Fiction — eBook. Project Gutenberg, 2010. Originally published 1859. 501 pgs. Free download.
Charles Dickens never made it onto the required reading list when I was in high school. The pre-Advanced Placement (equivalent of Honors) English class my freshman year read Great Expectations while my gifted and talented class read contemporary classics. I have read A Christmas Carol but I’ve never read something else by Dickens that hasn’t also been made into a Muppet movie.
I’ve been reading along to the audio version of this novel while at the gym. As in this past Sunday Salon, I was struggling to follow the story by just listening to the tale and I think switching over to both reading and listening really helped increased my comprehension.
The novel is divided into three parts: part one entitled “Recalled to Life” has six chapters, part two entitled “The Golden Thread” with twenty-four, and part three entitled “The Track of a Storm” with fifteen. I just reached chapter nine of part two so I’m not exactly halfway through the book. Page number wise, I am not even a third of the way through the book.
But a lot is going on and I thought I would take some time to write down some thoughts. Plot wise, Monsieur the Marquis has struck and killed a child with his carriage and then had the gall to blame the father. The introduction of this character seems to have been the turning point for me: up until now I was “meh” about the book. A horrible place to start liking the book, don’t you think?
A friend of mine who’s an English major pointed out that she felt like the plot of A Tale of Two Cities has been given away by the titles of the chapter. I honestly hadn’t noticed it until she pointed it out and now I find myself not looking at the titles so as to avoid this problem. Has anybody else noticed this?
Overall, my first non-Muppet Dickens is going better than I anticipated. I’m not in love with the book but I don’t hate it either. However, I imagine it will take me a while to finish this book, though. It’s been almost a month since I started this book and the only time I listen to it is while I’m working out. And I don’t make it to the gym nearly as much as I probably should.