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Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, 1812-1870
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Oliver Twist (original 1837; edition 1996)

by Charles Dickens, 1812-1870

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13,129120171 (3.83)541
Member:mirrordrum
Title:Oliver Twist
Authors:Charles Dickens, 1812-1870
Info:Public Domain Books (1996), Kindle Edition
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
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Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (1837)

  1. 74
    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (Leishai)
  2. 10
    Tom Jones by Henry Fielding (KingdomOfOdd)
  3. 21
    Jack Dawkins by Charlton Daines (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Unauthorised sequel about the life of the Artful Dodger as an adult when he returns to England.
  4. 10
    The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti (derelicious)
  5. 11
    The Adventures of Nathaniel Swubble: The Story of a Parish Boy's Childhood by Lilian Margaret Spencer (millylitre)
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Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
Six-word review: Deservedly classic tale of orphan's survival.

Extended review:

Despite its verbosity, sentimentality, and exaggerated characterizations, how can you not love this book? Like a dog at your feet, it's there to be loved. What else are you going to do with it?

It also turns out to be much more satirical than I ever realized. Social commentary, yes, expected; but satire? I didn't know. For example:

Mr. Bumble...had a decided propensity for bullying: derived no inconsiderable pleasure from the exercise of petty cruelty; and, consequently, was (it is needless to say) a coward. This is by no means a disparagement to his character; for many official personages, who are held in high respect and admiration, are the victims of similar infirmities. The remark is made, indeed, rather in his favour than otherwise, and with a view of impressing the reader with a just sense of his qualifications for office.

Dickens misses no opportunity to underscore the social ills of his time and place and to distribute ample helpings of blame freely up and down the social scale. He also holds us captive with a story that keeps us reading and soaking up his message.

So here they all are, the characters we know so well in so many incarnations, embedded as they are in the cultures of the English-speaking world and probably well beyond: the ever-so-good good guys: tender, mistreated Oliver; kindly, open-hearted Mr. Brownlow; sweet, sweet Rose, so impossibly angelic that it's a wonder she doesn't suffocate of her own virtue; and poor brave, doomed Nancy, without whom nothing could have turned out right; and the bad guys, not one of whom is without at least some small spark of sympathetic humanity to argue for redemption: sadistic Mr. Bumble; cocky Artful Dodger; unregenerate, duplicitous Fagin; mysterious, menacing Monks; and cruel, brutal Bill Sikes, a monster who comes to a fitting end that yet inspires horror.

Of the rambling story with its odd, protracted word-count-stretching digressions and amazing coincidences I have no comment to add to the immense body of commentary on the literature of Dickens: but to say that the story is brightest in single scenes and episodes, with the long arc serving mainly to string those together. It's in those vignettes that the brilliance of Dickens' characterization is displayed, and that, indeed, is why we fall in love. ( )
1 vote Meredy | Sep 1, 2014 |
Yet another Dickens down. The 1001 list is cram full of them. Twist is bit like Pride & Prejudice; a lot of us know the storyline but have never actually read the novel. Well, now I have. So there.

I was quite surprised at how different the novel was from what I remember having seen it in various film and theatre versions. There’s a lot more focus on Oliver himself and less on his peers (e.g. the Artful Dodger) than I thought there would be. And he spends far less time in the hands of criminals than I expected too. But these issues could just be caused by my faulty memory of what I’ve seen.

The storyline is pretty fast-paced, making it, unlike other Dickens on the list you might pick up, a pretty quick read. But it’s not as gripping as some others because this, being Dickens’ second novel, doesn’t have characters that are as fleshed out and intriguing as later efforts by the genius.

It’s the first time that he gets his teeth into the social and class issues that would be a major theme of his work and you can see the genesis of later characters such as the also orphaned Pip from Great Expectations. The plot however, is a little contrived with a few too many coincidences for my comfort.

On the whole, if you’ve read works such as that which are far longer and far more detailed, Twist will probably disappoint. It’s great characters probably owe more to later visual depictions of them in film and on stage than from the novel itself. This is a very good novel mostly due to the foundation it laid for greater works, but it’s not as good as one might perhaps expect it to be. ( )
  arukiyomi | Aug 22, 2014 |
I am hard pressed to think of what you find in later Dickens that you don't find in this, his first complete novel. That is not to say a lot isn't much better (the imagery of London, the complexity of the characters, and the even more sprawling multiple plots come to mind) -- and that some of the worst of this novel (of which the absurd and unnecessary coincidence of Rose Maylie being related to Oliver is just about the worst). But Dickens already had the combination of comic, tragic, melodramatic, moralizing, satirical, and several other ingredients that he successfully mined in different proportions in all his future books. Although none of them top the stark brutality of Oliver Twist, and especially Fagin and Sikes. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
Dear FSM! What a hard read this was -- and I didn't even read it, I listened to it on audiobook during my commute. I've seen several movie adaptations of this book - NONE of them capture the dark, depressing rone that this book sets. Read it if you're looking for a challenge.

Audiobook. ( )
1 vote steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
Beautiful, flowing language ( )
  WendyBlott | Mar 11, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (188 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Dickensprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cruikshank, GeorgeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fairclough, PeterEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ghiuselev, IassenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heilig, Matthias R.abridged bysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoppé, E.O.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horne, PhillipEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
House, HumphryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howe, IrvingIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jarvis, MartinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, EdgarIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kelk, C.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Comte, EdwardAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Méndez Herrera, JoséTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mahoneij, J.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Margolyes, MiriamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nix, GarthIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oddera, BrunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Lawrence BeallIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, AngusIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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First words
Among other public buildings in a certain town, which for many reasons it will be prudent to refrain from mentioning, and to which I will assign no fictitious name, there is one anciently common to most towns, great or small: to wit, a workhouse; and in this workhouse was born; on a day and date which I need not trouble myself to repeat, inasmuch as it can be of no possible consequence to the reader, in this stage of the business at all events; the item of mortality whose name is prefixed to the head of this chapter.
Quotations
Please, sir, I want some more.
If the law supposes that, the law is a ass-- a idiot.
What have paupers to do with soul or spirit? It's quite enough that we let 'em have live bodies.
"We have none of us long to wait for Death. Patience, patience! He'll be here soon enough for us all."
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This is the main work for the book Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141439742, Paperback)

The story of the orphan Oliver, who runs away from the workhouse only to be taken in by a den of thieves, shocked readers when it was first published. Dickens's tale of childhood innocence beset by evil depicts the dark criminal underworld of a London peopled by vivid and memorable characters—the arch-villain Fagin, the artful Dodger, the menacing Bill Sikes and the prostitute Nancy. Combining elements of Gothic Romance, the Newgate Novel and popular melodrama, Dickens created an entirely new kind of fiction, scathing in its indictment of a cruel society, and pervaded by an unforgettable sense of threat and mystery. 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:55 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Scathing in its indictment of a cruel society and pervaded by a sense of threat and mystery, this novel is peopled with some of the most famous characters in literature. Elements of the Gothic Romance jostle with those of the Newgate novel and popular melodrama forging a style entirely Dickens'.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Audible.com

38 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Eight editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439742, 0140439447, 0451529715, 0141031719, 0141322438, 0141192496, 0141198885, 1409311252

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