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Sand

So...you're telling me I can pay people to read books to me whilst I do other things?

Tampa, FL, United States | Member Since 2006

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  • Oliver Twist

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (352)
    Performance
    (222)
    Story
    (226)

    After escaping from the dark and dismal workhouse where he was born, Oliver finds himself on the mean streets of Victorian-era London and is unwittingly recruited into a scabrous gang of scheming urchins. In this band of petty thieves, Oliver encounters the extraordinary and vibrant characters who have captured audiences' imaginations for more than 150 years.

    Karen says: "Amazing narration!"
    "Simon Vance delivers Oliver Twist brilliantly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm pretty sure this is the most well-known Dickens work besides "A Christmas Carol" (which is, I believe, technically a novelette?) Probably because it's been made into countless movies, series, and at least one musical.

    And for good reason--it's a sweet story with a happy ending, but not without plenty of colorful villains mucking things up on the way.
    The suspense hinges entirely on circumstance--will the heroes unite before the villains intervene?--rather than character development (heroes don't evolve into villains or visa versa), but we get so attached to all of the players, both good and bad, that it doesn't really matter.
    This is junk melodrama at it's best--no real-life little boy could possibly be as sweet and adorable as Oliver--but the character was also Dickens's way of illuminating what he perceived as social ills, and it would be a mistake to think his portrayal of the institutions of the day were just exaggerated and/or fictional constructs.

    Oliver Twist is essential Dickens, and you won't find any better narration than this.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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