- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Sterling; Unabridged edition (Oct. 7 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1402754256
- ISBN-13: 978-1402754258
- Product Dimensions: 16.7 x 3.5 x 20.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 898 g
- Average Customer Review: 65 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #105,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Oliver Twist Hardcover – Oct 7 2008
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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.
"The power of [Dickens] is so amazing, that the reader at once becomes his captive, and must follow him whithersoever he leads."
--William Makepeace Thackeray --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
From the start I was instantly drawn in by Dickens' humor and sarcasm. The way he'd mock those who mistreated Oliver by pretending to agree with them and that their intentions were noble. It had this amazing capacity to engage me and make me scorn the dirty rotten characters who sought to bully Oliver, while never making less of the suffering that was going on.
I was horrified, as much as a person can be by a fictional story, of the way people treated each other, those less fortunate, and the children in their care.
When Mr. Brownlow enters the picture, it allowed for some relief and also the continued feel of realism by having not all characters be evil.
The book is much too long to go over in detail, so I'll try and hit on just some key stuff.
I kept picturing Mr. Bumble as Mr. Smee(having him be that goofy looking and sound like that). And Fagin was Gollum with his constant groveling and "my dear" while all the time seeking to get the upperhand and wanting to kill those over him.
I loved Oliver's heart and how he strove to be good in a world that was trying to corrupt him. I smiled when reading about how he ran around helping Rose and Mrs. Maylie. I could picture that youthful enthusiasm.
Nancy's fate, though I knew it already, hit me harder than it ever had. There was something in the way it was told that was so . . . morbid. It was so terrible that the criminals couldn't even deal with it and everyone was ready to have Sikes captured.
The final chapters after that event where Sikes is fleeing from real and imaginary foes, and then the scene in London as he's at last cornered was just wow. So intense that I read it twice. Once to myself, and once outloud to my husband who I pulled down beside me going, "Oh my gosh!!! You've got to hear this!"
Really, the whole book was extremely well-written, but those chapters there were above and beyond. They were the best, most passionate, most real and heart-pounding of the story.
It was nice to see justice dolled out to most of the buggers who'd been so nasty throughout the book, and the good rewarded. Though there was some grey where the good didn't win out and the evil escaped(Sowerberry's and Charlotte/Noah). There was also a nice redemption story for one of the crinimals and a second chance for another who blew it, but you can't say he wasn't given the chance.
So many good things about this book, though I'll always be sad about Nancy.
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.
Personally, I was surprised to see how the story's first half focuses on Oliver's point of view until the second half where instead secondary characters take his place. Nancy, Bill Sykes, Fagin, and others like Monks who was only present in one of the two cartoons adaptations I had seen. Regarding that latter character, many movies like Carol Reed, Roman Polanski, and the Emerald City cartoon omit Monks whose plot creates a mystery layer to Oliver's adventures.
For years, I wondered why not many adaptations ever offered that character a chance. Why Dickens abandoned Oliver's presence in the second half of his novel. But after rereading the book, I realized that Monks's plot might have been too much complicated to introduce in a one hour or two film adaptation, unlike a TV mini-series whose many episodes could offer the story a better justice. As for Oliver, he is firstly a character who experiences other people's actions rather than a proactive figure. And with the way Dickens unfolded the story monthly and considering where Oliver ends up, only other characters could bring forth a sense of suspense for the readers and do what his age and situation couldn't allow him to do. Secondly, secondary persons like Fagin, Oliver's protectors, Nancy, and Bill Sykes reveal more of the reality Dickens wanted to expose and which many in England were not ready to acknowledge. A reality that is still actual though with another form of technology available.
Of the editions to read, I suggest buyers to consider any release with George Cruishank's original drawings (ASIN number: B00ES29BB0) that appeared in Dicken's original press releases when he wrote as Boz. Indeed, the illustrations are clear and detail well the prose's tension and the story's setting, so much that I cannot read Dicken's book without the other as each complement one another. A piece of cultural artwork that should be praised as much as this classic.