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

Book Review: The Old Man and The Sea

Welcome to my first book review to be posted on my Alice Reads Classics blog! Honestly, I’m super excited to start this new chapter in my blogging journey by sharing my thoughts and opinions on classic books with you all. As I’m typing this, it is currently the last day of the summer holidays for me as I return to College tomorrow for the first time in eleven months. Scary but exciting times!

If you like my review, it would be amazing if you could click on the Goodreads link and “Like” it, doing this enables your Goodreads friends/followers to see my review come up on their news feed and promote my love of books with others. This also opens up more doors with publishers for reading and reviewing books because of the number of users that see my book reviews. Here’s the link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2113284220

Below is the quote that was in my edition of The Old Man and The Sea to describe what the story is about:

My thoughts!:

The Old Man and The Sea was so short but yet so bizarre and complex at the same time, managing to read this in one setting with minimal distraction on the last day of summer break was definitely some form of accomplishment. This short story of just under 100 pages long follows an old man who lives in the country of Cuba and his adventures with going out into the ocean and fishing in the Gulf Stream. There are two characters that play a leading role: The old man himself and a boy that is referred to as, “The Boy”. We as the reader, aren’t told very much about him regarding a name or in detail his background.

Two things for me proved to be annoying. The first was the repetition of the Old Man out at sea catching the fish, the descriptions were long and honestly weren’t really needed. I felt there should have been more the Old Man did out at sea then just try to catch fish and kill a shark. He also kept repeating out loud that he wished, “The Boy was here” seeing the same line repeated over and over felt super frustrating. The other thing which annoyed me is how much telling there was regarding the surroundings than showing. The descriptions were long, chunky and was not split up into parts. Rather just one long short story.

Overall, this was a story that I couldn’t fully connect with and so was left disappointed with the outcome of the story.

Star Rating: 3/5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Have you read an Ernest Hemingway book? What did you think of Ernest’s writing style? Let me know in the comments section below!

As always, thanks so much for reading and supporting. See you all soon with a new post!

Alice.

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