Oliver Twist, Paperback
4 out of 5 (13 ratings)

Description

Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist is a gripping portrayal of London's dark criminal underbelly, published in Penguin Classics with an introduction by Philip Horne. The story of Oliver Twist - orphaned, and set upon by evil and adversity from his first breath - shocked readers when it was published. After running away from the workhouse and pompous beadle Mr Bumble, Oliver finds himself lured into a den of thieves peopled by vivid and memorable characters - the Artful Dodger, vicious burglar Bill Sikes, his dog Bull's Eye, and prostitute Nancy, all watched over by cunning master-thief Fagin. 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. This Penguin Classics edition of Oliver Twist is the first critical edition to faithfully reproduce the text as its earliest readers would have encountered it from its serialisation in Bentley's Miscellany, and includes an introduction by Philip Horne, a glossary of Victorian thieves' slang, a chronology of Dickens's life, a map of contemporary London and all of George Cruikshank's original illustrations. Charles Dickens is one of the best-loved novelists in the English language, whose 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. His most famous books, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield and The Pickwick Papers, have been adapted for stage and screen and read by millions. If you enjoyed Oliver Twist, you may like Nicholas Nickleby and Little Dorrit, also available in Penguin Classics. 'His novels will endure as long as the language itself' Peter Ackroyd 'He is our greatest novelist - every reread reveals more riches' Melvyn Bragg 'When Dickens has once described something you see it for the rest of your life' George Orwell

Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 608 pages, further reading, notes
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780141439747

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Reviews

Showing 1 - 5 of 13 reviews.

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Review by
5

This is really not a story for children. I don't remember the body count to be so high when I read it as a boy in the abridged, edited, illustrated version. This must be one of Dicken's goriest novels, and I'm positive that he doesn't kill characters off for the sake of making it a blockbuster. The story paints a picture of an orphan who escapes from his apprenticeship and is unfortunately mixed up in bad company. The narrative is amazingly gripping. When I was young, I, not knowing any better, rooted for Oliver but now, I'm for the underdogs: the Satanic Jew, Fagins the master-thief; the Artful Dodger, Jack Dawkins the pickpocket; and Nancy, a proud but kind prostitute. I love Dickens and this must be one of my favorites of his.

Review by
4

Undeniably a classic, but I found this to be a bit overblown, oversimplistic, and outdated. Only certain characters were 3-dimensional (Nancy) while the majority represented pure good (Oliver) or pure evil (Fagin). Nevertheless, this is still a page-turner and a marvelous character study.

Review by
5

In 9th grade I read "Great Expectations." From that experience, I decided I had no interest in Charles Dickens and, despite my love of reading, never gave any of his books a chance. What a mistake! I LOVE Oliver Twist and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I can't wait to read more of his works, and learn more about Dickens.

Review by
5

In 9th grade I read "Great Expectations." From that experience, I decided I had no interest in Charles Dickens and, despite my love of reading, never gave any of his books a chance. What a mistake! I LOVE Oliver Twist and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I can't wait to read more of his works, and learn more about Dickens.

Review by
5

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.

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