- File Size: 653 KB
- Print Length: 220 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Amazon.co.uk; 1 edition (September 13, 2011)
- Publication Date: September 13, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005MYA7WA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,521,712 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Dodge & Twist: A Sequel To Oliver Twist Kindle Edition
|Length: 220 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
I also have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Dickens. As a teenager nothing filled me with quite so much terror as the realization I would have to read A Tale of Two Cities. Since then I've come to appreciate his talents, and I even enjoyed Great Expectations, which shares many plot elements with Oliver Twist: an impoverished boy abused by his guardians finds his fortune through a series of unlikely events. That being said, I haven't read Twist in years. I purposefully didn't want to reread it before diving into Lee's book, because I didn't want to compare.
The first page of Dodge & Twist is hardly stellar. The beginning paragraphs are repetitive, the verbs lacking variance, and my editorial eye couldn't help but pick up on the small mistakes throughout the novel. The book is self-published, and likely didn't go through the laborious process before being released, and therefore missed a few important checks along the way. My apologies to whoever did edit the book; I moonlight on occasion and I know editing is difficult, but a good copy editor should be able to read a novel, pick out these glaring mistakes, and discuss them with the author.
After the first chapter ignoring the mistakes is easier. Lee hits his stride, and drew me in, making me care about the characters and the conclusion. He weaves a web of interconnected plots and it isn't evident from the first how he plans on tying up the loose ends and finishing the story. Especially interesting is the dichotomy between Dodger's internal and external demons, and how they factor in his decision to steal the diamond and why he includes Oliver in his plans.
The narrative picks up shortly after Oliver discovers he's lost his inheritance. He returns to London, determined to regain his wealth. There he runs into the Artful Dodger, who has fortuitously also recently returned from his exile in Australia, and knows of Oliver's recent troubles; he offers to help Oliver in exchange for his assistance in a big heist he's planned. Dodger is also haunted by the ghost of Fagin, who is clearly out for someone's blood, presumably Oliver's. The novel's success hinges on the relationship between the two men, and their dialogue is something Lee writes extremely well. Despite their differences they have a deep connection, likely from their time on the streets, and in spite of himself Oliver is drawn to Dodger.
The attention to detail in regards to the street names is impressive, and the preface explains that he did his research. This would be a brilliant novel to bring along on a trip to London, and use as a reference for locating certain spots; I may be the only person who finds that exciting. I could have done without the almost-excessive descriptions of clothing, especially Dodger's, but at the same time I understand that Dodger's clothing is a key aspect of his character.
Was it necessary to make this novel a continuation of Oliver Twist? Not entirely, no. It's a Victorian Ocean's Eleven, a caper novel with a little mystery and nostalgia thrown in. Referencing Dickens's famous characters allows the reader to initially sympathize with Oliver and mistrust Dodger. That may have been Lee's intention all along, and then he subverts and encourages those initial reactions throughout the novel. By the end the story stands on its own merit, and having it be an extension of Oliver Twist feels somewhat superfluous. Lee's ability to build an interesting plot and dynamic characters is significant enough without having to borrow and if he hadn't connected the two novels this would have been an excellent start to a series, developing the relationships without relying on Oliver Twist.
Overall Dodge & Twist is a solid, engaging caper story with multifaceted characters and a satisfying conclusion. Lee's writing is easy to understand, and he doesn't attempt to emulate Dickens's style, which I appreciate. The plot draws the reader in and made me completely forget I was supposed to be reading critically.