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Publisher's Summary

"It was the best of times and the worst of times." In one of the most famous openings of any novel, Dickens masterfully presents the turmoil of the French Revolution, which is the backdrop for a novel of love, patience, hope, and self-sacrifice. This version is read by Anton Lesser, whose award-winning Dickens recordings in their abridged form has now resulted in the opportunity to read the full unabridged text. His singular characterizations led to him being chosen by Peter Ackroyd to play Dickens himself in the major TV account of the writer.
(P)2005 Naxos Audiobooks Ltd.
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Customer Reviews

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By GH on 05-11-12

Classic Home Run

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely, already have. I read this book in high school and just was not mature enough to appreciate it. When I listened to it, I forget that the first line and the last line of the novel are among the most famous in literature history. You just have to listen to this book; you’ll fall in love with dickens over again and buy more of his books for listening.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

By Lee Chemel on 01-31-09


When Anton Lesser and DIckens come together it is a gift. Even if you know this story, even if you have read it, you will rediscover it through the brilliance of this superlative actor who breathes life into each character with such passion and specificity that you are sure he must be channeling the spirit of each one. He illuminates Dickens. Toward the end my heart was pounding even though I knew the outcome. How is this possible? Because of Anton Lesser.

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26 of 29 people found this review helpful

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By Andrea on 10-16-10

It is a far far better thing ...

This is a tale of love and redemption superbly narrated by Anton Lesser. Probably best known for its opening and closing lines it charts the lives of a group of characters in the years leading up to the French Revolution and the subsequent Terror. Dickens' political beliefs shine through as he highlights the social disparities between the peasantry and the aristocracy that contributed to the revolution in France whilst condemning the brutality and vidictiveness of its after effects. Written in the 1850's the French revolution was part of history, but only quite recent history and Dickens uses this novel to sound a warning against the inhumanities he saw around him at that time in England.

As usual his heroine is unfeasibly angelic and his hero unfeasibly noble but unlike other Dickens' novels the quota of his 'comic' characters is much reduced giving this tale more gravity than is usual in his work. The characterisations are realised beautifuuly by Lesser's narration, enhancing rather than detracting from the original work.

One word of caution however, be careful where you are as you listen to final chapter!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

By David on 01-11-18


The pace, the drama and the emotions were a joy. Loved it from beginning to end

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By Anonymous User on 11-02-17

a classic

a great book, Anton lesser makes any book a standout, looking forward to the next.

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