A Tale of Two Cities Read-Along: Update the First

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(Click for Master Post)

The first update for A Tale of Two Cities was technically on Monday, but I’m lagging behind a bit, per usual. Regardless, I am in love with Charles Dickens once again. Okay, okay, I know I’m not very far into the book, but I figure if you can make it through the first hundred pages of a Dickens novel you have nothing to worry about. Readers of Bleak House will know what I’m talking about. It’s worth reading all the way through.

I’m inclined to spend the time writing about Dickens’ massive brain and how much I admire his intellect and skills of proper research, but such a post would do better by itself. But seriously, he’s a blood genius. Don’t ever ask me to shut up about him. It’s not going to happen.

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All I really want to write about for now are characters, so let’s do that. Simply put, the classic Dickens characters are present. Fellow fans of Dickens will know what I mean by that. There is the business and law obsessed Mr. Lorry, the self-pity of Sydney Carton, the humorous female characters like Madame Defarge with her toothpick and knitting, and the host of slightly mental individuals. Above everything else, there are the background characters that represent the disturbing economical situation of the French Revolution. I expect much comedic relief in various characters throughout the novel, but I think some the most memorable moments and characters will come as a result of the miasmic time period.

As with any Dickens novel, there are several characters, and then several more. All are proven important in their roles, but not all remain in the novel for a long period of time, as is true with many who come and go from any person’s story. While I don’t have any favorite characters, Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton are of greatest interest to me thus far. Darnay’s being acquitted and saved from a most vicious death stems from his likeness to Carton. I suspect further juxtaposition, but for now I will simply call it interesting.

I’m going to leave my rambling and Dickens fangirling alone for tonight, but I wanted to at least get a few thoughts out there before the next round. I hope everyone else is enjoying the novel. I know it can be a bit discouraging, especially to a new Dickens reader, but I promise it’s worth the effort in the end. If I end up being wrong about that, allow me some time alone to cry in a corner. For now, I’ll continue to love the novel.

Dickens is enjoying himself, of course, but he can’t seem to keep his hat on his head…

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As always, other thoughts can be found on Twitter at lostgenreader.

Other participants: Please leave me your thoughts and/or link to your own update post. I’d love to know what you’re all thinking so far!

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2 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Cities Read-Along: Update the First

  1. I’ve read that the characters in this one are less Dickensian than other books, that Jerry is the only really “Dickensian” character. The others aren’t exaggerated/crazy enough. Do you think that’s true? I can’t say as this is my first!

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    • I find it difficult to agree with that assessment. They may not be AS exaggerated as some characters from other novels, but his classic characters certainly exist, in my opinion. That being said, I’ve yet to develop an attachment for any particular character at this point (currently on page 117), so I do hope that changes.

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