I must look like a blundering fool, as the majority of books I have reviewed, have befuddled me. Do not expect this review to be any different. I like a challenge.
I was glad to find another Dickens novel which matched my ancient copy of A Christmas Carol. Both are leather-bound, with gold embossing, which is very fitting for an author whose name has become an adjective. I also picked up Great Expectations and a Kipling novel in this series.
I had first attempted A Tale of Two Cities when I was 12. It didn’t work out well. This was attempt number two. I dislike emphatic repetition. Needles to say, the first page of this novel was painful. ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’ is a very famous line. What they don’t tell you is the whole page goes on with juxtapositions to the point where I screamed, “I get it, it was a very confusing and conflicted time!” If I hadn’t been so frustrated, I might have been more prepared for the rest of the novel.
In an attempt to create and dark sense of mystery, Dickens bombarded me with a flurry of characters, innuendo and scenic changes. Spoiler alert: There are more than two.
I try to avoid any educated critiques of books before I read them so I can have a genuine response to the words. However, after struggling through half this novel, I went to wikipedia to figure out what I had just read. The second half of the novel was much easier to follow. Having said that, I find Dickens’ style of prose enjoyable for the most part. Much like attending your first ballet, I would recommend having a skeleton idea of the plot before embarking on this venture. The story is fantastic, once you catch on. I can understand why this book is a classic and would recommend it.
I still stand by my position not to read analyses before commencing a book. My favourite quote captures this idea: “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking”, George S Patton.