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Oliver Twist (1838)

by Charles Dickens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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24,448242139 (3.83)830
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Oliver Twist is born an orphan and grows up handed from bad position to worse. Eventually he ends up in the London street gang run by Fagin, who attempts to blacken the boy's pure soul in his service. Through chance and coincidence Oliver is restored to his mother's middle-class family, where he is shown love and comfort for the first time in his life. The villains' attempts to kidnap him back are foiled and all are transported or hanged.

Full of sharp irony and wit, Oliver Twist was Dickens' first social novel. He did not indulge in the romanticism of villains, popular at the time, but attempted to display areas and practices in London which were all but visible to his readership.

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… (more)
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    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.
  3. 11
    The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti (derelicious)
  4. 11
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    The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Another look at Victorian corruption and crime. More comprehensive and more sinister.
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» See also 830 mentions

English (212)  Spanish (8)  German (4)  Swedish (3)  Dutch (3)  Greek (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Slovak (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (236)
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
A very tedious read. The narrative sometimes becomes lost due to the extra unnecessary words. The wording is technically a byproduct of how the author was financed, by the word. This book tells the story of the social conditions in London and surrounding areas during the authors time. Using the narrative of an orphan boy who does not know his heritage. This book is meant to provide an example of what is righteous and was is not, as in a nature decides peoples decisions. ( )
  Eugene_Kernes | Jun 4, 2024 |
Written in 1837, during Dickens' astronomical rise to success, Oliver Twist is his third major work, second novel, and the negative counterpart to its exact contemporary, The Pickwick Papers. One could argue it's still the work that has had the greatest impact on the public psyche: Dodger, Fagin, Nancy, and Bill loom large in the collective cultural consciousness, don't they? Who can forget Oliver asking for more, or the climactic tightrope walk? In truth, this is not a brilliant work. Only Fagin has any sparks of internal life, and he's an unfortunate anti-Semitic caricature common to the era. Oliver Twist, carrying the torch from some of Dickens' sentimental Sketches is a rather lifeless little twig. What works in the story is the vividness of "low" culture, and Dickens' already fierce moral stance on the inhumanity of much of 19th century English culture. Certainly a worthwhile read, but possibly the least of Dickens' "Big Fifteen". The relatively straightforward Twist will give way to the diffuse, picaresque Nicholas Nickleby, and then the real Dickens will be formed. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 21, 2024 |
Again Dickens s brings the world of his characters to life ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Apr 11, 2024 |
Dickens's second novel, clearly not his best but still nicely Dickensian. The first half is far stronger, when Dickens is attacking the Poor Laws, and the political stance that the poor are themselves to blame for their plight, with the most incisive satire. He could have been the Jon Stewart of his day. Here he is describing the bleak orphanage Oliver is sent to:
The parish authorities magnanimously and humanely resolved, that Oliver should be 'farmed', or, in other words, that he should be dispatched to a branch-workhouse some three miles off, where twenty or thirty other juvenile offenders against the poor-laws, rolled about the floor all day, without the inconvenience of too much food or too much clothing, under the parental superintendence of an elderly female, who received the culprits at and for the consideration of sevenpence-halfpenny per small head per week. Sevenpence-halfpenny's worth per week is a good round diet for a child; a great deal may be got for sevenpence-halfpenny, quite enough to overload its stomach, and make it uncomfortable. The elderly female was a woman of wisdom and experience; she knew what was good for children; and she had a very accurate perception of what was good for herself. So, she appropriated the greater part of the weekly stipend to her own use, and consigned the rising parochial generation to even a shorter allowance than was originally provided for them. Thereby finding in the lowest depth a deeper still; and proving herself a very great experimental philosopher.
And describing the theory of how to lessen the welfare rolls:
'Mrs. Corney,' said the beadle, smiling as men smile who are conscious of superior information, 'out-of-door relief, properly managed: properly managed, ma'am, is the porochial safeguard. The great principle of out-of-door relief is, to give the paupers exactly what they don't want; and then they get tired of coming.'
'Dear me!' exclaimed Mrs. Corney. 'Well, that is a good one, too!'
'Yes. Betwixt you and me, ma'am,' returned Mr. Bumble, 'that's the great principle; and that's the reason why, if you look at any cases that get into them owdacious newspapers, you'll always observe that sick families have been relieved with slices of cheese.'
Dickens is generally at his Dickensian best right away in these early parts, satirizing a cruel and hypocritically Christian society in which vast numbers of people live in extreme poverty. Oliver Twist himself is really but a generic entity around which to write, given a completely pure hearted and noble nature. He reminds me of Voltaire's Candide: an innocent to whom bad things continuously happen as a way for the author to make his philosophical and political point.

The second half of the novel... well, here things deteriorate into a series of outlandishly improbable events that result in Oliver's parentage being discovered and his inheritance and gentlemanly future becoming secured. Dickens writes scenes that might more likely belong in a hackneyed romance of the era. Oliver gains no depth, continuing to be an impossibly pure and noble child. Meanwhile several villains are given their comeuppance in what one assumes was a young Dickens's condescension for mass popularity. He's certainly better than this.
( )
  lelandleslie | Feb 24, 2024 |
Ky variant i përshtatur na njeh me fatin e një jetimi të varfër, që jeta do ta përplasë në mjediset më të dyshimta të Londrës. Fati i Oliver Tuistit tregon, se e rëndësishme është të luftosh për një jetë më të mirë dhe të jetosh me ndershmëri. Duke lexuar këtë libër, fëmijët do të njihen edhe me shumë ngjarje e personazhe të tjera mbresëlënëse.
  BibliotekaFeniks | Feb 5, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
Oliver Twist, a meek, mild young boy, is born in the workhouse and spends his early years there until, finding the audacity to ask for more food, he is made to leave. Apprenticed to an undertaker by Mr Bumble, Oliver runs away in desperation and falls in with Fagin and his gang of thieves where he begins his new life in the criminal underworld.

Under the tutelage of the satanic Fagin, the brutal Bill Sikes and the wily Artful Dodger, Oliver learns to survive, although he is destined not to stay with Fagin but to find his own place in the world.

With its terrifying evocation of the hypocrisy of the wealthy and the depths to which poverty pushes the human spirit, Oliver Twist is both a fascinating examination of evil and a poignant moving novel for all times.
added by letonia | editPenguin Popular Classics
 

» Add other authors (182 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dickens, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allen, Walter ErnestPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cruikshank, GeorgeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fairclough, PeterEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ghiuselev, IassenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayens, KennethIntroductionsecondary 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
Kilbel, ReinhardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Comte, EdwardAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leopoldo de Verneuil, EnriqueTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Méndez Herrera, JoséTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mahoneij, J.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Margolyes, MiriamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marx, RudolfAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muller, JillIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nix, GarthIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oddera, BrunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sève, Peter deCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slater, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Lawrence BeallIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tillotson, Kathleensecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, AngusIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, MeganCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Oliver Twist is born an orphan and grows up handed from bad position to worse. Eventually he ends up in the London street gang run by Fagin, who attempts to blacken the boy's pure soul in his service. Through chance and coincidence Oliver is restored to his mother's middle-class family, where he is shown love and comfort for the first time in his life. The villains' attempts to kidnap him back are foiled and all are transported or hanged.

Full of sharp irony and wit, Oliver Twist was Dickens' first social novel. He did not indulge in the romanticism of villains, popular at the time, but attempted to display areas and practices in London which were all but visible to his readership.

.

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