Published in: 1838
Edition read: E-book
The story of the orphan Oliver, who runs away from the workhouse only to be taken in by a den of thieves, shocked readers when it was first published. Dickens’s tale of childhood innocence beset by evil depicts the dark criminal underworld of a London peopled by vivid and memorable characters — the arch-villain Fagin, the artful Dodger, the menacing Bill Sikes and the prostitute Nancy.
Huh, Nancy was a prostitute? I did not know that. I read the entire book under the assumption she was just some poor girl who was friends with these thieves, but no, she’s a hooker. Weeellll… moving on.
I liked certain parts of this book, mainly reading about the Artful Dodger (he’s my favourite character) but overall, the book was a bit ho-hum. Oliver is not the greatest of characters, everyone loved him in the book but I was kinda rooting for him to die already. That’s a bit harsh. Maybe not die, but go away, so I can read about other more interesting characters. Charley Bates and the Artful Dodger, for starters- I’m bummed that we don’t find out what ol’ Artful gets up to once he’s been locked up (does he escape? Does he talk his way out?)
I did enjoy reading about the Bumbles as well, I watched the television show Dickensian a few months back and I didn’t know who or where the Bumbles fit in overall; having read this, I now get it (and giggled over their names repeatedly. Bumble. It’s just funny.)
Overall, it wasn’t the worst Dicken’s book I’ve read (no, that title goes to David Copperfield) but it’s not the best either (that was A Christmas Carol). It’s just in the middle, it has great characters and a mildly interesting story.
Oliver Twist rating: 6/10
Would I re-read it? Mmmmm…… maybe? It wasn’t awful, but I think there are many other books I’d read over this if I had a choice.
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of Dicken’s work, literature fanatics.
As this book is old, you can download it for free from a number of sites, including Goodreads.