Summary

One of Charles Dickens' most popular novels, Oliver Twist is the story of a young orphan who dares to say, "Please, sir, I want some more". After escaping from the dark and dismal workhouse where he was born, Oliver finds himself on the mean streets of Victorian-era London and is unwittingly recruited into a scabrous gang of scheming urchins. In this band of petty thieves, Oliver encounters the extraordinary and vibrant characters who have captured audiences' imaginations for more than 150 years: the loathsome Fagin, the beautiful and tragic Nancy, the crafty Artful Dodger, and the terrifying Bill Sikes, perhaps one of the greatest villains of all time. Rife with Dickens' disturbing descriptions of street life, the novel is buoyed by the purity of the orphan Oliver. Though he is treated with cruelty and surrounded by coarseness for most of his life, his pious innocence leads him at last to salvation - and the shocking discovery of his true identity.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Christine on 10-01-15

As captivating and as jaw dropping as always

What made the experience of listening to Oliver Twist the most enjoyable?

Re-hearing the parts of the story I had forgotten and remembering the horror of the whole thing

What other book might you compare Oliver Twist to, and why?

Most of Dickens books, but maybe David Copperfield the most.

Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favourite?

Fagin - I thought his Fagin sounded like the Fagin that has always been in my mind. The self-preservation-at-all-costs mentality. The way he will corrupt the innocent to further his means - His total lack of conscience if it of benefit to him.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It is a book that I have 'rewound' more times than I can count to make sure I haven't missed anything, such as when I have dozed off or there has been an interruption. Because of the books length it has not been possible to do it in one sitting - but not for the want of trying !!

Any additional comments?

I cannot think of a modern book that has all of the horror, sadness, gripping, spine tingling, look-over-your-shoulder moments, but also has uplifting, humerous, sentimental and moral content all within the same volume. A work of art - A masterpiece of English literature.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Karen on 11-12-08

Amazing narration!

I had never read Oliver Twist and found it to be the most heartwrenching and loving story, both at the same time. What truly amazed me was the narrator, his skill in how he had such completely different voices for each character, it was like listening to a play, not just one person. I highly recommend this book to anyone, even if they have already read the book.

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25 of 26 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Darwin8u on 09-02-13

Shows why Dickens is MASTER of the social novel

It is hard to exit the original worlds created by Dickens. I usually manage it crying like a baby. Oliver Twist is top shelf storytelling. The characters are amazing. The setting is perfect. The plot manages to throw out hundreds of threads and ties them all together at the end, while never losing or boring the reader.

Weakness? This is probably nit picking, but the story seems to work out too well in the end. Don't get me wrong, I know this is a social novel and FICTION, but I guess I just have a little bit of an issue with the whole melodramatic end, with every shoe finding a foot and every evil getting a noose. Other than that, Dickens shows with 'Oliver Twist' why is/was the master and the giant of the social novel.

Simon Vance, as always, delivers a solid narration.

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21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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