Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
(Penguin Classics)

64%

18 Critic Reviews

In later books, Dickens does a much better job of bringing everything, settings and characters, to life. But then Oliver Twist was only his second novel. It's a little strange to look at a master's early works, before they quite knew what they were doing.
-Summer Reading Project

Synopsis

One of the great novelist’s most popular works, Oliver Twist is also the purest distillation of Dickens’s genius.

This tale of the orphan who is reared in a workhouse and runs away to London is a novel of social protest, a morality tale, and a detective story. Oliver Twist presents some of the most sinister characters in Dickens: the master thief, Fagin; the leering Artful Dodger; the murderer, Bill Sikes…along with some of his most sentimental and comical characters. Only Dickens can give us nightmare and daydream together.

According to George Orwell, “in Oliver Twist…Dickens attacked English institutions with a ferocity that has never since been approached. Yet he managed to do it without making himself hated, and, more than this, the very people he attacked have welcomed him so completely that he has become a national institution himself.”

With an Introduction by Frederick Busch
and an Afterword by Edward Le Comte


From the Paperback edition.
 

About Charles Dickens

See more books from this Author
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was one of England's greatest writers. Best known for his classic serialized novels, such as "Oliver Twist", "A Tale of Two Cities", and "Great Expectations", Dickens wrote about the London he lived in, the conditions of the poor, and the growing tensions between the classes. He achieved critical and popular international success in his lifetime and was honored with burial in Westminster Abbey.
 
Published August 15, 1998 by Tor Classics. 374 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, History, Children's Books, Education & Reference, Horror, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Comics & Graphic Novels, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Humor & Entertainment, Biographies & Memoirs, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Oliver Twist
All: 18 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 10

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by roro_loves_books on Sep 28 2012

This book is a great way to find out about the Victorian times...I would give it a big 100/100! The only thing about it is that the language is quite hard.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by roro_loves_books on Sep 28 2012

The only thing about it is that the language is quite hard. I only looked up the important words in the story.

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BookIdeas.com

Good
Reviewed by Richard Hawkins on Apr 14 2015

No-one could write about dirt, squalor, or injustice quite like Dickens, and when you combine this facility with a real comic genius you have a winning formula.

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Stuff

Above average
Reviewed by JOHN RUSHWORTH on Nov 11 2012

The bitter-sweet enjoyment of Mr Bumble's relationship with Mrs Corney was so delightful...OK, so it's a little long-winded and circuitous, but it's rich. Can't go wrong with the classics.

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Time Magazine

Above average
Reviewed by Radhika Jones on Jan 27 2012

Is Oliver Twist a successful novel?...For me it’s too polemical, and too reliant on coincidence. But...it’s got Oliver, that icon of quintessential Victorian orphanhood...

Read Full Review of Oliver Twist (Penguin Classics) | See more reviews from Time Magazine

Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by TessApril on Apr 30 2014

All in all, Oliver Twist is one of those rare and wonderful books that deserves to be read by everyone. This can be seen in the engaging plot that keeps us on the edge of our seats.

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Book Review Circle

Good
Reviewed by Amrita Dutta on Apr 30 2014

Dickens’s language is beautifully evocative. It can seem a little difficult to the modern reader, but mostly it is simple and lucid.

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Rebecca Reads

Below average
on Sep 28 2009

However, to me, most of Oliver Twist was convenient and pretty ordinary. I felt Dickens had a little bit of genius, and yet something was missing from the novel as a whole.

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Sarah Reads Too Much

Below average
Reviewed by Sarah Reads Too Much on Mar 29 2012

So, this book was clearly not my cup of tea. However, the only other Dickens I've read is A Christmas Carol so perhaps this just wasn't the best choice of a full length novel to read first.

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Impressions In Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by Annette on Jul 06 2012

I loved this story! Endearingly loved it! Reading this story has been one of the highlights in my reading life!

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Angela's Anxious Life

Below average
Reviewed by ANGELA'S ANXIOUS LIFE on Sep 28 2013

At the end of the book Dickens sort of stops writing about Oliver and begins to just write about Sikes, Nancy and Fagin. The book isn't uplifting at all. It's very sad and depressing.

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Musings of a Literary Dilettante's Blog

Below average
Reviewed by musingsofaliterarydilettante on Mar 04 2012

The result was that I didn’t love Oliver Twist in the way I did Great Expectations...In a sense, I was a boy like Oliver, wanting just that little bit ‘more’.

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Summer Reading Project

Below average
Reviewed by Annie Smith on Feb 03 2013

In later books, Dickens does a much better job of bringing everything, settings and characters, to life. But then Oliver Twist was only his second novel. It's a little strange to look at a master's early works, before they quite knew what they were doing.

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Pages Unbound

Below average
Reviewed by Krysta on Dec 05 2013

I do not think Oliver Twist is Dickens at his best, even if it seems ever-present in our culture. It does, however, showcase many of the author’s great strengths and talents–his social commentary, his dry humor, and his ridiculous characters.

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In the Next Room

Below average
on Feb 27 2011

Ultimately Oliver Twist was a thrilling and exciting book to read because of the adventure that goes on, but lacked the emotional connection I craved because so many of the characters showed no growth throughout the novel.

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All-Consuming Media

Above average
on Apr 02 2012

Well, Dickens is never anything but good reading, but I wound up liking the real Oliver Twist a good deal less than I thought I would. Maybe I should stick to re-reading A Christmas Carol instead.

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Stuff and Nonsense

Below average
Reviewed by Amy on Jun 16 2012

...in 'Oliver Twist" at least, I don't buy into him as social commentator on Victorian society because I don't believe that real people act in ways either as unremittingly bad or perfectly good as his characters. People aren't that black and white now, and I don't think that was any different in Victorian times.

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http://moonlightbookreviews.com

Good
Reviewed by Erika on Mar 31 2011

This book has never been out of print. No matter what version you read it is a story that you do not want to miss. Even Queen Victoria read and loved it!!

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Reader Rating for Oliver Twist
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 658 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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Emily Smith

Emily Smith 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list