Monday, January 16, 2012

Teaser Tuesday 115: A Tale of Two Cities

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!


Have just begun A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, one of the January group reads for The Next Best Book Club at GoodReads. As I am not too far into it as yet, my teaser comes from very near the beginning. It's actually three sentences, but I love how this descriptive passage set the scene and sent a shiver down my spine.




There was a steaming mist in all the hollows, and it had roamed in its forlornness up the hills like an evil spirit, seeking rest and finding none. A clammy and intensely cold mist, it made its slow way through the air in ripples that visibly followed and overspread one another, as the waves of an unwholesome sea might do. It was dense enough to shut out everything from the light of the coach-lamps but these its own workings, and a few yards of road; and the reek of the labouring horses steamed into it, as if they had made it all.

(pg 7)


ABOUT THE BOOK
A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Dickens' greatest historical novel, traces the private lives of a group of people caught up in the cataclysm of the French Revolution and the Terror. Dickens based his historical detail on Carlyle's great work—The French Revolution—and also on his own observations and investigations during numerous visits to Paris.

"The best story I have written,'' was Dickens' own verdict on A Tale of Two Cities, and the reader is unlikely to disagree with this judgement of a story which combines historical fact with the author's unsurpassed genius for poignant tales of human suffering, self-sacrifice, and redemption.



25 comments:

tfwalsh said...

A classic for sure.. you picked a great teaser:) Thanks for dropping by to read mine.

Heather said...

Thanks, Tania! I grow impatient to really get into this one! *g*

Beth said...

Quite the teaser! I haven't read this one. Here is my teaser from Book 8 of the Anne of Green Gables Series.

Heather said...

Beth: Thanks, I really liked this passage. Checked yours out as you were reading mine but, although I know I read that series, book 8 does nto sound familiar. :-/

Jennifer Messerschmidt said...

I have never read this but know that I should. It is always mentioned as a really great classic. Thanks for sharing and thanks for visiting.

Heather said...

Jennifer: I've wanted to read this one for some time, and reading it as part of a group read can be quite encouraging.

Alice Audrey said...

He is so verbose and so depressing. Good, though. But I really have to be in the mood for him.

Sandy Nachlinger said...

You're right. These sentences definitely set the scene and create a mood. Good choice.
Thanks for visiting my blog.

Shelley Munro said...

I've never read this one either. Quite the atmospheric teaser.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Oh, I read this one many, many, many...okay, a lot of years ago...lol

But I remember loving the language and the way Dickens tells the tale.

Thanks for reminding me of another book I would like to reread. Wonderful teaser.

Here's MY TT POST and here’s
MY WEBSITE

Kate said...

I read this one in high school! At least to the extent that I read anything I was supposed to in high school, which means that I read the SparkNotes. Maybe I should try it again at some point!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

I am carrying over a personal commitment that I made in 2011 to read at least one classic a month - I BELIEVE I read A Tale of Two Cities in high school or college, but, you know, as "required reading", I didn't have much appreciation for it if so. I DO, however, have it in the lineup for this year. (I'm currently Bleak House, but 65% of the way in, I'm finally starting to like it)

Jana said...

Eek! I read this one in 10th grade and had to write up this huge presentation and everything on it. I hated it. I don't rememeber a whole lot of the story itself but I recall my eyes glazing over repeatedly as I slogged my way through it.

Could have been because I resented the time it took me away from my Sweet Valley High and Harlequins. lol BUT, I haven't tried to read it again as an adult so who knows? Kudos to you for giving it a go! :)

Tribute Books Mama said...

A great teaser from a great book.

http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2012/01/teaser-tuesday_17.html

Heather said...

Alice: He can be verbose, but I always remind myself going into books of this historical period that it was the style of the time.

Part of that stemmed from having to paint a more thorough picture in the heads of readers, most of whom never traveled far from where they were born, and did not live in as "visual" a world as we do, where we are bombarded with images on a daily basis. It was up to the writer to paint as visual a scene as he could.

(And BTW, I think James Fennimore Cooper was much more verbose than Dickens, LOL.)

Heather said...

Sandy: Thank you!

Shelley: Thanks, I thought it brought the weather alive.

Laurel-Rain: Though he can be difficult to get into at first (and what book of that time isn't?), I too love the language, even when it tends toward verbose. I hope you get the chance to reread it!

kaye said...

How are you liking it? I have never been able to read Dickens, but my daugther tells me I should try again. kaye—the road goes ever ever on

Heather said...

Kate: LOL... I never read Cliff Notes (or SparkNotes, as they are now called), but did bluff my way through more than a few books in college. I have also found that you can sometimes better appreciate a book you disliked in high school or college later.

I absolutely hated The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn when we read it in HS. It was the first book we read junior year, and every subsequent book was compared to it. However, when forced to read it again for a college lit course only four years later, I found I had a better appreciation for it.

Heather said...

Julie: I managed 14 classics last year, half of which were comprised of (re)reading The Chronicles of Narnia. I have set myself a goal of 8-10 this year. I have found group reads to be a great motivator. I do not have a hard copy of Bleak House, but it is on my "100 Classic Books" for Nintendo DS, so may get to it eventually.

Heather said...

Jana: We read other works by Dickens in HS and college, which I liked, but not this one, which has been moldering the TBR mountain far too long. Sorry you did not like it, though I can certainly understand the committment to "other" books, LOL.

Tribute Books Mama: Thank you! I tried to get further in last night before bed, but was just too tired. Must make more of an effort today!

Heather said...

Hi Kaye! I am still not very far into this one, but my interest is growing. I do like Dickens, though, and reread A Christmas Carol in December 2010. I think that and Oliver Twist are a good place to start, partly due to the familiarity bred in the many stage and film adaptations of both.

JLS Hall said...

Good teaser! This is one of the few Dickens stories I've been able to stick with to the end, and even enjoy. Bleak House almost did me in.

Elaine AM Smith said...

A classic teaser, I loved reading this. Dicken's brings his scenes to life.

My TT:
http://notexactlyblogging.blogspot.com/

SusanB-knits said...

A great teaser for a great book!

Heather said...

Joy: Thanks, I'm glad to hear people have enjoyed this one. You're not giving me much hope for Bleak House, though.

Elaine: Thank you, and thanks for visiting!

Thanks, Susan!