You may remember about 6 months ago I mentioned some friends' debate over Dickens' literary genius. One said A Tale of Two Cities was his greatest work while the other lobbied for Great Expectations. I was so intrigued over this controversy that I determined to read each novel and decide for myself which I would endorse if asked. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I could choose. I liked both books and they are so different it may depend on your genre preference.
Great Expectations is a coming of age story as recalled by the main character, Pip. It begins with his encounter as a youth with a convict who coerces Pip's assistance. As he grows up he is taken under the wing of a reclusive old lady whose relationship creates in him a desire for advancement. His dream of improvement is realized when he is bequeathed a great expectation, which eventually turns sour. It is a rags to riches to rags story.
Here is what I found in favor of Great Expectations: the story is engaging from the start, the themes are obvious and the language is generally easier to understand.
Here is what I favored in A Tale of Two Cities: the history, the relationships and the sacrifices.
Both books have great characters, strong writing and some unexpected plot twists.
So cast your vote, if you can. Which would you pick?