A Tale of Two Cities (Dover Thrift Editions) - Charles Dickens

Day 9: A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving


A Tale of Two Cities - without question.


I read this in high school (well, read one chapter and then relied on the Cliffs Notes) and hated it, as I did with nearly every assigned book. I completely didn't "get" it, and found the language nearly impenetrable. For more than 25 years, I avoided Dickens completely....his books never ended up on my Classics to Read One Day But Not Now list. In fact, the mere mention of his name made me shudder violently. 


Then just over a year ago, a friend started on a classics challenge and included all of Dickens' works in her to-read list, and I said he completely intimidated me. Another friend double-dog dared me to read it. (Okay, maybe all she said was that she loved it, but I took that be a double-dog dare. Which is a completely reasonable interpretation, IMO.)


Anyhoo, I couldn't let a dare (or imaginary dare, whatever) go unchallenged, so I started reading. I wasn't sure I'd like it any better, but after a couple of chapters, I was hooked. The language I'd found so impenetrable when I was 15 was beautiful and descriptive and mesmerizing. The story I couldn't make sense of then completely captivated me.


So the book I was terrified of only 13 months ago is now a favorite. One I know I read again and again.