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.
Fate figures strongly in this, Dickens' second novel (or first, depending on how you count it) but the last one I had not yet read. The rocketing star of Dickens as a serial writer was translating to publication demands for complete novels, which was satisfied first with Pickwick Papers, even though some chapters of Oliver Twist were finished first and Dickens later considered Twist his first novel. Like Pickwick, Twist suffers from some of the faults of the young writer --an overabundance … more
Oliver Twist is one of Dickens' early novels - he worked on The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby simultaneously - and one of his best loved. It has what you would expect from him: memorable characters, evocative descriptions, melodrama, pathos (more often bathos) and a plot that relies on completely incredible coincidences. These latter are sometimes explained away by the characters themselves as being ordained by Fate, benign or otherwise, and must have been more acceptable to … more