Monday, November 26, 2012

Favorite Books 13

Book Review Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities Merry Shelly Frankenstein
Book: A Tale of Two Cities
Author: Charles Dickens (British, 1812-1870)


Original Language: English
Year: 1859
Category: Drama

Summary: Mr. Marquis Evremonde and his twin brother - who are the French aristocrats - raped a beautiful lady, killed her husband, father, and brother. They hired Dr. Alexandre Manette to try to cure the raped woman, but she died. Dr. Manette wanted to disclose the crime to higher officials, but the twins caught him and 'buried' in the darkest cell of Bastille prison for 18 years, nobody knew his whereabouts so long this period.

His daughter Lucie Manette was growing in supervision of Mr. Lorry who has come to know that Dr. Manette is now out of the prison and is in care of Mr. Defarge who was once an obedient servant of the Dr. 18 years in dark prison - Dr. Manette's mind is severely mutilated. Gradually his daughter's care brought him back to life.

Mr. Charles Darnay is the nephew of Mr. Marquis Evremonde (we do know him at the beginning of the summary). He is convicted for treason in England, but Mr. Sydney Carton - an English barrister - saved him with some tricks aided by their look-alikes. 

French revolution started and common people won over the French aristocrats. Now they caught Mr. Darnay as he is the heir of the French aristocrat Mr. Marquis. With the request of Dr. Manette he was released. But he was again arrested because of a letter written by Dr. Manette when he was in prison. The letter was written about the crime of Mr. Marquis and also conveyed Dr. Manette's curse on the whole Marquis dynasty. Now the letter became a boomerang for his own son-in-law Mr. Darnay. This time no escape and Darnay was to be beheaded in guillotine. Now Mr. Carton comes to the scene. He looks alike with Mr. Darnay. Can he save him?

Comments: This is one of the two books in history to sell 200 million copies worldwide. It is based on the French Revolution. Charles Dickens himself was bullied by the French aristocrats and in his childhood he was forced to work in a factory 10 hours a day. So his sympathy lies with the revolutionists, but only up to the point of revolution. The aftermath of revolution - beheading, killing, and burning thousands of people was not liked by him and this is portrayed in the novel. This is a wonderful novel with the ending of a supreme sacrifice for the love of a beloved one.


Book: Frankenstein
Author: Merry Shelly (British, 1797-1851)


Original Language: English
Year: 1818
Category: Horror

Summary: Mr. Frankenstein, an unorthodox and brilliant scientist discovered the method of creating life. Now with all his enthusiasm he infused life into the mass of his collected bones, veins, nerves, blood. But soon after his infusion of life, he found that instead of creating a beautiful life, his creation looks like an abominable monster in a giant shape and muscles and a very despicable, an abominable face. Then Mr. Frankenstein was himself very upset about his creature, abandoned it an moved back to his studies. The creature slowly learnt all the humanly activities himself but discovered that he is a despicable creature to mankind himself. With all his kind-heartedness he begged mankind love, food, shelter, affection, but he received only hatred, attacks, and curses. Now he became outraged at his own creator and decided to make his life hell by slowly killing all his affectionate family members one by one. Mr. Frankenstein chased him up to the north pole. Now what?

Comments: Well, Frankenstein became the de facto term for anything horrific, and horrible. More precisely, it can be the name of anything that apparently seems to be benevolent, but turns out to be a monster. The book brings the modern scientific developments to a question whether they are (or can be) benevolent or monstrous to mankind. This also clearly portrays how a kind-hearted creature can become a monster. This is a common story of many criminals, and scoundrels of the world, really! Craving for love, but being devoid of it all the time makes one a criminal (there are other factors, anyway).

English PDF ebook is available at PlanetEbook (922 KB).

Let us buy paper books. Let's enrich our mind and home library. 

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