Not really true on either count, really. I finished reading A Tale of Two Cities for the first time a couple days back and it wasn’t great, but not as bad as I feared. Excepting A Christmas Carol, it was head and shoulders above what I recall of his other works. On the other hand, it may have been that his other books bored me so because I tried reading them too young.
Anyway, the story was pretty interesting though it was obvious what was going to happen at the end as early as one third of the way through. Dickens spent far too much time on his descriptions, I think and too little on keeping things moving. One chapter took about seven pages to describe the introduction of a character before getting to any dialogue or any action more significant than eating breakfast.