mind about saving Darnay, he is certain that his actions, though they will lead to his death, are right. The moral certainty these characters feel and display means not only that their minds cannot be changed but also that they lack all understanding of the minds of others. In a blackly comic scene toward the end of the novel, Madame Defarge meets her match in Miss Pross. Neither speaks the other's language, neither can understand a word the other says, but each recognizes the wild determination and strength they share—until Madame Defarge's fatal misinterpretation of her nemesis's tears. More tragic is the citizens' inability to see the people they send to the guillotine as human beings: they simply count their heads as they come off.

The sense of inevitability running through the novel characterizes the descriptions of the revolution as a long time in the making: the nobles should have seen it coming. The grimmest and most certain inevitability is, of course, death. Images of death, of burials, graves, and ghosts, are everywhere. Characters such as the Doctor, Carton, and Lucie who suppress painful memories or feelings are said to bury them. But references to resurrection are also found: in the return of Doctor Manette ("buried alive" and then "recalled to life"), the "resurrection man" Jerry Cruncher, the faked death of the spy Roger Cly. Most striking is the passage from John 11:25 – 26 ("I am the resurrection and the life…"), which arises in Carton's mind during a late-night ramble and again as he faces his own death. Carton's story will be told to ensuing generations, including Lucie's son, his namesake and also a lawyer: his metaphorical reincarnation.

Dickens first published A Tale of Two Cities in serial form in 1859, more than half a century after the events he depicts. Even today—150 years later, and more than two centuries after the French Revolution—it speaks to us as a dramatic and moving story and a portrayal of the complexities of humans and their desires, both political and personal. Despite its historical backdrop, it is actually one of Dickens's shorter novels; despite its raging mobs, it features a relatively small cast of characters. Yet the pairs, the dualities, the tensely polarized urges are more complicated than the opening lines might imply.

The final pairing—the closing lines—convey the novel's final tension, between Carton's grim ending and the noble sacrifice of it, while also expressing hope for the future: the "far, far better place" is not only Carton's certain destination but also that of the broken country. But rather than pulling at each other, these tandem lines run forward in parallel. They offer a vision of the inevitable restoration of balance, of tension relieved, of new life: the true freedom of the people, domestic happiness, lives lived out to their natural end, and eternal life both in heaven (though it is never thus named) and in the form of memories and stories.

ABOUT CHARLES DICKENS

Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth on February 7, 1812, the first son of John and Elizabeth Dickens. His father John was a clerk in the Navy Pay office. Owing to his father's low-level position and his inability to manage money, the Dickens family moved often throughout his childhood, living variously in Chatham, Kent, and Camden Town, London. In 1824, at the age of twelve, Charles went to work at Warren's Blacking (a shoe-polish factory) in order to help provide additional funds for the penurious family. This event, along with the family's routine evictions due to non-payment of rent and his father's eventual imprisonment for debt at Marshalsea Prison, were pivotal events in the young boy's life.

In 1827, following the completion of his formal education, Dickens went to work for various London legal firms and became a court reporter. Shortly after his eighteenth birthday, Dickens met Maria Beadnell with whom he was involved for several years. Due, perhaps in part, to the Dickens family reputation, this relationship did not prosper, although it no doubt left its imprint on the young Charles who subsequently based the character of Estella in Great Expectations on Maria. Estella was also conjured from the character of the actress Ellen Ternan with whom Dickens was deeply involved during and following the dissolution of his marriage.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS – GREAT EXPECTATIONS

  • In this novel, Great Expectations, things are often not what they seem. Discuss how the theme of "expectations" is illustrated by and through the various major characters in this book. How are Pip's expectations different and similar from those of his surrogate father, Joe (the blacksmith), Miss Havisham (the eccentric recluse), Estella (the daughter of a convict and murderess), and Pip's benefactor, (the convict) Magwitch?
  • Why do you think it is one of the Magwitch's principal conditions that Pip (his nickname) "always bear the name of Pip" in order to receive his financial support?
  • If Pip had not received his "great expectations" and never left Joe's forge, how do you think his life would have been different? Are the lessons he learns during his physical and emotional journey necessary for him to arrive at the wisdom he evinces as the middle-aged narrator of this tale? In what ways?
  • Why do you think Miss Havisham manipulates and misleads Pip into thinking she is his secret benefactor? What, if anything, does she derive from this action?
  • Given Dickens's portrayal of Estella, what do you think attracts Pip to her in the first place and what, when he learns of her cold-blooded manipulation of men such as her husband, keeps Pip devoted to her until the end, loving her, as he says, "against reason, against promise, against peace"?
  • In the final chapter Estella says to Pip: "Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching." Discuss the theme of suffering in this book—specifically how it instructs Pip, Miss Havisham, and Estella.
  • In Chapter 49 Miss Havisham confesses to Pip that in adopting Estella, she "meant to save her (Estella) from misery like my own." Do you believe this, given Dickens's harsh characterization of Miss Havisham throughout the novel?
  • And in the same chapter (49) when Miss Havisham is set afire, do you believe that, given her state of mind, Dickens intends us to read this as an accident or as a kind of penance/attempted suicide on her part for her cruelty to Pip and Estella?
  • What do you think makes Pip change his opinion of his benefactor Magwitch from one of the initial repugnance to one of the deep and abiding respect and love?
  • In Chapter 59, when Pip places Joe and Biddy's son (also named Pip) on the same tombstone that opens the novel, what do you think Dickens intends to tell us with this image? Given the novel's theme of how the sings of others are visited upon us, do you view this image as a foreboding one in any way?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS – TALE OF TWO CITIES

  • A Tale of Two Cities opens with a passage that has become one of English literature's best known: "It was the best of times…" It is a passage well worth parsing. What does Dickens mean by setting the stage with such polarities? For whom was it the best and the worst of times? Dickens also mentions that the era about which he writes was very much "like the present period," which when he was writing meant the late 1850s. Why does this passage continue to be quoted today? In what ways does our own present period merit such an assessment?
  • The novel takes place, per its title, in two cities: London and Paris. What are some of the differences between these two cities? Between their denizens? What about characters who travel—or move residence—from one to another? What about each of the cities themselves: how are they divided in two?
  • Why does Dickens describe Madame Defarge, several times in her early scenes, as seeing nothing? Why does this depiction of her change?
  • Why was Charles Darnay able to see the unfairness of the class structure that privileged him and to extricate himself from it? Are there other characters as capable of seeing beyond their own circumstances?
  • Dickens seems to have great sympathy for the poor, the sick, the powerless, but not all such characters are portrayed sympathetically. What does that say about his sympathies? Where does he intend our—the readers'—sympathies to lie?
  • The news that Doctor Manette, while imprisoned, denounced all the descendents of the Evrémondes comes as a shock. Given that he saw young Charles and spoke with his beleaguered, compassionate mother—that he, in effect, had reason to have compassion toward them despite the evils of the family—why would he have made such a declaration? What can we make of his repeated claim in the letter read aloud during Darnay's retrial that he was in his right mind? How does he really feel about Darnay and his marriage to Lucie?
  • What is Defarge's motive in betraying Doctor Manette, endangering his daughter and grandchild, and framing Darnay? How might the relationship between Madame and Monsieur be described?
  • Carton's background is alluded to, though we never quite learn the source(s) of his disappointment and degeneracy. What might have happened in his past?
  • Late in the novel, Carton is described as showing both pity and pride. "Pride" is a word we have not heretofore seen associated with Carton, who is full of mostly suppressed regret and anguish over his wasted life. What is Carton proud of, and do others see it? Does Dickens intend to convey that others see his pride?
  • Carton has clearly misused his youthful promise and believes himself to be unredeemable. Does this view of himself actually change, and if so, how? Is Carton a man of faith? Does he become one?
  • Lucie finds "faith" in Carton, described as a "lost man," after he confides in her. Does Lucie come to understand Carton? How? Does she believe that he can be saved from himself?
  • Dickens prefaces the final paragraphs of the novel, which are in Carton's voice, by noting that "if he had given any utterance to his athoughts], and they were prophetic, they would have been these." How might we read the vision expressed in these words? Are we meant to take these thoughts as prophetic—that is, as a portrayal of what actually came after the end of the novel, in both France and in England? Among the beloved friends he has left behind?
  • The vision expressed in Carton's supposed final words includes one for the country and its people after the newest "oppressors" are themselves put to death. What would such a post-Revolution world be like, and how could it be achieved?
  • The French Revolution was of great interest to Americans in the early days of their own republic. Given today's polarities of extreme wealth and poverty and strongly expressed patriotism, as well as the interest in early America, what parallels might we draw between our own time in early twenty-first-century America and what happens in A Tale of Two Cities? What lessons?

Penguin Books and Penguin Classics wish to thank and credit the following writers and books for information used in creating this Reading Group Guide:

Janice Carlisle (editor), Charles Dickens, Great Expectations: Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism, New York, Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1996

Edmond Jabes, The Book of Questions (Volume 1), Middletown, CT., Wesleyan University Press, 1976

Fred Kaplan, Dickens: A Biography, New York, William Morrow & Co., Inc., 1988

Norman Page, A Dickens Chronology, Boston, MA., G.K. Hall & Co., 1988

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 155 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 6, 2010

    Why?

    These are two classic books for sure but why would anyone pay for them when you can get both for free? Because Oprah says so? I think not. Both of these great books are offered for free. If you don't mind paying 11 dollars for the new packaging well more power to you but in this day and age if you are like most the free route would be the way to go. Sorry Oprah.

    21 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Two Timeless Classics From The Master!

    The novels and stories of Charles Dickens have been with us for almost 200 years for a reason. He is simply one of the best (some say, THE best) novelist who ever lived. Originally released in serialized form in magazines, each fresh installment would create an uproar as thousands of rabid readers rushed bookshops for the latest part fresh off the presses. In the United States, the ships carrying the magazine issues from England would often be stormed by readers who couldn't even wait for them to be unloaded. Such was the fervor Dickens' writing created. With A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, you have two of his best novels in one handy volume and at a great price. Great Expectations has been called "the only perfect novel" by critics. It's a tale of redemption, secrets, romance and tragedy. There is something for everyone to savor in this timeless novel and like all great fiction, there is also valuable lessons to be learned. Dickens wrote for the people and though his style is outdated by today's standards, you'll find the themes and scenes are very much of the street and deal with everyday cares and concerns. It is the strength of this aspect of his writing that has led to its enduring through the centuries. A Tale of Two Cities has twists that have been echoed in countless stories since then. This novel of the French Revolution is a-typical of Dickens as it is an historical tale and he usually wrote about the London of his time. But the book has transcended like so much of his work to the extent that it's has been referenced all through pop culture. Even Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan hinges it's dramatic high-points on the opening and closing lines of the novel. And this novel has, perhaps, both the best first and last lines in the history of fiction. Not bad for one book. Again, we've got intrigue, chases, escapes, unrequited love, romance and sacrifice. With this great collection you'll find that the themes and ideas of all great storytelling are timeless and what we enjoy today is just a variation of what came before. As an author and avid reader myself, I know that great storytelling is timeless, eternal. With two of the best novels ever written, you're in for a treat with this collection.

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A must read for classic literature.

    If you like drama, you'll love this. Don't shy away from the book because it's a classic. It's truly a wonderful story.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2010

    When One Reads Old book's, One should have "Great Expectations"

    I expected greatness and I got it! But, not in the way I would have like it (the ending was not what I wanted). Never the less I got it. This writer earns 5-stars because he offer's a story with depth and character's of that day with substance. As with all old books you have story-line with many "puzzle" pieces to ponder about. This story will not easily be forgotten and that makes it a treasure.I believe anyone will be glad they took the time to read it. As with most old books this is a book of patience because during out time (The 21st Century) the competition is great and we have so many choice's to choose from in good books with so little time to read them. This was my Christmas present to myself and it was really a wonderful one. I started it Christmas Eve and finished it at midnight and woke up thankful I allowed this gift to myself. Merry Christmas~

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2010

    WHO REALLY CARES

    What Oprah is reading or recommending?

    3 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2010

    Too Confusing for Me!!

    I will just be honest. I got lost in this book. Every page I had to re-read because I never understood it. Instead of just not really writing a response I had my mom explain it to me. And I watched a few movies of this.
    I would recommend this book for people that don't get lost in description easily, and have a wide range of vocabulary. Or, read it with a partner that does and would enjoy it.
    From my knowledge of this story from the movie and my mom I loved the message, which to me is don't think your better than anyone because your not. Don't use harsh judgment, be a good friend and put others needs in front of your own.
    My favorite part by far was when he gives his life for a friend, what a good example to all of us, maybe not to that extreme but still, you need to sacrifice things for your true friends if you truly care about them. Thanks to him, he was able to have a good life and to me, that's heroic. And because of this act, he is my favorite character.
    I got confused with the characters and what side they were on. In the show, they all kind of looked the same so, I wouldn't really recommend the cartoon, but it did help he understand better.
    I would not put so much detail in this book. I mean yeah, of Corse its great to have detail, but not to the extreme. That was probably fifty percent of the book. But hey, if you like a lot of detail, this book is defiantly for you!
    My favorite phrase from this book is when he is talking to himself I guess and says "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." This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. To do something like this for your friend, is unthinkable in this society today. I would be so grateful, not to the extreme of this, but still if a friend cared enough for you to sacrifice anything for you it is amazing. That's why I found this book O.K.
    This book is made up of history and friendship. We can all take a lesson from this book.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2010

    Love this, it's a classic - but don't waste your money buying the ebook. It's public domain.

    I know this isn't a review of the book itself, but I had to say that it's a shame the online ebook stores are charging people for FREE public domain books which can be found in hundreds of places on the internet. If you want to read the classics, hit the net. It shouldn't cost you a cent.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2010

    Don't Waste Hard Earned Dollars on a Classic you can get for free

    Really, Penguin? Desperate to keep the income from the classics alive in eBook form? If you want to read this, google Project Gutenberg.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2012

    highly recommended

    I had never read these two books before but have read some of Dickens. The first book takes us back to early England and the time of the French Revolution. It gives some very real bloody tales of life in that time and makes you feel like you are actually in it.

    The 2nd book tells of this hyoung man wo has no real expections of his life becoming nothing more than boring, but discovers there is more to life than he expects.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Great edition of two Great Books

    For readers of 19th century English novels, "Great Expectations" is a must-read; I think it's definitely the best of the Bildingsromans Dickens wrote, and one of his best social commentaries.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2011

    GREAT

    This book is very good! My dad downloaded it for me and I have loved it!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2010

    Highly Recommended - surprised everyone hasn't read it!

    A Tale of Two Cities is my all-time favorite book! I have read it at least 10 times, and I will read it again. Dickens is still one of the greatest authors of all time, and I would recommend this and Great Expectations to all readers from 15 to 100.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    wow good book

    wow good book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    Wynotme

    You can tell why they ate classics. Did read them for free tho. I would recomend everyone read them.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2012

    BORING

    It was as boring as hell

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Boring...

    Just couldnt get into this book... Tale of two Cities.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    Gtiujw Syy

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

    Excellent - Belongs on Everyone's Nookshelf

    These are two of the best novels written in the English language. Oprah was right ... these are excellent books to get.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2011

    Great combination

    A tale of two cities and Great expectations are my Dickens favourites. I was glad to find the two together in this volume and for a very reasonable price too. It's also well organized with a very useful table of contents.

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    Re: Project Guttenberg

    Real readers like the feel and smell of holding and reading a book, not the electronic stuff. I'll go with my copy, thanks.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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