Friday, April 30, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

I have a friend who loves Dickens, loves him with a new and mature fervor. "Some characters are horrible people, some are so wonderful ... and yet in the end, there's always hope. Goodness."

Perhaps I should try him again.

March 1999

The story might be excellent, in other hands, but Dickens is always Dickens. He is neither funny nor feeling; Sydney Carton, grown man weeping into his pillow because he can't be good, is very distasteful. Miss Pross is well drawn but little seen. Finished it quickly, as marvellous story, but again Dickens is always Dickens. Mawkish, hysterical. Had a chance for a great psychological scene at the end, when Carton convinces Darnay to leave and let him take his place on the guillotine; instead of which, Carton drugs him with some handy, unexplained vapour (on a wafted handkerchief).

Mr. Jarvis Lorry very good.

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