So it's a day late, but I finally finished a Tale of Two Cities! I say that like I was struggling to get through it this whole week, but honestly I only started reading the last bit today (in spite of what I said in my last post, I got distracted by shiny things).
Spoilers from here on in, beware!
I started reading the last bit this morning and actually got annoyed
when my husband woke up and interrupted my reading. If any of you know
him, don't tell him that! Hehe.
So... what an ending! I knew that Sidney was going to do something good, and I am happy to be proven right. (Although if I knew, that probably means it was super super obvious.) I knew that the last line was also famous, but I couldn't recall what it was, and didn't look it up while reading, otherwise I might have guessed the ending much earlier.
I'm sad that Lucie continued being pretty pathetic throughout the whole thing, but never mind. Her and Darnay were both pretty stupid: Darnay for going back to France when it was pretty obvious that he wasn't going to be safe, and Lucie for following after him for no apparent reason, and taking her child?! Okay, so the reason was probably love or whatever, but I'm not sure that taking the kid along was the best idea in the world. Honestly.
I also found the way that Darnay was portrayed to be quite... unrealistic. He was shown to be very brave and whatever to the end, but honestly, how many people would actually behave like that?! I think that might be one of the problems that I have with Dickens (the Dickens that I know, anyway)... The whole Sidney storyline made sense, but unless I completely missed it I don't think that any reason was given for Lucie to be so damn perfect (and irritating), or for Darnay to be that good. The other characters were all much better drawn, I think.
I'm really glad that I came into it not knowing the story at all. I think that a problem with reading classics sometimes is that the plots are generally pretty well known, so it's rare to go into a classic book without knowing really anything about what happens.
General thoughts on Dickens - I definitely don't dislike him like I thought I did. Once I got a few chapters into the book I started to get on better with his writing style, and by the end I was having no problems with it at all (although some of the things that his characters said were slightly bewildering - "I call myself the Samson of the firewood guillotine. See here again! Loo,
loo, loo; Loo, loo, loo! And off HER head comes! Now, a child. Tickle, tickle;
Pickle, pickle! And off ITS head comes. All the family!"... Tickle tickle pickle pickle?! What? I wonder if that was the reaction that people were supposed to have when reading, to make them think that that character was slightly insane, or whether that was actually a thing? I'm guessing that that line is not included verbatim in any adaptions of A Tale of Two Cities, hehe.
So all in all... I really enjoyed the readalong! If it wasn't happening, there is no way that I would have made it through the book this month, and I probably would have always been slightly afraid of tackling Dickens. But now, while I don't have a particular burning desire to start reading his other stuff straight away, I definitely do want to tackle one of his other books at some point, yay!
I have also realised, yet again, that I try to read way faster than I actually can. I think with some books this is okay (pretty much any YA, for example), but I kept on having to go back and reread stuff because I was getting confused. So, more careful reading in the future for me!
I'm really looking forward to my next readalong now! Yayyy!!!
Thank you to Bex for hosting it, and making me face my Dickens fears.