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Oliver Twist

Cover of Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist

One of Charles Dickens's most popular novels, Oliver Twist is the story of a young orphan who dares to say, "Please, sir, I want some more." After escaping from the dark and dismal workhouse where he was born, Oliver finds himself on the mean streets of Victorian-era London and is unwittingly recruited into a scabrous gang of scheming urchins. In this band of petty thieves, Oliver encounters the extraordinary and vibrant characters who have captured audiences' imaginations for more than 150 years: the loathsome Fagin, the beautiful and tragic Nancy, the crafty Artful Dodger, and the terrifying Bill Sikes, perhaps one of the greatest villains of all time.

Rife with Dickens's disturbing descriptions of street life, the novel is buoyed by the purity of the orphan Oliver. Though he is treated with cruelty and surrounded by coarseness for most of his life, his pious innocence leads him at last to salvation - and the shocking discovery of his true identity.

One of Charles Dickens's most popular novels, Oliver Twist is the story of a young orphan who dares to say, "Please, sir, I want some more." After escaping from the dark and dismal workhouse where he was born, Oliver finds himself on the mean streets of Victorian-era London and is unwittingly recruited into a scabrous gang of scheming urchins. In this band of petty thieves, Oliver encounters the extraordinary and vibrant characters who have captured audiences' imaginations for more than 150 years: the loathsome Fagin, the beautiful and tragic Nancy, the crafty Artful Dodger, and the terrifying Bill Sikes, perhaps one of the greatest villains of all time.

Rife with Dickens's disturbing descriptions of street life, the novel is buoyed by the purity of the orphan Oliver. Though he is treated with cruelty and surrounded by coarseness for most of his life, his pious innocence leads him at last to salvation - and the shocking discovery of his true identity.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 26, 2010
    The inimitable Martin Jarvis brings his talents to bear on Charles Dickens's classic in an audiobook that will delight listeners with its superb recreations of gritty 19th-century London. To escape Mr. Bumble and life in the workhouse, Oliver flees to London where he meets the Artful Dodger and becomes embroiled with Fagin's ragtag band of thieves. Jarvis simply dazzles: his performance captures both the humor and sorrow of the text, his narration is crisp, and his characterizations—his rendition of the terrifying district magistrate, Mr. Fang, is particularly memorable—are as varied as they are energetic, befitting, and enjoyable.

  • AudioFile Magazine Nowhere is Dickens' anger at Victorian "political economy" more evident than in this stinging rebuke, and reader Martin Jarvis mitigates none of the sting. It's evident in the unctuous voice of Fagan, the brutal voice of Bill Sykes, the pomposity of Mr. Bumble, the pleading of Nancy, but above all, in the innocent hope of Oliver himself. With his precise but subtle reading of the author's irony, even when it occasionally lapses into sermons, Jarvis conveys to the reader all of Dickens' stinging anger at Victorian hypocrisy. He brings all of this nasty world to life but does it in such a graceful and relaxed way that Dickens' essential hope in the ultimate goodness of man and faith in the Victorian order are preserved intact. P.E.F. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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    Tantor Media
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Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens
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