Friday, March 7, 2014

A Tale of Two Cities

Charles Dickens has done it to me again.  For me, A Tale of Two Cities was an emotionally devastating book for me to read and as it lacked the comic relief of his other novels, it was also an intense and suspenseful read as well.  I liken the experience as listening to an orchestral piece by Gustav Mahler, full of the most painfully beautiful, emotionally evocative, unbelievably pure notes that an orchestra can play.  That actually sums it up quite accurately.  Every chapter in a Dickens novel is like its very own section of an intricate symphony, rich in character and feeling.
As usual Dickens' social commentary is provocative, but this book was confusing.  I could not help but feel compassion for both sides... the French Revolution was so barbaric and I am ashamed at rational people who abandoned all sense to the hatred and revenge so meted out in this book.  It is understandable though.  Dickens was brilliant in portraying everything, making you despise the aristocracy (more behaviour to be deeply ashamed of) one moment and feeling horror for them the next. 
I treasure each experience I have whenever I read his books (and yes...I lovingly hugged the book when I was finished!).  I am so grateful that he was so prolific (there are still so many for me yet to read).  As they are such an intense experience I ration myself to reading one book a year (thus ensuring that I will not run out anytime too soon!), and naturally I plan to revisit them, one book each year for the rest of my life, guaranteeing that my life shall always be enriched.
 Music to swoon to:-
Gustave Mahler Symphony #10

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