12 August 2009

Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens cuts a nice swath through my challenges! I read it off Dailylit so it is not coming off my To Read list. It's a quote filled book, starting with the whole "best of times, worst of times" bit and ending with "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". I thought the last one was something someone said in World War II!



We open with Mr Lorry, a bank employee, meeting Lucie Manette, a young woman. Lorry reveals that Dr. Manette, Lucie's father, is not dead as she thought, that he had been in The Bastille prison for the last 18 years. They take Dr. Manette back to England and somehow get involved with some sort of treason trial of Charles Darnay, a French emigrant as well. Darnay is found innocent when an eyewitness can't tell the difference between Darnay and his lawyer, Sydney Carton. Both Carton and Darnay fall for Lucie, but Lucie only loves Darnay. So they marry and have a child, Lucie.

Darnay is actually a French nobleman but doesn't want that life so never claims his title. When he returns to France to help a friend he gets arrested and thrown into the Bastille during the Revolution. So all the other characters troop to France. Going much further would give away the ending so i'll leave it there. And i can't believe Lucie was so stupid to take her little kid into a freaking war zone! I just wanted to smack her several times during the story. Not my favorite character.

Overall, i say a 5. I was a bit confused, maybe because there were several long intervals between the sections i read.

I also read Planetary VOL 1: All Over the World and Other Stories by Warren Ellis (Author)
and John Cassaday (Illustrator). Bad thing is that my library only has the 1 volume, none of the rest of the series. soooo, i'm a bit confused as to what exactly is going on. I also cannot remember why i picked this up. something tells me that it had to do either with LOST or maybe all the coverage of Watchmen, as Alan Moore blurbed the copy i had. Planetary is some sort of consorsium of highly placed people who we never meet. we do meet Elijah Snow as Jakita Wagner recruits him for the field team. The Drummer is the third member of the field team. over what appear to be a few random adventures we start to see connections and begin to learn about our characters and Planetary as a whole. not a bad book, a 5.

3 comments:

  1. A Tale of Two Cities is far and away my favorite book by Charles Dickens. Though to be fair, I've read very little of his work. It was assigned reading in my senior English Lit class in high school which was taught by a woman who I thought was a real grouch but turned out to be a passionate reader. She did such a wonderful job teaching the book and I just became swept up in it. She was also the teacher who first got me to read Shakespeare (Macbeth)and fueled my love of the Bard's work.

    Prior to that time my reading of the 'classics' revolved around Stoker, Poe, and the children's classics that most people in my generation read growing up. She taught me that there was a whole other world of classic literature and plays out there and my sphere of reading grew tremendously.

    I'm glad that you read it even if it wasn't as impactful on you as it was on me.

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  2. Thanks for sharing! This is one I've always wanted to read.

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  3. Carl- i love me some Shakespeare! i was overjoyed the semester i got to take a class just on him. I bought a giant fat "complete works" volume that i still own. I am going to try some more Dickens, probably in real book format, or maybe on audio.

    Jen- try it, you may like it!

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