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Oliver Twist

by Charles Dickens

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From Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up-A BBC radio dramatization of Dickens' classic.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
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
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From AudioFile
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. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

From Booklist
Gr. 5^-7. 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. Hazel Rochman

Russ and Beth Oullette
We recently purchased three of your classics series hardcovers for our 15 year old daughter's birthday, and she was estatic. The books are beautifully done, and it was nice to see that they used the original versions' formatting. We anxiously look forward to any new volumes you may add. If we might make a suggestion for a future addition to this series, please consider Treasure Island, as this would be a most welcome addition to her new collection. Thanks for producing a wonderful product.

Sunday Telegraph
"Cover to Cover's unabridged readings of classic novels are in a class of their own."

"A performance so exhilarating that the listener is borne along almost breathless, as if by some force of nature. The variety of emotions she expresses so magnificently is matched by the astonishing range of the voice itself...every scene is superbly performed. More important, all this seems to me to be pure Dickens, just what the author would have delighted in."

The Sunday Times of London
"[Margolyes] acts with a confidence born of detailed and textual knowledge, making each character individual and distinctive."

"The power of [Dickens] is so amazing, that the reader at once becomes his captive, and must follow him whithersoever he leads."
--William Makepeace Thackeray

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Book Description
Edited with an Introduction by Philip Horne.

Download Description
An adaptation of Dickens's story of the orphan forced to practice thievery and live a life of crime in nineteenth-century London.

The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
(in full Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's Progress, by "Boz") 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.

Card catalog description
A simplified retelling of the adventures of an orphan boy who lives in the squalid surroundings of a nineteenth-century English workhouse until he becomes involved with a gang of thieves.

From the Publisher
Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards.

From the Inside Flap
Introduction by Michael Slater

From the Back Cover
Born and raised in the appalling deprivation of the workhouse, the orphan Oliver escapes the drudgery of apprenticeship only to fall into the hands of the notorious Fagin and his gang of child thieves. But Oliver is an innocent at heart and the attempts by Fagin and the impudently witty Artful Dodger to teach the boy the trick of the pick-pocket's trade lead only to his almost immediate capture. Oliver's rescue by the kindly Mr. Brownlow is only the beginning of a series of adventures that lead him to an incredible discovery. This dramatization includes a full cast starring Pam Ferris, Tim McInnerny, and Edward Long as Oliver.

About the Author
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.

Excerpted from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Copyright © 1997. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved
"Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! Oliver Twist has asked for more!" There was a general start. Horror was depicted on every countenance. "For more!" said Mr. Limbkins. "Compose yourself, Bumble, and answer me distinctly. Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had eaten the supper allotted by the dietary?" "He did, sir," replied Bumble. "That boy will be hung," said the gentleman in the white waistcoat. "I know that boy will be hung."



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