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Oliver Twist [Paperback]

by Charles Dickens
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (377 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 6, 2012 1466430389 978-1466430389
This anthology is a thorough introduction to classic literature for those who have not yet experienced these literary masterworks. For those who have known and loved these works in the past, this is an invitation to reunite with old friends in a fresh new format. From Shakespeare’s finesse to Oscar Wilde’s wit, this unique collection brings together works as diverse and influential as The Pilgrim’s Progress and Othello. As an anthology that invites readers to immerse themselves in the masterpieces of the literary giants, it is must-have addition to any library.

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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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466430389
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466430389
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (377 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,141,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
108 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thieves, Murderers and all of their Ilk 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
5.0 out of 5 stars A Page-Turner 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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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice eBook edition of O-Twist! 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the illustrations April 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've always loved the story of Oliver Twist-now I finally have an illustrated copy I'm even happier. This book is an unabridged copy and is searchable-a great feature. The cover has a picture of Oliver, all ragged with his little bundle. The table of contents takes you to Charles Dickens' preface, which is well worth reading, and to any chapter in the book. Alas, it does not take you to any of the illustrations, but they are beautifully rendered and very clear. I have the most basic Kindle and I have no trouble seeing all of the detail in the illustrations. The chapter headings list not only the number of the chapter, but the brief description Dickens wrote for each chapter, so that if you want to find a particular spot-say, when Oliver runs away to London, you can see that Chapter VIII has the summary "Oliver walks to London. He encounters on the road a strange sort of young gentleman." This makes it very easy to go to any part of the book you want to read.

Warning: SPOILERS!!!!

The story is one of a poor orphan boy, sold to an undertaker and abused until he runs away to London. He falls in with thieves and through a strange twist of fate is rescued by the man who was his father's best friend. It's a long story, filled with reversals of fortune and amazing coincidences, and although it has a happy ending, there is some genuine tragedy. It's a very sad scene when Oliver returns to the orphanage to get his best friend, Dick, who saw him off on his journey to London, only to find that Dick has died of untreated sickness. The prostitute, Nancy, has all the attributes of a character in a Greek tragedy-you desperately want her to leave the streets and her brutal boyfriend, Bill Sikes, and when she refuses to go, you have a sinking feeling that she isn't going to last much longer.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong social engagement
The story of Oliver Twist is quite famous and probably does not need much introduction. The setting is 1830’s London and this is crucial to understanding the meaning of this novel,... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Geert Daelemans
5.0 out of 5 stars There's a reason it's a classic
Even though it's probably one of the darkest books out there, plot-wise, there's a reason this one's a classic. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Leslie Soule
4.0 out of 5 stars Oliver Twist
I had heard of this story for years but had never read it. I a very glad that I finally read it.
Published 1 month ago by Betty M. Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
A gritty heartfelt story of pain, turmoil, and hardship turned into prestige and honour by way of courage from an unsuspecting gentle child. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Michael James Carlisle
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
I found Dickens writing style to be a little difficult to follow sometimes with very long sentences and a lot of commas. Read more
Published 1 month ago by jan
3.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
This is one of Dickens finest works. Its an entertaining read...although a bit slow at first. Also, it took me a few chapters to adjust to the writing style. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Zipdog
4.0 out of 5 stars Oliver Twist
Great classic read. Difficult understanding some of the terms and language due to the time frame but, great history of the times to learn and understand
Published 1 month ago by Suzanne Cook
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Tale from a Masterful Storyteller
Oliver Twist is a tale that clearly showed Charles Dickens' brilliance as a wordsmith and storyteller. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kelley Ridings
5.0 out of 5 stars read me
I have lately been into the old classic' s. Read them !!! What a joy. A very different kind way of writing. Most have been published in the the 1800's to early 1900's. 20, 30s . Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sandy2035
5.0 out of 5 stars Each rereading is better than the last.
I retread this book every ten years or so. Dickens is good medicine for me. Oliver Twist is one of my favorites, coming close behind David Copperfield and Great Expectations.
Published 2 months ago by fmarkham
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