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Oliver Twist

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3.87  ·  Rating details ·  333,586 ratings  ·  8,049 reviews
A gripping portrayal of London's dark criminal underbelly, published in Penguin Classics with an introduction by Philip Horne.

The story of Oliver Twist - orphaned, and set upon by evil and adversity from his first breath - shocked readers when it was published. After running away from the workhouse and pompous beadle Mr Bumble, Oliver finds himself lured into a den of thie
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Paperback, Penguin Classics, 608 pages
Published 2003 by Penguin Books (first published 1838)
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Kevin A strange question! What you are assuming is that if you enjoy one classic that you will enjoy all classics. This is not the case. Like contemporary n…moreA strange question! What you are assuming is that if you enjoy one classic that you will enjoy all classics. This is not the case. Like contemporary novels different genres appeal to different people. Some will love classic romantic novels and some will abhor them. But if they have lasted the test of time then there has to be something special about them. You could be unlucky and try 2 or 3 and just not be able to get into them but you could be lucky and find the right ones straight away. There are classics like 'War and Peace', 'Les Miserables', 'Hard Times' and 'Ulysses' that I don't think I will ever read - they seem like too much hard work. Actually I have tried Ulysses and it is next to impossible to read (less than 5% of those that tried it managed to finish it - and most of those don't understand it). Yet it is often regarded as the best book ever written! Whereas one of James Joyce's other books 'Dubliners' is an easy read. Classics that I would recommend are Bram Stoker's 'Dracula', Oscar Wilde's 'The Picture of Dorian Gray', Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein', Arthur Conan Doyle's 'Sherlock Holmes', anything by Agatha Christie, Graham Greene or Raymond Chandler and, of course, 'Oliver Twist'.(less)
Sandeep I too am a non native english speaker. It is one of my new year resolutions to read a classic novel and I was looking forward to read charles dickens …moreI too am a non native english speaker. It is one of my new year resolutions to read a classic novel and I was looking forward to read charles dickens and oliver twist in particular. The things that helped me finish this novel and actually enjoy reading it are

1. Using an ebook reader: Having a copy of it on my kindle, mobile and work computer.

2. I downloaded the integrated oxford dictionary on all the kindle devices.

3. Look up oxford dictionary for any words that you found confusing. After a few chapters I realised, I am no longer needing to refer to the dictionary as frequently as I needed to at the beginning

4. Used litcharts website to review the chapter I finished to cross check if I have missed any important bits.

5. This book in particular, oliver twist, first appearing as a serial in a magazine. So, it is similar to watching a tv series. I made sure I did not stop in the middle of a chapter. I always made sure I finished a chapter before keeping the book away.

6. Read trivia about oliver twist here on goodreads, imdb and youtube to keep motivated.

7. The last and most important of all, read to enjoy and undersand the world of charles dicken's oliver twist, the victorian era london and the characters he brings to life with his eloquent words. Do not read to just finish the book

8. There is an excellent audiobook of oliver twist on archive.org freely available. Can also listen to it while reading the book for added fun and understand how native english readers pronounce the words.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  333,586 ratings  ·  8,049 reviews


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Paul Bryant
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novels
Oliver Twist THE BOOK is crap and has NO songs in it, I couldn't believe it. So I googled and get this, it turns out they put those in the movie and Dickens had nothing to do with it! But since they were the best bit of the film, you can understand my horror and bereft sense of disappointment when I finally came to pick up the book.

How could Dickens NOT have thought of having little Oliver sing Where Is Love when chucked into the cellar or Who Will Buy This Loverly Morning when he wakes up in h
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Stephen
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I looooooooved this book. Another Dickens...another favorite. 'Please, sir, I want some more.'

Jane Austen and Charles Dickens have been dueling inside my WOW center for some time in a titanic, see-saw struggle for the title of greatest word-smither/story-crafter in all of English literature. Ms Austen previously caused heart-palpitations and a slew of gasms with Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility which left me spent like a cheap nickel. However, Sir Dickens, being a slick, wily d
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Bill Kerwin
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 19th-c-brit

In recent years, I have become bewitched by all things gothic, and I was curious to discover to what extent gothic tropes and examplars may have influenced the imagery and structure of Dicken's first serious novel. Specifically, I was interested in how gothic elements might be expressed in "Oliver Twist"'s urban atmosphere. Had Hugo's Paris thieves' guild left its mark upon Fagin and his charges? Had Scott's Highland robbers' caves influenced Dickens' lowlife dens? Were these dirty London street
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Muhtasin Oyshik
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist, the young child who lived as a victim of a corrupt society and, fought hardships and endured hardships. But fate was harder in his case. And he fell into the group of terrible people who used him to achieve their evil purposes. There are full of despicable characters who will examine readers about the dark side of humanity. However, for me, this book was difficult to read. There were so many characters with lengthy descriptions. I know it's classic. B
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Ahmad Sharabiani
(918 From 1001) - Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist; or, the Parish Boy's Progress is author Charles Dickens's second novel, and was first published as a serial 1837–39.

The story centers on orphan Oliver Twist, born in a workhouse and sold into apprenticeship with an undertaker. After escaping, Twist travels to London, where he meets "The Artful Dodger", a member of a gang of juvenile pickpockets led by the elderly criminal, Fagin.

Oliver Twist is born into a life of poverty and misfortu
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Cait Poytress
I swear Dickens named one of his characters Master Bates on purpose.
Mutasim Billah
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, favorites
“It is because I think so much of warm and sensitive hearts, that I would spare them from being wounded.”

Welcome to the 19th century! The Industrial Revolution is in full flow. Money is being made, the population is thriving. The working-class is suffering and the Poor Law is in operation. Oliver Twist is born under testing circumstances as his unmarried mother dies in childbirth and his father is nowhere to be found. The Poor Law stated: "..... poor-law authorities should no longer attempt
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Sean Barrs
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
The film is better. There I said it. It has taken me five years to read this book, five whole years.

To me that says a lot. I just could never get into it. Perhaps if I’d not seen the film I would have enjoyed the story more. I may have seen the charmless characters as part of Dickens attack on society and its lack of social justice. Instead I just saw them for what they were: charmless.

There’s just a certain lack of life within these pages. Oliver, the protagonist, is somewhat unlikable himself
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Lisa
"What's a prostitute?"

A student in the library asked me that, and I was baffled for two reasons. First of all, I thought that teenagers are well-informed nowadays, and I also thought she was reading in a corner, not surfing the internet in the work area (where I imagined she would come across the term). As so often, I was wrong on all accounts, which I realised when I explained that a prostitute is a woman selling her body, and received the reply:

"Ah, you mean a whore, why can't Dickens just
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Bionic Jean
Oliver Twist is one of Charles Dickens's best known stories. Characters such as the evil Fagin, with his band of thieves and villains, the Artful Dodger with "all the airs and manners of a man," the house-breaker Sikes and his dog, the conscience-stricken but flawed Nancy, the frail but determined Oliver, and the arrogant and hypocritical beadle Mr Bumble have taken on a life of their own and passed into our culture. Who does not recognise the sentence,

"Please sir, I want some more!" or

"If the l
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Lyn
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have seen the 1968 academy award winning musical film “Oliver!” so many times that we eventually just bought the DVD.

David Lean’s 1948 film starring Alec Guinness as Fagan and Robert Newton as Bill Sykes is another favorite.

These film adaptations are so ubiquitous and so endearing that it is easy to forget what a rare accomplishment was Dickens original novel. One of Dickens earliest novels and like most was first published as a series of installments, Oliver Twist begins Dickens brilliant c
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Kalliope



This has been an exercise in exorcism for me.

I have been enjoying reading Dickens lately but I knew that not until I tackled Oliver Twist would I have dealt with, and conquered, the devil.

Images of black and white dreary images in a boxy TV have been projecting in the back of my mind since my childhood. And growing up and becoming an adult cooking garlic did not help. More substances were needed for a cleansing ritual. Oliver Twist continued to inspire horrific fear in me.

Expectedly, the endless
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James
Review
I only read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens once, back in 6th grade when I was about 12 years old. It was one of the classic books I'd received as a Christmas present, and I loved Dickens other children's stories, so I had to read this one. It's much more harsh tho, and might be a little difficult for a 12 year old to take in without having a better picture of the world. It's one of those books nagging at the back of my mind... "Please re-read me. I bet you'll like me a whole l
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Kelly
Dec 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Please sir, may I have less?
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
Read for school*
Not one of my absolute favourite classics but overall it was a really enjoyable read! Interested to see what's said about it in my Victorian literature class!
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Merphy Napier
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Here's my classics wrap up for this one https://youtu.be/O-OVuWbmb7M ...more
Alex
First of all, Oliver Twist is a shitty book. His second, following the comedic Pickwick Papers, it shows Dickens reaching for new territory: exposing the hopelessness and injustice of destitute life in London. But it's maudlin, obvious, predictable, lame. Oliver is such a simpering bitch that it's impossible to give a shit about him. Bad people want to use him; good people want to pamper him; you are bored. Dickens will write great books, but not yet.

Second, Oliver Twist is a hateful book. Dicke
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Chris Horsefield
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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¸¸.•*¨*•♫ Mrs. Buttercup •*¨*•♫♪
“Please, sir, I want some more.”



Oliver Twist is one of those novels in which you can definitely tell, while reading it, that at the time it was published it was a hit. Charles Dickens was giving people what they wanted, back in 1837. You can also tell, by the way it is structured, that it was published in "episodes". There are some classics which, when you read them, feel like they are timeless, that any era can be their era; they feel modern, always - regardless of the time of publication. Oli
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Olive Fellows (abookolive)
Check out my Booktube video that looks at the episode of Wishbone focused on Oliver Twist! ...more
Matthew
[3rd book of 2021. All paintings in this review by English painter John Atkinson Grimshaw.]

In a sense, with my reading of Dickens so far, a lot of his novels have felt like precursors to Great Expectations, which remains my favourite novel, of the ones I’ve read so far. This one is an interesting novel, and not entirely what I expected, despite Oliver Twist being as ingrained into the English psyche as Robin Hood. I remember, as a schoolboy, having to dress up as Victorians to visit an old manor
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Jason Koivu
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, classics
Oliver Twist could stand on the strength of its colorful characters alone. Dickens used his insightful eye to take in and store away all the images he was seeing in London's poorer neighborhoods back in the days when his own family found themselves in and out of the debtor's prison, always on the verge of utter ruin.

However, the book is more than just interesting characters. It's a wonderfully enthralling tale to boot, seldom slowing down for long stretches. Certainly there is melodrama, but ev
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Ankit Garg
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens is a wonderful classic fiction novel. The child as a protagonist was something which appealed to me for me to pick up this read, and the narration doesn't disappoint. The journey the character's life takes from its inception till the story ends is mesmerizing. The picture painted of an orphan kid in Victorian-era England is vivid, along with detailed mentions of the status difference among various social classes of the time, and the various atrocities that follow. ...more
Praveen
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
' I hope so,' replied the child.' After I am dead, but not before. I know the doctor must be right, Oliver, because I dream so much of heaven, and Angles, and kind faces that I never see when I am awake. Kiss me,' said the child, climbing up the low gate, and flinging his little arms round Oliver's neck. Good- b'ye, dear! God bless You!"



Whenever I think about Oliver Twist, I don't know why? the only thing, the first thing and the last thing that always involuntarily hit me right there in my hipp
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Mark
Jun 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
I have in my 37 years of life avoided reading Charles Dickens. My reason: after having suffered through trying to read the so-called English literature of his era--think Thomas Harding, Emile Bronte and Mary Shelly--I figured Dickens would be no better. For some reason I can’t now recollect, I decided to give Dickens a try. I chose Oliver Twist. And was immediately hooked. Far from the boring narrative one finds the works of the other English writers I've already mentioned, Dickens has a very pe ...more
Aya
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
*Read it for school and decided to re-read it because I just loved this book so much!

This book is worth re-reading again and again!
I really love this classic, although it is so miserable and sad.
I promise I will write a review for it after exams.
MJ Nicholls
Yes, but what became of Oliver? Let me tell you. He became Oliver Twisted. That’s what. He became Battersea’s premier caulker—that is, someone who seals gaps in drywall with waterproof sealant. But Fagin’s influence seeped into poor Oliver’s caulking duties. Instead of sealant, he would put sea lions, banana skins and discount copies of the musical Oliver! Homeowners would thrash in their beds to the bleating of moribund sea lions. Houses would slip away from their districts into horrible places ...more
Brown Girl Reading
I really enjoyed Oliver Twist. This one was just a good story no overwriting anywhere. Whew! Thank goodness! Unsuspected twists and turns and characters that are so lively they jump off the page. Creative ways of describing things. I could actually see myself rereading this one, but I'll be continuing on to try to get through more of the ones I haven't read. I highly recommend it. ...more
Matt
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In response to an apparent Victorian pearl-clutching occasion in the years following the release of Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens found it necessary to offer a retort. Here is some of what he wrote in 1867:

Once Upon a time it was held to be a coarse and shocking circumstance, that some of the characters in these pages are chosen from the most criminal and degraded of London's population...

The cold wet shelterless streets of London; the foul and frowsy dens, where vice is closely packed and lack
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Davide
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[italiano sotto]
The Hand of the King

At some point, a character perceives the presence of «a stronger hand than chance».

Mr. Brownlow implies it is the hand of God, we may think it is the hand of the author.
Who cares? It is a strong hand.
If you like lighter hands (in plot, characters, style), this is not the book for you. Here we can find: a lot of unlikely encounters in the middle of a big city; a bunch of extreme characters (from angelic girls to ugly and wicked old men); and a frequent display
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❀The Never-ending...: Oliver Twist- Starting April 20th 47 20 Apr 27, 2021 05:45AM  
Reading 1001: Oliver Twist - Dickens 1 5 Jul 14, 2020 07:54PM  
Why not write about real life issues? 2 29 Oct 12, 2018 09:43PM  
The Old Curiosity...: The story in illustrations 15 14 Aug 29, 2018 04:18AM  

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Charles John Huffam Dickens was a writer and social critic who created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories enjoy lasting popularity.

Dicke
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“There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.” 3475 likes
“It is because I think so much of warm and sensitive hearts, that I would spare them from being wounded.” 457 likes
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