Sunday 22 December 2013
A Tale of Two Cities Readalong: The Last Bit
This is it! I have officially done it and actually finished a Dickens novel for the first time (excluding A Christmas Carol last year) since university! I have to say that despite not posting last week, due to general crafty craziness and order overload, picture to be found at the bottom of this post for those who are interested, I'm really proud of myself! Aaaaand book 3 was so much the best of the three that it was just amazing. I didn't cry at the end, but I wasn't that far off, I will admit. Sydney Carton it an epic epic man.
Also yay for Miss Pross, because Madame Defarge may have been a really cool character, but she was also kind of a lunatic...I think my favourite thing about this book was that everything played out exactly how I thought it would be at the same time not at all how I'd expected it to. In the beginning I expected Darnay to turn out the hero, and while certain aspects of him were quite heroic, he is clearly not as awesome as certain other people! There are going to be spoilers now, if you haven't read the book yet look away!
So, usually when people die because they love someone that much or whatever I sigh and roll my eyes and mutter something like 'Beauty and the Beast rip off' or 'Pokemon tears will bring you back to life'. Because I'm cool and all my movie references are really current, obviously. But this was just epic and brilliant and I loved it. I loved that Carton loved Lucie for years without ever mentioning it to anybody else, without anybody else ever suspecting and without being totally pathetic about it. I loved that he just accepted his own shortcomings, but then that he totally redefined his character in the last few chapters of the book, and that all of his basic character flaws which had been laid down in the first two books were reconstructed to enable him to perform his final heroic act at the end. Basically, I just loved it.
That said Lucie herself didn't get much better over the course of the book. She still didn't seem to have much of a point except to be the perfect woman that everybody aspired to being with or whatever, but it stopped bothering me so much as we found out more about the Doctor's story and as events unfolded throughout book 3. I really enjoyed the backstory of the Doctor, and it gave a nice little twist just when everything was getting a bit predictable, plus it gave Madame Defarge a reason for her mentalness.
So yes, A Tale of Two Cities in summary: quite slow moving with a few kind of pointless and slightly stupid characters (I'm an ex-aristocratic Frenchman who ran away and abandoned my estate but I know! I'll go back to France just when the Revolution is kicking off, nothing bad will happen!) but several fairly epic character and one who may have the greatest storyline and character development ever. I will keep you posted. How's your readalong gone? Do you all still hate it?