alice grass

Oliver Twist by Chalres Dickens- Review

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I love classics.  So I was excited to get to read a Dickens book.  I have read a Christmas Carol before and really enjoyed it.  So when the chance came to read Oliver Twist I couldn't wait.  Here is the goodreads description:

Dickens's classic morality tale of a starving orphan caught between opposing forces of good and evil is a powerful indictment of Victorian England's Poor Laws. Filled with dark humor and an unforgettable cast of characters Oliver Twist, Fagin, Nancy, Bill Sykes, and the Artful Dodger, to name a few Dickens's second novel is a compelling social satire that has remained popular since it was first serialized in 1837- 39..

Oliver Twist is much longer then I thought! I picked it up from the library and didn't expect the length at all. A Christmas Carol was so short so I didn't realize Dicken's books were long.  The story was sad to me.  Of course at the end it's all happy.  But the story of Oliver is sad.  When Oliver is born his mother dies.  He is then moved into a workhouse.  He has a really terrible time here.  While living in this workhouse he is basically starved.  He says his famous lines to one of the workers about food, "Please sir, I want some more"

Oliver is eventually made an apprentice to someone who makes coffins.  He tries to be a good boy there only to be accused of things he didn't do.  He then runs away to London and ends up being a criminal under the leadership of Fagin. Fagin is a very very interesting character.  Quite evil. I still can't believe how evil he could be.  Oliver manages to get away and lives with a great man, Mr. Brownlow. He helps Oliver but then Fagin captures him again and brings him back into a life of crime.

Fagin and another gentleman make Oliver rob a house.. where Oliver is shot.  The house owners then take care of Oliver and try to also raise him correctly.  During this time Oliver wants to find Mr. Brownlow and let him know what happened to him and why he never returned to his house.  Also during this time Fagin is trying to capture Oliver back.  A woman who was with the criminals, Nancy, has always tried to help Oliver.  She tries to keep him from being captured again.. only to be killed by Sikes for helping!

Nancy's story is tragic to me.  I was so upset when she died.  There again though Dickens can write and make you believe just how bad people can be.  Oliver eventually does escape.  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. 

I am interesting in watching a couple of movies based off the book.  I would also like to see the musical! 

The crystal ball says:

Fog is coming.....  in the middle of the road on this book!


  1. I loved A Christmas Carol even though my english teacher stopped every paragraph asking a question...Which frustrated me! But I enjoyed reading the simple yet beautiful story of it. I have heard so much great things of Oliver Twist but never actually knew what it was actually ABOUT. So thanks so much of the review that i finally understand over what the story about.

    I'm glad it gets a happy ending. <3

    1. I never knew what it was about either! I actually read it just for my Project Disney post. So glad I did though.

  2. I read this book a long time ago, but watched the movie on dvd last year. I think it was a BBC production, and I loved it. I find Dickens' characters are often caricatures but still believable.

    Glad you enjoyed the book.

    1. BBC productions are always great. I am going to have to look at the library for the dvd!

  3. Nancy's story is so tragic. I love this book. Dickens tends to be quote massive - I think Oliver Twist is one of his shorter works!

    1. Oh wow! One of his shorter works!! A Tale of Two Cities must be long then... and that is one of the books I want to read of his.

  4. I haven't read this one yet, and I'm not sure I ever will. It seems to be one of those books that everyone thinks they know without needing to read it. I'm sure that's not the case, and maybe I'll read it someday, but it won't be soon. I think I would rather reread A Tale of Two Cities.

  5. I know the story so well as I love the musical and have seen a few different movie adaptations but I've only realised now I've never read the book.
    I'm surprised it is so depressing. I mean the movie/musical versions are as well at times but the overall feel is more hopeful. Don't know if I'd read the book or not. Might just leave it and stay with my happy memories!


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