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Oliver Twist (Paperback)

Author:  Charles Dickens Read By:  Larry McKeever
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Oliver Twist Dickens, Charles                         1 of 1
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FORMAT: Paperback
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Learn more about Oliver Twist:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 1562543253
ISBN-13: 9781562543259
Sku: 204730996
Publish Date: 5/23/2007
Age Range:  14 to 18
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Among other public buildings in a certain town which for many reasons it will be prudent to refrain from mentioning, and to which I will assign no fictitious name, it boasts of one which is common to most towns, great or small, to wit, a workhouse; and in this workhouse was born, on a day and date which I need not take upon myself to repeat, inasmuch as it can be of no possible consequence to the reader, in this stage of the business at all events, the item of mortality whose name is prefixed to the head of this chapter. (from the first line)
From the Publisher:
Retells the story of the orphan boy who is forced to practice thievery and live a life of crime in nineteenth-century London.
Annotation:
Dickens's second novel was a far cry from THE PICKWICK PAPERS, his first. The story of an orphan who flees the workhouse only to fall in with a gang of thieves and prostitutes in London's sleazy underworld, it was a trenchant criticism of England's poor laws. Enacted in the 1830s, these laws provided assistance for the poor only through workhouses, which were deliberately squalid and miserable to encourage the poor--who were considered lazy and immoral--to better themselves and get out. The inequities between rich and poor were one of Dickens's constant themes, and with OLIVER TWIST he established himself as a staunch champion of the downtrodden, particularly children. The novel also, however, has its cheerful moments, and contains some of Dickens's most memorable characters, including Fagin, the Artful Dodger, the evil Bill Sykes, and the unfortunate Nancy.
Author Bio
Charles Dickens
In the words of George Orwell, "the strongest single impression one carries away" from the novels of Charles Dickens is "a hatred of tyranny"--a passion that began in Dickens's own early life. Son of a navy pay clerk, Dickens had an idyllic childhood until he was 12, when his improvident father was imprisoned for debt and young Charles was sent by his parents to work in a London blacking factory to raise money to pay off his father's creditors. He was there only a few months, but the experience left a harsh impression on him: he not only wrote frequently in his novels about oppressed and victimized children, but, after he became famous, was a tireless crusader against child labor and other social evils. In time, the young Dickens did return to school, and in his teens, he acquired a reader's ticket to the British Museum, where he educated himself further, reading Shakespeare and other classics. He became a law clerk and a shorthand reporter, and then began writing for various periodicals, becoming a successful and sought-after journalist. In 1833, he published his first short story, and his first full-length book, THE PICKWICK PAPERS, was published three years later, when he was 24--the same year he was married to Catherine Hogarth. As he and his wife began to produce children--10 in all--Dickens also produced literature, most of which was published serially, including OLIVER TWIST (1837), NICHOLAS NICKELBY (1839), and A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1843). He wrote according to a rigorous schedule (daily, between breakfast and luncheon), and from the 1840s on, he traveled widely, giving speeches and readings, and lived in Italy and in Paris briefly in the mid-1840s. His marriage was never a happy one; in 1858, he and his wife separated, and from that period until his death Dickens was romantically involved with the young actress Ellen Ternan. Among Dickens's later works are DAVID COPPERFIELD (1850), HARD TIMES (1854), and LITTLE DORRITT (1857), which drew on his own troubled childhood, as well as A TALE OF TWO CITIES (1859) and OUR MUTUAL FRIEND (1865). His last novel, a suspense tale, was THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, left unfinished at his death in June, 1870, from a stroke that may have been brought on by his strenuous schedule of public appearances. Though he lived to be only 58, Dickens's output was prodigious and varied, both wildly comical and deadly serious, and he remains one of the most enduring and beloved writers in the canon of English literature.

Praise

"The character of Nancy is the finest thing he ever did. He never afterwards saw all sides of a woman's character--saw all around her." - Wilkie Collins 1890

"...in some curious way Fagin's court for all its squalor and meanness has a sort of ghastly gaiety and life that makes Mr. Brownlow's hot punch by the fire and Rose Maylie's country flower picking expeditions seem like the feeble stirrings of the moribund. With this ambiguity we are brought face to face with the puzzle of the force and power that still exert their influence upon most readers of this strange, great, yet often cheaply sentimental novel....Perhaps the final judgement on 'Oliver Twist' must be that it is the crude apprentice work of a very great genius, and, as such, a unique curiosity of literature." - Angus Wilson 1966

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format / Audio CD - Unabridged:   Audio CD - Unabridged
Product attributeMinimum Age:   10
Product attributePublisher:   Saddleback Educational Publishing, Inc.
Product attributeSeries Part:   3253
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