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Oliver Twist (Hardcover Classics) Hardcover – September 28, 2010


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Oliver Twist (Hardcover Classics) + Great Expectations (Sterling Unabridged Classics) + A Tale of Two Cities (Hardcover Classics)
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Product Details

  • Series: Hardcover Classics
  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics Hardcover; Reprint edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141192496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141192499
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (681 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The inimitable Martin Jarvis brings his talents to bear on Charles Dickens's classic in an audiobook that will delight listeners with its superb recreations of gritty 19th-century London. To escape Mr. Bumble and life in the workhouse, Oliver flees to London where he meets the Artful Dodger and becomes embroiled with Fagin's ragtag band of thieves. Jarvis simply dazzles: his performance captures both the humor and sorrow of the text, his narration is crisp, and his characterizations--his rendition of the terrifying district magistrate, Mr. Fang, is particularly memorable--are as varied as they are energetic, befitting, and enjoyable.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I had to read to read this book for school.
Chin
Like most Dickens books, Oliver Twist is well written and filled with characters as real as the people we know.
Philbert Katz
It seems like oliver twist is a very good book to read it seems like it has a alot of cool stuff about it.
Rachael

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 28, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book surprised me, not by the quality of its writing, which one can expect from Charles Dickens, but by the violent, lusty primal quality of the story. This is no dry musty tome, but a vital novel that arouses both passion and intellect. A literal page turner, I found myself having more than one sleepless night when I just couldn't put it down.
Inside are some of the major characters in the realm of fiction; Fagin and his gang of child thieves, including the Artful Dodger. Nancy, the proverbial hooker with a heart of gold. Master Charles Bates (was this a pun even then?) Bad Bill Sikes, who shows the darker edge to all of this dangerous fun, and the innocent, pure Oliver Twist, who is the very definition of nature over nurture.
A great book, and one that I am glad to have finally read.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By "jackcoleman" on February 21, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A novel of this size can be daunting for the reader. "If I start this book, I'm going to have to spend the next month finishing it". That's what I thought anyway. But in Oliver Twist I sailed through the pages. It's rare that a classic, and I have read many of them, becomes a page-turner but this one did. Maybe I was lucky in not having seen the film versions prior to the reading of the book because I desperately wanted to find out what happened to Oliver and the multitude of other brilliantly written characters who inhabit the pages of Dickens' classic.
The plot is simple. A boy escapes his orphan home to live in London with a group of thieves and pickpockets. He's saved from this depraved life by a kindly, lonely old gentleman. But the villains, Bill Sykes and especially Fagin, fear that the boy may rat them out and so they kidnap him back. Can Oliver make it back to the life he deserves?
Oliver's story is not a very originally one, but it is enlivened by some of the greatest characters I've ever seen written. My personal favourites and there are many, are Noah Claypole who becomes a principle player and a very funny one at that, near the book's conclusion; and Mr. Brownlow, who's catchphrase "I'll eat my own head" had me bursting into laughter.
The book is diminished by its excessive sentimentality at the conclusion. Its female characters, apart from the courageous Nancy, are written in a golden light so as to become fantasies rather than the gloriously dirty reality of their male counterparts. A sub-plot between Mary and her boyfriend is ridiculously excessive.
Against these weaknesses, the book is a triumph of character. Often memorably played on screen, the two villains have become more famous than the title character, who is slightly simpering. Fagin is deliciously smarmy and Sykes is evil incarnate. They get their comuppance in justifiably brutal fashion. Dickens like most of us was a sucker for a happy ending.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Annie on April 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I couldn't get into Dickens in high school, I guess my maturity level just wasn't there. But I bought this classic for my home schooling 6th grade daughter, and vowed to read it no matter what. Well, after the first chapter, I was hooked. And she really loved it too. We read it much faster than I had anticipated, considering the language and size of the book. Highly recommended!
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42 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Peter Reeve VINE VOICE on January 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Oliver Twist is one of Dickens' early novels - he worked on The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby simultaneously - and one of his best loved. It has what you would expect from him: memorable characters, evocative descriptions, melodrama, pathos (more often bathos) and a plot that relies on completely incredible coincidences. These latter are sometimes explained away by the characters themselves as being ordained by Fate, benign or otherwise, and must have been more acceptable to a Victorian readership than to one of the present day, who are likely to groan at each 'who should it be but' revelation.

The crossovers with Pickwick and Nickleby are noticeable. For example, The Artful's court appearance is clearly intended to be as funny as Sam Weller's, although it pales by comparison.

The most famous character is of course Fagin, and Dickens' casual anti-Semitism in his treatment of him is another thing that might discomfit the modern reader. He references him as The Jew, always in a derogatory manner. That this is a reflection of contemporary attitudes can be seen from Scott's Ivanhoe, in which Jewish characters are treated with similar hostility and contempt. But it is not the main characters that are most successful - and especially not the title character himself, who is innocent and bland beyond belief - but the supporting cast; Mr. Bumble and his lady, the servants in the house that gets burgled, the old bachelor who keeps threatening to eat his own head, and many others. They make the book a delight.

As always, Dickens is the master of descriptive narrative and he conjures a grim and compelling view of Victorian London's underside.

If you have not yet read any Dickens, this is not a bad book with which to start, although for younger readers (teens) I would recommend Hard Times as their first. Either book will probably leave you, like Oliver, wanting more.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By HangarMouse on March 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Anyone who has ever seen the hard copy edition of O-Twist knows it isn't by any means small. This book is HUGE! (Some say Dickens must have been payed by the word or the letter)

I purchased this edition of this eBook because I needed it for a college class, History of Western Civilation. I purchased it for my Kindle for 2 reasons 1) to save money, 2) to save space and weight in my back back.
I tried a different version of this book first (the free one). The lack of a working table of contents in the free version was annoying. Also the free version was plagued with formatting errors.

This version is great. The table of contents works and looks great. The original illustrations integrated into the book also look great and are valuable addition to this eBook. This was well worth 99 cents. The free version I previously downloaded has since been deleted.
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