A Tale of Two Cities Read-Along – Update #3



Still reading the book, still feeling blasé about it.

What’s up Doc?

Mr. Lorry discovers Manette is starting to behave strangely again and he confronts the Doctor, but they speak indirectly about the relapse. Manette reveals that he has suffered from trauma and when he goes away, Lorry and Miss Pross destroy the blacksmith bench and tools.

Truthfully, I don’t care about this storyline at all.

Sydney, stop talking (for real)

Once again, Sydney tries to share his feelings, but this time with Charles Darnay. Sydney apologies profusely and hopes that his behaviour won’t affect their friendship. Charles seems baffled (as was I, since Dickens never provided us with any insight into their relationship), but tells him not to worry. He is later rewarded for his kindness by getting an earful from his wife, Lucie. Instead of going WTF?, he just ingratiates himself.

What Would Madame Defarge Knit?

Shoot, the Defarges were the most interesting characters in the book, but it turns out they are bloodthirsty revolutionaries. So I guess there really is no one to cheer for in this book … As a side note, I discovered there is a website and book called What Would Madame Defarge Knit? How about a little red cap for the good Citizens of France?

What were you thinking?

So far I haven’t been very impressed by Lucie Manette and now things have really soured for me since she made the brilliant decision to bring her child and loyal helper, Miss Pross, to the middle of the bloody revolution. Lucie, vous êtes stupide!

Hands up. Is anyone else looking forward to the end of this book?

9 comments on “A Tale of Two Cities Read-Along – Update #3

  1. Naomi
    May 14, 2014

    Ha ha. I hadn’t thought about how stupid it was to take her child to France, but of course it was! I don’t think a whole lot about Lucie, anyway, I guess. She’s a dull character. And her father’s story is also dull. I do like reading about the Defarges, though, even though they have become kind of extreme. At least they are still interesting. And I’m thinking that I finally know what Sydney’s part in the story is going to be.

    Too bad you’re not enjoying it much. But it’s almost done!


    • lauratfrey
      May 15, 2014

      I figured out Sydney’s part in the story around this part too… and I was right. That never happens. I kind of liked that I could see it coming though. Didn’t take away from the end for me (I finished about an hour ago!)


      • Naomi
        May 15, 2014

        I’m almost done, too! No, it doesn’t take away from the book to know what’s going to happen. The last part of the book is the best by far!


        • ebookclassics
          May 15, 2014

          I have 6 chapters to go. I think I know what’s going on with Sydney too, but only because of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. 🙂

          Okay, I do want to know what the deal is with the Doctor and Charles’ real identity too. So are you both in agreement that the ending is really good? Am I being too hard on the book?


          • Naomi
            May 15, 2014

            I really liked it, but that doesn’t mean everyone would. I also loved Bleak House, which was similar in that it had a lot of characters that were all connected but we didn’t always know how. So, maybe that’s just me.

            I think you are about to find out about the Doctor’s story, and about how Charles is connected with it. It’s in the chapter that they read the letter written by Dr. Manette in1767.


  2. lauratfrey
    May 15, 2014

    I actually started enjoying the book a lot more in this section, though all your criticisms are valid! Especially the WTFness between Sydney and Charles. I was under the impression they were supposed to be close friends but… not really, Syd is just really into Charles’ wife, which is NOT the same thing! And they happen to look alike, sort of?

    Lucie – blah, don’t even hate because there’s nothing of substance TO hate.

    Dr. Manette – I actually was interested in this storyline. Like why did he freak out upon finding out Charles’ secret identity. And I like Miss Pross.


  3. DoingDewey
    May 16, 2014

    I’ve not been feeling especially into this either. The characters all feel really flat, unfleshed out to me and the plot’s nothing to write home about either. Occasionally the writing wows me, but definitely not my favorite classic so far.


    • ebookclassics
      May 17, 2014

      Oh phew, glad it’s not just me. I agree that everything about the (many many) plots and (many many) characters is flat. I think there are occasional flashes of Dickens brilliance, but its not enough to save the book. Do you think you would try Dickens again? I think I have 2-3 more of his books on my list.


  4. Pingback: A Tale of Two Cities Read-Along Update #3: It Gets Better | Reading in Bed

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