26 March 2010

First Words: A Tale of Two Cities


"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going to direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way."
First published in 1859, A Tale of Two Cities was referred to in Season 3 Episode 1 of LOST. For me a classic is a book the has the ability to still be pertinent and powerful many many years later. So far I can see immediately why this one is a classic and I'm impressed.

29 comments :

  1. Oh wow! I haven't read this one since high school! And you are right, it's a classic in every sense of the word. :)

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  2. This one is a very memorable beginning , I have got this as a question for the lit quiz in school so many times and never failed to identify the book :)

    I love Anna Karenina'a beginning though

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  3. I read this way back when in high school...and I loved it. I love this little meme :)

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  4. One of my favorite Dickens, if not my favorite. So beautiful. Thanks.

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  5. That is such a memorable passage...and one that has been quoted, at least in part, over the years.

    Mine is here:

    http://laurelrainsnowswonderland.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/book-beginnings-on-friday/

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  6. I read this one for school, I hope you enjoy it! Definitely one of the most memorable opening sentences out there.

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  7. EPIC!!! I love this book :D
    Have a great weekend!

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  8. There gotta be more to it than that passage... otherwise it looks like the author is suffering from a bipolar disorder... classic or not.

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  9. Cherry: LOL You crack me up!

    Amelia: Thanks hon! You too :)

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  10. Hi!
    I have heard of this sentence. But have never read the book. Have a great day!

    Sherrie
    Just Books
    http://sherriesbooks.blogspot.com/2010/03/friday-memes.html

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  11. That's probably the most famous opening sentence of all. Great book too.

    Here's mine: http://www.rosecityreader.com/2010/03/opening-sentence-of-day-cold-comfort.html

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  12. I am planning to read A Tale of Two Cities this year. Great first sentence-it is so well known. I am looking forward to it.

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  13. That really is a great beginning.

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  14. I've never read this book even though I've always wanted to.

    Love the first line!

    Mine's HERE

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  15. Okay...can I just say that you always find the new fun MEME's? Seriously...this one works great for the book you chose too... =0)

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  16. GMR: Thanks! I can't take the credit. The adorable Aleksandra introduced me to this one.

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  17. I haven't read it since high school either but it is still one of the only book beginnings that I can recite from memory. I also thought that it was the most readable book by Dickens that I read. Mine is here and is much too new to be a classic.

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  18. Thats a great first line, I would love to read this book. I didn't know that there is where the saying "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" came from

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  19. I remember having to read this in high school and I didn't really get into it. I think if I read it again now I would probably enjoy it more

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  20. Hi Juju! Thanks for befriending me on Goodreads, now I discovered your blog and became your newest follower :-)

    A Tale of Two Cities has been on my TBR list for quite some time now, how do you like it?

    Stella
    Visit Ex Libris

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  21. I have read about 5/8ths of this book and stopped reading when the protagonist was supposed to go over to France. I was to scared to read on. I guess I should finish it some day. :(

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  22. That is an excellent beginning!!

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  23. one of the best opening lines in a novel! i've always meant to pick this book up and read it. one day most definitely!

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  24. Stella: Welcome welcome! I'll keep you posted :)

    Becky: Me neither ;)

    Kathy: Heading over now to check it out :)

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  25. Certainly one of the most well known openings and still a winner!

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  26. Ah, what a great book. I read this back in high school, (not because I had to, but because it was on a list of 'great books' that the teacher said we should read before we died. finished most of them that year...) and was sucked into the story. Definitely one of my favorite Dickens. Enjoy!

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  27. This is a book I have yet to read but really want to! Thanks for the tease I'll have to get to it much sooner now :)

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  28. I FINALLY got around to reading this over the past few weeks. It took a few chapters to get me fully engaged, but once it got going, I couldn't put it down.

    This is an amazing novel and now that I've finally read it, it's easy to understand its enduring power and why it's heralded as a classic.

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