The Wordsworth Classics covers a huge list of beloved works of literature in English and translations. This growing series is rigorously updated, with scholarly introductions and notes added to new titles.
This novel contains many of the classic Dickensian themes of grinding poverty, the eventual triumph of good in the face of great adversity, the lures of temptation and the terrors of fear, desperation and menace. It presents some of Dickens's most enduring characters, such as Fagin.
A Twist of Beauty An inviting design may inspire readers of a newly abridged edition of Charles Dickens's classic Oliver Twist to join the hero in asking, please sir, for more. Christian Birmingham spots nearly every page of text with a small, charcoal-gray image, and complements important scenes with full-page color illustrations. Birmingham's hues are predominantly deep, somber and gritty, but not without occasional flashes of royal blues and golds. Text is shaded in the faintest yellow, soft on the eye.
Let's face it, there are dreary passages in Dickens and convoluted sentences that are impenetrable for young readers and that put them off a great story. This retelling works well: it gets rid of a lot of the padding while keeping the narrative tension of the original. Oliver's stark request, "Please, sir, I want some more," will thrill kids today as it always has, and the story of the street boy on the run, who lives with outlaws and then finds a safe home, is an archetypal adventure. The problem here is the illustrations. Dickens' novel is scary. Cruickshank's original pictures were true to the terror as well as the comic absurdity of the story, but Birmingham's large, soft pastel pictures are sunny and sweet and angelic, with no hint of darkness and grime. Yes, Dickens' story does end in sentimental togetherness, but the terror is always there. Fagin's crowd was never this cute.
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
This abridged version of the trials of Oliver Twist makes the tale quite accessible to young listeners. Dick Cavett does an excellent job of moving from his familiar, level voice in the narrative passages to the true vibrancy of the dialogue. He handles British accents of the more lowly characters quite well, his characterization of Fagin being especially insidious and distinct. Mr. Brownlow and Monks are less developed, and their characterizations rely more on the text. The abridgment is quite a feat, having reduced a tumultuous tale into a tight storyline. However, some of the final sequences require more careful listening to absorb plot developments. E.S.B.
Novel by Charles Dickens, published serially from 1837 to 1839 in Bentley's Miscellany and in a three-volume book in 1838. The novel was the first of the author's works to depict realistically the impoverished London underworld and to illustrate his belief that poverty leads to crime. Written shortly after adoption of the Poor Law of 1834, which halted government payments to the poor unless they entered workhouses, Oliver Twist used the tale of a friendless child, the foundling Oliver Twist, as a vehicle for social criticism. While the novel is Victorian in its emotional appeal, it is decidedly unsentimental in its depiction of poverty and the criminal underworld, especially in its portrayal of the cruel Bill Sikes, who kills his kindly girlfriend Nancy for helping Oliver and who is himself accidentally hung by his own rope.
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Charles Dickens was born in Portsea, England in 1812. With The Pickwick Papers, he achieved immediate fame; in a few years, he was the most popular and respected author of his time. Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, and The Old Curiosity Shop were all huge successes for Dickens. A Christmas Carol, Bleak House, and Hard Times reveal his deepening concern for the injustices of British society, while A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations complete his major works.
length: (cm)19.8 width:(cm)12.6
I heard this audio book during driving and taking bus back to Guangzhou. It is a tragedy about Oliver's childhood, but he keep his mind integrity, although l...
ay what you may, maybe I don’t appreciate classics as I should, or that maybe this is a masterpiece, but if I am being honest, I thought it was like alri...
Finishing reading Oliver Twist,one of the most famous works of C.Dickens,though it has a happy ending,I still fell sort of down in my heart. The novel...