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on 11 November 2012
My first foray into the works of Charles Dickens was his first, 'The Pickwick Papers' and what an absolute delight that was to read. Following on chronologically, 'Oliver Twist' came next and the only reference I had ever had was the famous musical from the 60's - not my cup of tea so I never really watched it. I was however determined to take a chance with the book and started reading. Within the space of that first chapter I was enthralled, appalled and horrified and totally absorbed into what the story detailed. This was/is no, 'soppy musical', in fact it would translate brilliantly into a modern serious film rated 15 or even 18!
Did people really live and do stuff like that?

I think there was a point where I'd figured out what the outcome might be but even then there were a couple of elements that surprised me before I got to the end. Just brilliant

Yes I know CD's writing might be a little difficult to keep up with for some but for me it is a joy!

Highly recommended!
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on 27 January 2016
Absolute classic from Dickens. I was first introduced to the story via the film version starring Alec Guinness as Fagin and then had to read the book. I would say this book was a must read. And Dickens' observations on poverty and what it can lead to are as relevant as ever, unfortunately.
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on 21 May 2014
(A quote from "Clueless" btw). I don't know why it took me so long to get round to reading this - I've read and enjoyed quite a bit of Dickens. Perhaps it was because I thought I knew the story already, when in fact I was mixing it up with "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (which I still haven't read). So it was a surprise to find that Carton wasn't a dandy, but a depressed, alcoholic, failed lawyer.

Anyway, it had me gripped from the stunning opening chapter ("best of times, worst of times") all the way through.
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on 19 February 2013
Oliver Twist must be one of the most adapted of all Dickens novels. I have seen some, and have noticed that they can have different endings for different characters, and focus on some characters in different ways. I wanted to read the actual novel to learn to original story.

You have to read the novel to have a true understanding of the characters, most of whom are some of the most famous in literature history.

Dickens discription of the workhouse and its associates are brilliantly vivid. His later discription of the dirty, filthy London that Fagin and gang populate make it a brilliantly dark story.

I won't give any of the ending away because the way some of the charcters finish the story is very different to the way any film, and especially the musical, do it.

Read the book, you won't be disapointed.
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on 28 November 2017
Having an American perform a deep southern (hillbilly) accent for two low class English coach drivers put an end to the book for me at the very start. It might be linguistic snobbery on my part but it is my opinion. Jim Donaldson might be better suited for the Tales of Huckleberry Finn but an audio book should be able to help place you in the world of the story. However, finding myself thrown to the banks of the Mississippi River I couldn't lose myself in the book as much as lose myself in rant (an abridged version of which you can see here). The narrator and the story didn't go together, for me.
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on 12 September 2013
Although I have a two volume set of Simon Shama's "Citizens" which is probably one of the most definitive histories of the French Revolution it is all fact and little feeling. Dickens is all feeling without betraying the facts. Most people have, at least, a superficial knowledge of that time of turmoil. We learned it at school "let them eat cake" and we still see it in the divine Versailles and immaculate furniture of that period. On the flip side, the family of Dr Guillotine changed their name such was his infamous invention.

If you only ever read one Dickens make this the one.
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on 18 November 2016
I knew the story from films, but I never realised how bad those films are until I read the book for the first time. It's really a wonderful book with great characters on both sides and I definietely won't watch any Oliver Twist films in the future. They will never be able to live up to the oroginal book.
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on 27 November 2014
Skimmed through to see if I could like it. Dickens could write with power and accuracy; there are scenes of pity and horror set in Revolutionary Paris. The tension and terror are wound up effectively. But the posturing and posing of the main male characters are a bit much, the plot is unbelievably contrived, and Lucy Manette is incredibly sweet and pure -- she never had a lustful thought or said a naughty word in her whole life; who could live with such a woman ?
(What is the Eiffel Tower doing on your cover ? It was built 80 years after the Revolution. Perhaps a guillotine in silhouette would be better ?)
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on 2 August 2017
Took a bit of getting through it, listened to most of it but it was hard going, as I find with all these old authors of my youth, I found that part 3 was more absorbing than the beginnings, but that is just my opinion, as with all these reviews that we write.
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on 8 March 2017
Although the language is old the story is timeless. The French Revolution told through the lives of a group of people, French and English, who move between London and Paris.
It has been a long time since I read Dickens. It will not be long until I read another of his classics.
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