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Oliver Twist (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – December 30, 2002
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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 an alternate Paperback edition.
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 alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
From the wastrel Sydney Carton, who became the ultimate hero to Jarvis Lorry, who saw himself as only a "man of business" and who developed a love of Dr. Manette and his family that lead him to endanger himself, and even to the bumbling, Jerry--Mr. Jarvis' messenger at the Bank and part-time grave-robber, each character came alive for me.
I never fully realized before the horrors of the French revolution which was a reaction to the horrors of the way the aristocracy treated the poor. Although this was a stark example of how low the human being can sink in to depravity, the nobility of some of the characters shone in contrast.
I enjoyed "A Tale of Two Cities" so much I will probably read it again some day--and reading something twice,I rarely do.
Story does pick up speed by third part of book and book becomes pager turner. While end is predictable almost from first moment you get hint of escape plan, build up is laid out well and last chapter ends on emotionally high note. Dr. Manette's letter was a surprise twist. Overall, okay read and not bad.
Most characters are consistent but some characters and episodes could be dropped. Like events around Jerry's wife and episode of lawer planning to marry Lucy and then dropping the idea could be edited out. Only other problem is that book has too many too many well timed coincides. Madam Defarge turns out to be the wronged sister. No explanation is given why Sydney Carton is in France just at right time, and he happens to be conveniently placed where Solomon Pross is recognized as Barsad, the spy, and also overhears Madam Defarge's plan to have Lucy killed. Jerry digging the right grave is also coincidence. And so is Miss Pross's killing of Madam Defarge at right time.