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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 the Audio CD 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 the Audio Cassette edition.
Top customer reviews
I hope Amazon will publish the rest of Dickens' works as serials. They really are better this way.
"After musing for some minutes the old man walked, with the same meditative face, into a back anteroom opening from the yard; and there, retiring to a corner, called up before his mind's eye a vast amphitheatre of faces over which a dusky curtain had hung for many years."
"He wandered over them again. He had called them into view, and it was not easy to replace the shroud that had so long concealed them. There were faces of friends, and foes, and of many that had been almost strangers peering intrusively from the crowd; there were faces of young and blooming girls that were now old women; there were faces that the grave had changed and closed upon, but which the mind, superior to its power, still dressed in thier old freshness and beauty, calling back the lustre of the eyes, the brightness of the smile, the beaming of the soul through its mask of clay, and whispering of beauty beyond the tomb, changed but to be heightened, and taken from earth only to be set up as a light, to shed a soft and gentle glow upon the path to Heaven."
Reunited in the Communion of Saints.
Thank goodness for Sydney Carton, the hero of the story. His opportunity to find God and redeem what had been a wasted life, to sacrifice himself for his good friend and for the one he clearly was in love with, and then to help a fellow innocent prisoner meet her fate with peace and faith (and who gave him, in his last moments, what his good friend Charles had with Lucy) is what made the book one the best I've ever read.
I highly recommend this book, but encourage you to be patient. It takes awhile to get rolling.