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"A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens

To be honest, the only thing I've really known about this book is the first line, which is probably the most famous opening line in history. But with it surfacing to one of the top positions in several 100 Must Read book lists, there's surely more to it than just the first line!

Here's what one reviewer has to say...

...With one of the most famous opening sentences in history, A Tale of Two Cities ranks among the novelist's finest, anatomising the conflict between democratic and aristocratic principles during the French revolution.

An "intensely cold mist" covers the land "like an evil spirit". After 18 years as a political prisoner, Doctor Manette is released and reunited with his daughter, the beguiling Lucie, who captivates the affections of two suitors, an aristocratic Frenchman named Darnay and the English lawyer Carton. This tale of two cities (London and Paris) is also a tale of three lovers, with a plot-twist of self-sacrifice inspired by Wilkie Collins's play The Frozen Deep, in which Dickens acted.

Epic in historical scale, it is also an intimate book, showing how the personal and political intermingle and what the causes and effects of violence are, including the struggle to retain one's sanity under systemic abuse. Dickens focuses throughout on two sets of relationships: between father and daughter, and between subject and state. Those facing the guillotine do not hope to gain the "pity of the people", but it is a measure of Dickens's skill that he makes us feel sympathy towards them.

This taut, atmospheric novel initially appeared as weekly instalments in 1859. Its insights remain relevant: "Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seed of rapacious licence and oppression ever again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind".
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/sep/16/tale-two-cities-dickens-review

 

New to the Hungry Hundred Book Club?  Here's what you need to know:

1. Read the book (If you don't manage to finish it by the meetup date, don't worry.  As long as you're not going to be too disappointed by spoilers, you're still welcome to join.)

2. Come to the meeting, always on the last Sunday of every month

3. Be prepared to order food/drink at the venue (where ever that may be) to show our appreciation for letting us use their space

4. Discuss!  It's a casual conversation, so don't be afraid to ask questions and let us know what you think.

If this book inspires a creative element in you, please write a piece for the Creative Component of our book club.  It can be about anything that has something to do with the book or the discussion.  It might get you a free book!  Check our facebook page or send me a message for more information.

 

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  • Julie

    Sorry I didn't make it. I couldn't find the place and didn't have your number on me! Oops.

    August 25, 2013

  • Josephine D.

    Sorry Rachel I'm unable to make it today. My loss definitely. I've updated my RSVP to Not Attending. Have fun!

    August 25, 2013

  • Rachel

    Well I tried to upload some photos of the venue to help you find it, but it's not letting me. So just be sure to look for a pink staircase on the corner of Baghdad street and haji lane. See you there, and remember, it's never to late to update your RSVP, so let me know if you're not coming.
    My number is[masked] in case you have any questions. :)

    1 · August 25, 2013

  • angela

    .

    August 25, 2013

  • Arunachalam C.

    I'm sorry Rachel; I don't think I can make it this time. See you guys during the next one.

    August 25, 2013

  • Christian R.

    Sorry Rachel, I've just arrived in Singapore and hoped to have a phone by now, which is how I read nowadays. Read tale of two cities many times but would like to be bringing a copy with me.

    This was going to be my first hungry hundred, very sorry I can't make it. I hope to come to the next one.

    August 24, 2013

  • G.F. Y.

    Sorry Rachel, last minute commitments. Can't make it this time!

    August 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    If you are using a Kindle - via the UK store, the download is also free.

    August 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Off to get myself the book.

    August 22, 2013

  • Sheila

    I lik3 reading and this is my first book club meetup. Hope to learn new things and meet people.

    August 22, 2013

  • Rachel

    Hi everyone, please update your RSVP if you think you might not be able to make it. I've been searching for new venues and I've found some possibilities, but it really helps when I have a better idea of how many people to expect. This month we'll be meeting in a new, small, artsy, very cute, very pink upstairs cafe near Haji Lane. The menu is reasonably priced and the desserts look rich. The nice guys said they're happy to have our business (they've only been open for two months), and if we have 15-20 pax, he'll close the shop for us. Wonderful!! But I never know how many will actually show up... I hope to see you all there but please let me know if you can't make it. :)

    1 · August 22, 2013

  • angela

    .

    August 12, 2013

  • angela

    .

    August 12, 2013

  • angela

    .

    August 12, 2013

  • Topfictionbook

    I, Mr. Pimpoyo de Loyola invites all of u my dear friends, fiction book authors and bookworms or readers to join my e-mail: [masked] or Topfictionbook facebook. Thanks, may God bless all of u my para siempre!

    August 11, 2013

  • Sheila

    I lik3 reading and this is my first book club meetup. Hope to learn new things and meet people.

    August 8, 2013

  • angela

    .

    August 5, 2013

  • angela

    .

    August 5, 2013

  • Soni G.

    Hi, has a location been confirmed?

    July 31, 2013

    • Rachel

      Not yet, I'll have to wait until we get closer to the date to see how many rsvps we have, then I'll choose a location that will fit the number of guests. Plus, I'm always hoping that I'll find a new place that's perfect... I usually don't post a location until about a week in advance.

      July 31, 2013

    • Soni G.

      Thanks Rachel. I will look out for the venue and hope to make it.

      August 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Off to get myself the book.

    June 14, 2013

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