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Oliver Twist Paperback – Dec 30 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (Dec 30 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486424537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486424538
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 45 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8-Presented by the St. Charles Players, this is an example of radio theatre at its finest. The narration moves the abbreviated story along at a brisk, easy-to-follow pace, while the highly polished troupe of actors offers a colorful array of voices and British dialectsAfrom Cockney low-lives to privileged members of the aristocracy. Sound effects and music add spark to the production. Although this version is only about one-third the length of the original, both the story line and the picture of British social conditions and injustices during Dickens's time come through vividly as young Oliver makes his way from the desolation of a workhouse for orphans to Fagin's den of thieves in London and, finally, to the comfort and security of life with an honorable gentleman. As such, it is bound to whet the appetites of upper elementary and middle school youngsters who will be intrigued into reading the original. It also offers, through drama, an enjoyable way of understanding history and should stimulate lively discussions on the relationship between dire poverty and a life of crime.
Carol Katz, Harrison Public Library, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Oliver Twist was Dickens's second novel and one of his darkest, dealing with burglary, kidnapping, child abuse, prostitution, and murder. Alongside this gallery of horrors are the corrupt and incompetent institutions of 19th-century England set up to address social problems and instead making them worse. The author's moral indignation drives the creation of some of his most memorably grotesque characters: squirming, vile Fagin; brutal Bill Sykes; the brooding, sickly Monks; and Bumble, the pompous and incorrigibly dense beadle. Clearly, a reading of this work must carry the author's passionate narrative voice while being flexible and broad enough to define the wide range of character voices suggested by the text. John Wells's capable but bland reading only suggests the rich possibilities of the material. Restraint and Dickens simply don't go together. The abridgment deftly and seamlessly manages to deliver all major characters and plot lines, but there are many superior audiobook versions of this material, both abridged and unabridged. Not recommended.
-John Owen, Advanced Micro Devices, Sunnyvale, CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Since I was in preschool I knew who Oliver Twist was. First through two cartoon adaptations where his famous "Please sir, I want some more!" became a classical quote always associated with this novel and Charles Dickens, its author. Then came the Wishbone TV series where an episode had trimmed the story to a very simplistic level, keeping the Artful Dodger and a friend as antagonists, while Mr. Brownlow remained Oliver's sole protector. No Fagin, no Bill Sikes, nothing violent. Of those adaptations, I remembered that the Emerald City Productions had used character designs that replicated the costumes of Carol Reed's musical.

Therefore, many versions of Oliver Twist had passed before my eyes, until I decided to set forth with Charles Dickens's original novel. Getting a full and firm grasp of Oliver's Twist's adventures. His departure from that workhouse where he came to birth; then his job as coffin maker until he escaped for a life in London. To make a fortune that would end him up the city's slums, at Mr.Fagin's hands until Mr. Brownlow would rescue him temporarily. Indeed, Fagin, his associate Bill Sykes, and another sinister individual named Monks intend to retrieve Oliver. To introduce him into a life of crime for grave reasons.

On its cover, Oliver Twist is a picaresque story of virtue, where we wonder if the good and pure Oliver will ever be tempted to the dark vices of London. But through its lines, it is a chance for us to witness the terrible class issues between the poor and rich in London, of the prejudices that surround them as the Industrial Revolution takes place within the United Kingdom in the early 1800's.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Starting with Oliver's premature birth to a dying mother looked on by a gin-swilling nurse in a parish workhouse, Dickens tone is extremely satirical. Though his meanings are clear, his craftsmanship with the English language is in rare form in the beginning of Oliver Twist. The "distinguished and enlightened gentlemen" who's reform policies for the workhouse are raked over the coals in glowing language represent an unusual type of Dickens character for me. Usually even Dicken's villains are multi-faceted characters whose motives we understand though disapprove of. Here, the Directors of the parish who eventually pay to get rid of Oliver, are difficult to conceive of. The hardships of the workhouse inmates, more especially what seems like intentional starvation, seem hard to believe though as I read this book, the death of a foster child in New Jersey from starvation brought to light many things going on in twenty-first century reality which had seemed implausible in this nineteenth century novel. The satirical language is often humorous though the subject matter is not and makes the account more palatable. The first of the book is spent in this way which seems really to be more of Dicken's social commentary than pure story line.
In true Dickens style, each of the characters Oliver meets throughout the story are part of a larger, more elaborate plot line that the story is ever trying to unfold. After being apprenticed to the coffinmaker Mr. Sowerberry, he is taunted by the charity boy - Noah Claypole - until he makes a break for London. Accidentally falling into the clutches of local fence Fagin whose aim it is to turn him to a life of crime, Oliver struggles to break free with the help of various good hearted people he befriends along the way despite his situation.
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By Bianca Kramer on April 9 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The creative novel Oliver Twist, written by Charles Dickens in 1838, defines a classic of all times. This intense story reflects a young boy's life in London with no family or place to go. Oliver's mother dies while giving birth to her son in the beginning of the book. Oliver's father remains unknown. Throughout the book the reader sees constant struggles. Oliver is befriended by Fagin and his company. Fagin, along with the Artful Dodger, invite Oliver to stay with them and become a thief. During one of Oliver's pick pocketing adventures; he is caught by Mr. Brownlow. Instead of reprimanding the young lad, Mr. Brownlow decides to raise him. Oliver desperately searches for the answer to his past while trying to stay alive on the streets of London. Ironically, Mr. Brownlow is Oliver's grandfather. A dominate theme of Oliver Twist examines the importance of family. Oliver's early years taught him to fend for himself and he suffers from never experiencing a loving and nurturing childhood. The setting of the book plays a powerful role as the story unfolds. Dickens describes the setting of London and all the places that Oliver stays very descriptively. "The street was very narrow and muddy, and the air was impregnated with filthy odor. The walls and ceiling of the room were perfectly black with age and dirt..." (page. 56). Dickens explains the facilities that were available to poor Oliver and makes them sound unbearable. He does an excellent job making the setting come alive and allows the reader to plight. I would recommend all readers at some point in life to delve into this classic. I found Oliver Twist very moving and towards the end hoping only the best for poor Oliver.
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