Strong Recommendation for a Great Book

Strong Recommendation for a Great Book September 7, 2012

A comic version of A Tale of Two Cities. From WikiCommons.

A few weeks ago, I blogged on the strong connection between The Dark Knight Rises and Charles Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities. When I saw the movie, I was unaware of this connection. Ironically, I had just begun my second time through the novel.

I finished A Tale of Two Cities a few days ago. Though I had read it maybe fifteen years earlier, and though I remembered the main plot line, I was astounded once again by this book. It is truly one of my favorite novels.

Yet, I want to offer a word of warning. A Tale of Two Cities is strikingly different from some of Dickens’ more familiar novels, such as David Copperfield or Great Expectations. Those books, which I also highly recommend, follow a coherent story line from beginning to end. By contrast, A Tale of Two Cities seems to jump around, almost randomly. For the first two-thirds of the novel, you will find yourself wondering what’s going on and why things can feel so disjointed. Has the great storyteller forgotten how to tell a good story? Nope. Not at all. In the final third of the book, Dickens ties together apparently loose ends with brilliance. They form a tight fictional knot that astounds, delights, and moves the reader.

I should also say that, unlike many of his other writings, Dickens does not fill A Tale of Two Cities with bombastic characters who make you smile, or even laugh out loud. N0, this novel is serious and dark, not unlike A Dark Knight Rises. It confronts without flinching the injustice of humanity. Its offer of hope comes subtly, unexpectedly. I won’t say more because I don’t want to publish any spoilers.

If you are looking for a book that is worth every ounce of time you put into it, if you are looking for something that will make you think as well as feel, I highly recommend A Tale of Two Cities.

"Yep, it works. Was looking around to see if anyone knows WHY."

A Miraculous Cure for Bug Bite ..."
"Hi Pastor,I am hoping you will continue your discussion on how God guides us. Can ..."

How Does God Guide Us?
"Happy birthday USA you are 243 years old today. Like in a marriage, a lot ..."

Astounding Freedom: A Reflection for Independence ..."

Browse Our Archives