Fiction: A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

The January pick for Dad’s and my challenge this year. Somehow…I didn’t realize I’d read this before (it was a re-read for him, but he knew it!). I KNOW. The thing is, I bought a complete Dickens a million years ago when I lived in NYC (and definitely when I couldn’t afford it!) and one summer I read a TON of them on my daily commute. But that was…a long time ago. So when I first started reading this, I *thought* it was something I hadn’t read before. Then I kept finding turned over pages, and about halfway through it all came back to me.

The main thing Dad and I talked about with this one is how cinematic Dickens was in his details. Moments like describing a wine cask spilled on the cobbled street that then leads the reader’s “eye” to the door of the wineship, and in…and then the plot comes in again. One can really see the details around the edges of the action, as a (good) cinematographer would do, to give you a little moment of breath while still keeping you involved in the moment. Really lovely. Not SO descriptive as to lose your focus on the events at hand (as sometimes Proust can do), just enough to paint a fuller picture.

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