Oliver Twist Paperback – 15 May 2018
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About the Author
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is one of the world's most famous writers. His other titles include 'Bleak House', 'Great Expectations' and 'A Christmas Carol'. With over 300 published titles to his name, author Stewart Ross is one of Britain's most popular and versatile writers. As well as prize-winning books for children, both fiction and nonfiction, he has written novels, several plays, three librettos, and a musical. He lives in Canterbury, in the United Kingdom. Alex Paterson is a highly-experienced artist who has illustrated books for Orion, Egmont, Random House, Harper Collins, Oxford University Press, Orchard, Igloo, Wayland and Michael O Mara. His work has also been exhibited in the Cartoon Museum. He lives in Warwickshire, in the United Kingdom.
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A must read classic novel but consider other Charles Dickens novels too.
If you haven't come across this novel before, it's the one that famously begins: 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times'. Yes, there's your small fact for a pub quiz. Set in the time of eighteenth century London and France, there is a lot of history as Dickens describes the bloodied and violent streets of Paris. With the guillotine ominously hanging over society, (pun definitely intended!), many innocent civilians are somewhat slaughtered as the spies close in. There's a fair bit of fighting in this novel, a lot of chat and even more description. Lacking the humour of say, Austin, Dickens grimly portrays a social mess that I found confusing and difficult to properly appreciate. In honesty, it was the final part of the novel that I enjoyed the most and one where I really understood what was going on!
There are plenty of classic novels out there and a range of Dickens to encounter. I won't read this again; I am glad I did but would try a different one to see if I enjoyed it more.
I found the characters in many cases well rounded and enjoyable, indeed I’d say I found many more deep and engaging than, somewhat saccharin Nicholas himself (I’m think Ralph, Newman Noggs and John Browdie). The occasionally funny Dickensian turn of phrase equally entertaining. I’d recommend getting a version with a character list and the original illustrations. It is a very, very long book, which although written in bite sized chapters, I think requires that the reader keeps to a sustained reading pace otherwise risking it becoming, even for me in places, lacking drive and focus. For me one for the better Dickens, helped by me not actually knowing the, usefully uncomplicated story at all.
I am reviewing the DVD with Gillian Anderson, Charles Dance, etc - STELLAR! Cast, costumes, sets, script - everything - captured the essence of the novel amazingly well. I am still ploughing through the novel, mind you, but so far it is a faithful adaptation with only very minor changes which did not affect the story at all.
I have read a few novels by different authors from the 1800s and found that they read quite awkwardly, not so with this novel.
A great story, with the usual great Dickins characters. The film has large chunks of the story missing so it was still rewarding to read.
If you haven't tried reading an older classic author before I would recommend this book as a springboard Ito a different genre.
The book is very much of its time, and although Dickens was acutely aware of poverty and class, he seemed to have a racial blind spot - still controversial to this day.