A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Which is the first novel I really read from this writer. Oliver Twist I read as a kid and never finished through as the book is so grim and depressive. Even rainy day is more glossy than this one. Anyway, I read Two Cities because Nolan used it as one of the influences on TDKR - and it’s clear where those references came from.
As Ivanhoe, which I read few weeks ago, I wouldn’t call Two Cities a masterpiece. And the reason is the same. Excessive verbosity and extremely slow build up throughout the most of the book - which, I believe, didn’t do justice to the characters, who appears so two-dimensional and don’t shone through. Well, save for one, who appears as a true hero at the novel’s sad and poignant ending. Also, Dickens’ penchant for dialogues and poetic, metaphorical description had me re-reading this section few times and those were tough to me to comprehend, and to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
Unlike Ivanhoe, which depicts medieval England as brutal, yet, romantic place, this novel gets truly dark and tragic - thanks to French revolution - the centerpiece of novel.
As said, most of the novel is slow, except in later stages, where the pay-off is worth of any Hitchcock intense thrillers and had me flipping pages voraciously just to see what will happen next. Very good read.