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Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Published 1859
304 pages
Source: Purchased

Schoolwork is rarely pleasant, only mandatory and often mind-numbingly boring. I was expecting such when my English teacher announced the next book in our curriculum. With the memory of my attempt and failure at staying awake while viewing the movie adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities in History class last year still fresh in my mind, I flipped to the first page of my shiny new paperback feeling like I was participating in the beginnings of a new government-authorized torture session.

I was one thoroughly annoyed sophomore.

Needless to say, I experienced a gigantic mental turn-around a few chapters in. I ended up adoring this book and, throughout the course of the novel, often found myself digging ferociously through my pencil case, in search of my handy-dandy Bible highlighter to mark up favorite passages.

Radically different from the YA novels I devour on a regular basis, A Tale of Two Cities is probably the most beautifully written piece I have encountered so far. The lengthy list of characters is sometimes confusing, but Dickens’ writing style overshadows all that. His eloquence manages to convey the insanity of the French Revolution quite well, however contradictory that may seem. Admittedly, I did feel like I was plowing through a swamp in five inch stilettos at times, but I enjoyed every second of it.

A Tale of Two Cities is something I definitely would not have started on my own, without the threat of a failing grade dangling above my head. Who knew? Apparently school is sometimes beneficial…

Rating: 4
delightfully scrumptious
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