When I was in high school, some classes were assigned A Tale of Two Cities while other classes were required to read Great Expectations.
I always figured that good luck brought the bloody tale of the French Revolution my way. Although I went on to read several other Dickens novels, Great Expectations eluded me.
I started the novel last night and was reminded of the magic of Dickens. Once it's finished, the time will be ripe for re-reading A Tale of Two Cities and Bleak House. [Some of the other novels are fine with one reading. The Pickwick Papers might be worth another shot.]
What's so great about Dickens? The minor but very memorable characters. Most readers of The Pickwick Papers probably remember more about the Fat Boy (who snored while waiting table) than they do about Mr. Pickwick. The Fat Boy's famous line: "I wants to make your flesh creep."
Another tip: If you like Dickens, check out Anthony Trollope's novels. Begin with Barchester Towers. Memorable character: Obadiah Slope. Alan Rickman played him in the BBC series.
Funny enough I was assigned Great Expectations in high school and have yet to read a Tale of Two Cities and last night I started re-reading Great Expectations for no good reason (other than I've been reading dry history and needed a change).
I am enjoying it. Don't miss A Tale of Two Cities. It's one of his best.
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