Book Review: A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Hello readers! I’m Alice from Alice Reads Classics, welcome back to my blog. Today’s post is going to be a book review of A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. This was a classic that I read after purchasing a free Kindle copy and while on a long bus trip, I really wanted something to keep me occupied during the travels.

Set in France, the main character Doctor Manette is released from prison and travels back to England to see his daughter. At the same time, two men called Charles and Sydney both men of class love the same girl called Lucie Manette. Dividing time between London and Paris, the setting is during the Reign of Terror, a time of much bloodshed and violence. Described as a ‘drama with personal tragedy’, it promised to be both beautiful and heartbreaking.

There is a strong trigger warning here for violence. Therefore, if you plan to read this book before bedtime, then be aware that it might be a little unsettling…

My favourite part of the novel was the last few chapters. They were full of thrills, action and a little bit of violence thrown in. It really helped to keep me on the edge of my seat (or in this case, bus seat!) and passed the time. Due to the length of the novel, there were times I felt bored and moments of info-dumping didn’t lighten my mood. The dialogue however I loved, giving me some character connection that I was hoping for.

I did give A Tale Of Two Cities three stars. I am undecided if I do want to pick this book up again in the future. For now, I’m happy that I gave the writing a chance!

Have you read A Tale Of Two Cities? Did you like the French setting? I’d love to know!

Alice x

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Book Review: Beowulf by Anonymous

Hello readers! It’s Alice here from Alice Reads Classics. Today’s post is going to be a book review for the poem Beowulf written by anonymous. Now, when I heard firstly about the author’s identity being unknown, I had visions of me walking around an old warehouse with a detective outfit on and searching through boxes and shelves for clues. Yeah, I have read too much Nancy Drew XD

Beowulf was written sometime in the 800-1000AD and is described as an ‘epic poem’ by researchers. For this work to survive for hundreds of years, even after fire damage is incredible within itself. Set in Scandinavia, it uses verse to describe various battles and the upbringing of the Geatish hero. It involves a lot of warfare, dragons and kings fighting to the death.

I read the free Kindle edition off of Amazon Kindle. Which I was soon to learn was not the best decision to make. Although I loved the history behind the poem, I struggled immensely with the use of repetition. I wished that more varied language was used to add power and emotion to the verses. The pacing also was tricky to follow. There were moments where I enjoyed how fast it was moving, but others that physically made me have to go back and re-read parts in case I missed something important.

In the end, I rated Beowulf two stars and have no current plans to re-read it anytime soon.

Have you read Beowulf? What were your thoughts on this ‘epic poem’?

Alice x

September Classics Reading Wrap-Up

Hello readers! I know that September finished a while back (now it’s 5th October) but I’m just about to finish my 5th week back at College for the first time in 11 months and to sum up how my experiences are going with that so far, errrr, potential 50,000 word novel? XD

In the month of September, I managed to read 3 classic books which I gave them all roughly 3 stars and felt the same about all of them; they were OK, not outstanding reads but bearable.

To kick off things, I started with The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway and after my Mum read my review on the book, she tried to sit me down and have a chat about what the book was really about it. To be honest, since it wasn’t really my cup of tea, I can’t even remember what happens or who the characters are. By the way, thanks for the support on my review post for it, one of my most liked blog posts to date.

Then I moved on to the other 2 books in the stack: Peter Pan and Liza of Lambeth, having different experiences with each of them. Reviews for both of these books are posted on my Goodreads and hopefully will be up on my blog soon, I need to take photos of the relevant editions I have in case you are interested in seeing them and want to purchase them for yourselves. Both books were quick reads but again, my overall opinions are very mixed, Peter Pan wasn’t quite the book I was hoping for and the ending to Liza of Lambeth was quite unexpected for me as a reader.

I am pleased though that I was able to manage reading more than one classic and trying to balance out coursework and other personal matters such as spending time with my boyfriend.

Let me know if you read any classics in September, how was your reading experiences?

See you all soon with a new post!

Alice. 

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