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A Tale of Two Cities
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About the Author

As a child, Charles Dickens(1812-70) came to know not only hunger and privation, but also the horror of the infamous debtors' prison and the evils of child labor. A surprise legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and "slave" factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years' formal schooling. He taught himself shorthand and worked as a parliamentary reporter until his writing career took off with the publication of Sketches by Boz(1836) and The Pickwick Papers(1837). As a novelist and magazine editor, Dickens had a long run of serialized success through Our Mutual Friend(1864-65). In later years, ill health slowed him down, but he continued his popular dramatic readings from his fiction to an adoring public, which included Queen Victoria. At his death, The Mystery of Edwin Droodremained unfinished. Distinguished writer, teacher, and critic Frederick Buschwas the author of more than twenty works of fiction, including North, Girls, and The Mutual Friend, a novel about Charles Dickens. A. N. Wilsonwas born in 1950 and educated at Rugby and New College, Oxford. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he has held a prominent position in the world of literature and journalism. Among his acclaimed biographies are Livesof Sir Walter Scott (John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Tolstoy (Whitbread Award for Biography), C.S. Lewis, Hilaire Belloc, and Iris Murdoch. The Victorians, his study of the Victorian Age, and its sequel, After the Victorians, were both published to widest critical acclaim, and he is the award-winning author of such novels as My Name Is Legionand The Healing Art.

Reviews

Dickens's preeminent and most overtly political novel, set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, radiates with relevance 150 years after its initial publication through two-time Audie Award winner Simon Vance's exceptional reading. Vance's ability to embody myriad voices and seamlessly transition between narration and alternating dialects and accents accentuates the linguistic and narrative vivacity of the text. Because of both the novel's canonized status and Vance's meticulous interpretation of it, recommended for all libraries, particularly those emphasizing the English classics. [With bonus PDF ebook; audio clip available through www.tantor.com. A musical version of Tale, with words, lyrics, and book by Jill Santoriello, opens on Broadway this month.--Ed.]--Christopher Rager, Pasadena, CA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Gr 9 Up-Charles Dickens's classic tale of one family's suffering during the French Revolution is brought to life in this audio adaptation. The voice of Audie Award-winning narrator Simon Vance sets the tone for the characters and creates the Dickensesqe mood of the times when the rich and the poor were far apart and no one was exempt from the ensuing wrath during the Revolution. Vance's stone varies from soothing to animated while creating different voices for the characters and using appropriate accents. A bonus feature on the last CD is an e-book in pdf format that can be printed or used as a read-along while listening to the audio. This easily navigated feature would be particularly helpful for struggling readers.-Jeana Actkinson, Bridgeport High School, TX Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"[A Tale of Two Cities] has the best of Dickens and the worst of Dickens: a dark, driven opening, and a celestial but melodramatic ending; a terrifyingly demonic villainess and (even by Dickens' standards) an impossibly angelic heroine. Though its version of the French Revolution is brutally simplified, its engagement with the immense moral themes of rebirth and terror, justice, and sacrifice gets right to the heart of the matter . . . For every reader in the past hundred and forty years and for hundreds to come, it is an unforgettable ride."-Simon Schama

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