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Oliver Twist (Unabridged Classics) Hardcover – Unabridged, 1 Nov 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; Unabridged edition (1 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402754256
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402754258
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 16.7 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (367 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 567,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles Dickens was born in 1812 near Portsmouth where his father was a clerk in the navy pay office. The family moved to London in 1823, but their fortunes were severely impaired. Dickens was sent to work in a blacking-warehouse when his father was imprisoned for debt. Both experiences deeply affected the future novelist. In 1833 he began contributing stories to newspapers and magazines, and in 1836 started the serial publication of Pickwick Papers. Thereafter, Dickens published his major novels over the course of the next twenty years, from Nicholas Nickleby to Little Dorrit. He also edited the journals Household Words and All the Year Round. Dickens died in June 1870.


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Review

"An unforgettable journey into criminal behaviour that takes me back to my own childhood fantasies" (Malcolm McLaren)

"The power of [Dickens] is so amazing, that the reader at once becomes his captive" (William Makepeace Thackeray)

"Dickens is huge - like the sky. Pick any page of Dickens and it's immediately recognizable as him, yet he might be doing social satire, or farce, or horror, or a psychological study of a murderer - or any combination of these" (Susannah Clarke)

"The image of little Oliver Twist victimised by poverty, almost seduced by the specious excitement of crime, and then offered the possibility of a lucrative career in authorship is always compelling" (Guardian)

"We leave him most reluctantly, and so will every reader who has any capacity to see and feel whatsoever is most loveable, hateful, or laughable, in the character of the everyday life about him" (Examiner) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

CD and mini-hardback format ideal for easy comprehension and reading --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Ganime B. Akin on 24 Jun. 2004
Format: Paperback
Having read quite a lot of Dickens novels, I came quite late to Oliver Twist. I had read a children's version of it and since I knew the story, I thought I might not find it very interesting. How wrong I was!. The first chapters, although they are a very good critic of the poor workhouse conditions, were a bit dragging. But once Oliver goes to London and meets Fagin's gang, it was a pleasure to read. As in most of Dickens' works, the villains are the ones who make the story interesting. The dingy places that they live, the squalor and filth is so well described as the evil turn of their minds that the "good" people in the story, including Oliver, are quite dull compared to them. It seems Oliver is just an accessory that the plot evolves around but the bad people are the ones that draw us into it. Especially the murder, the haunting conscience and the death at the end are one of the best that I have ever read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER on 23 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Dickens' famous story of a young orphan's struggle to survive on the streets of London is rightly one of his most remembered.

Two outstanding characters have been contributed to literature - Fagin and Jack Dawkins the Artful Dodger.

Dickens writes Fagin as a puppet master, controlling the orphaned children as pickpockets and the adults like Bill Sikes as thieves. His subterfuge of a penniless pauper with a kindly approach are at odds with the moments he steals gazing at his hidden stash of jewels and his barking moments of brutality. Though his name is Fagin, Dickens refers to him more often than not as "the Jew", a label quite jarring in today's culture. Fagin is sinister though and many see him as a devil like character. His many schemes, plans, and selfishness all contribute to the image.

The Artful Dodger is a whirling dervish of charisma and charm, teaching Oliver the tricks of the trade and leading the cohorts of youngsters as the ultimate example they should all be aspiring to. Dickens chooses to have the Dodger answer for his crimes as he is finally caught and sent to jail. Tantalisingly, Dickens implies that the Dodger will be deported to Australia though we never see Dodger again after he is led away back to jail. Maybe he was thinking of writing a sequel with him as a grown up character?

Oliver is by no means a great character but a likeable one. His tribulations put us on his side early on and his base survival has us enthralled and rooting for him throughout. Bill Sikes isn't also that great a character. A one dimensional thug and bully, his character is indeed menacing and ugly but unfortunately never goes further.

Nancy meanwhile is another triumph of characterisation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SBno1 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This review is for the Kindle version - Amazon tend to merge all formats into 1 review set.

I have made it my ambition to read some of the most famous classic books to broaden my horizons or at least to see what all the fuss is about.

The story of Oliver twist is well known; an impressionable and naïve orphaned kid is taken under the wing by a career criminal who has a gang of kids running his pickpocket racket in return for food and shelter.

I am still fairly new to reading classic books and I do find it a bit difficult to get my head around the style of writing. Oliver Twist was no different. whilst the story was keeping my attention, I did find that it was a drag to read at times.

The Kindle version is free and so you have nothing to lose by giving it a try. the formatting seemed to be fine, with a few sentences split into paragraphs. The version I had was clearly from a optical character recognition sweep as there were a few spelling mistakes where punctuation marks had been added in place of letters. That being said, I could clearly see what the word was supposed to read, so it didn't take away the meaning of a sentence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Took on 19 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
At time of writing, I've read Great Expectations, Tale of Two Cities and Pickwick Papers. Oliver Twist,although one of the best-known and most popularised of Dickens' novels, is, in my opinion, not as good.

Some well-drawn characters, but Rose is unbelievably saintly (especially as described by Harry in his besotted proposal!). As others have said here, some 'amazing coincidences' make the plot seem implausible, annoying me a little, and I started to lose track a little towards the end when Dickens uses the meeting of Mr Brownlow with Monks to 'explain' to us past events.

So, with just a few pages to go, I've found the novel a little disappointing! But interesting to see how very different the novel is from 'Oliver!' and the like... Have ordered Alan Bleasdale's 'Oliver Twist' for enrichment!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lorna Vince on 19 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am working my way through Dickens - have seen the film but am glad I read the book too although it's not easy reading - the descriptions of characters and scenes are much bleaker than in the film.
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Format: Paperback
Dickens is one of the greats, and plenty of people won’t say a word against him – I’ve read a few of his novels and I’d beg to disagree. His work often falls wide of the mark and it doesn’t always age well, but Oliver Twist is a great example of Dickens at his finest, a writer who managed to capture the essence of the Victorian age in which he lived in like no other.

I won’t bother going in to detail about the plot, because it’s one of the most famous stories ever told and you should already be familiar with what happens, but I’ll avoid spoilers just in case – suffice to say that most of the adaptations that I’ve seen fail to do Dickens justice, because it’s too difficult to capture all of the intricacies of his writing in a stage play, a film or a TV series.

In fact, if you’ve enjoyed the musical or some similar adaptation then I strongly encourage you to read the novel if you haven’t already, just to see where it started – sure, Dickens’ writing is heavy going and it’s easier to read it in small chunks than in a couple of long sittings, but it’s like that with all of the greats. It took me nearly two years to finish The Lord of the Rings trilogy because Tolkien has the same problem, if you can call it that – both authors are lovers of language, and so their work can be daunting to the casual reader.

Reading Oliver Twist is like experiencing high definition video when you’re used to watching things on an iPhone – characters like Bill Sykes take on new dimensions and become even more realistic, while Jack Dawkins, better-known as the Artful Dodger, seems almost tragic. He’s certainly a much darker character in the novel than the happy-go-lucky pickpocket that we’re used to from popular culture.
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