Oliver Twist, Dickens’ second novel, has enthralled generations of readers since its publication in 1838. Orphaned and desolate, Oliver’s journey to London and subsequent induction into its dingy underworld, is here narrated with ceaseless energy by Jonathan Keeble. His depictions of Fagin and the terrifying Bill Sikes are particularly mesmerizing, and his reading is infused with a delicious knack for storytelling.
This unabridged version has been long anticipated, and is a stand-out Naxos AudioBooks recording.
Public Domain (P)2012 Naxos AudioBook
The archaic language of Dickens demands to be read with a stiff accent and strong diction. Mr Keeble performs these two characteristics admirably. However, the character voices leave something to be desired. They shift and change throughout the book and even within the course of a single conversation. The lack of continuity can at times be distracting and leave the listener wondering who's talking. In spite of this, still an overall strong performance for Dickens fans and better than many of the other options on Audible.
Oliver Twist is quintessential Dickens: melodramatic; some memorable characters and scenes; some utterly brilliant prose passages; some utterly cloying sentimentality. Great sympathy for the oppressed. It's a great novel (though not as great as his later masterpieces). The portrait of Fagin is brilliantly done but somewhat spoiled by a strong whiff of anti-semitism. (Dickens responded to this criticism by creating a thoroughly admirable Jewish character in Our Mutual Friend, one of his last novels.) Some of the coincidences the plot relies on are pretty implausible, but that's just the genre. Jonathan Keeble, the narrator is simply perfect, both with narrating and with the various voices and accents. I simply cannot imagine how the novel could be read aloud any better.
I'm an English professor specializing in 19th- and 20th-c. American lit. Audible increases my productivity.
Readers familiar with Dickens' work have learned to expect a somewhat circuitous plot and a loquacious narrator. That said, Oliver Twist deserves its wide appeal among readers of Victorian novels.
A very capable narrator keeps this lengthy narrative and its abrupt shifts in plot clear for the listener. Dialogue is aptly dramatized, enhancing Dickens' character development and keeping the story lively. Despite the length of this novel, I found myself always eager to return to Keebler's performance.
Jonathan Keeble's performance is one of the best I have heard on Audible. Truly excellent!
The narration in this version is superb. All of the characters are brought to life in an engaging way. Highly recommended.
"A Narration I'd Keep Going Back To"
Dickens's characters were perfectly created, good and bad.
When Sikes murdered Nancy - I've never heard a more perfect reading of it.
He handles each character perfectly.
I was close to tears when Mrs. Maylie broke down when Rose was dangerously ill.
You'll never get a more perfect reading of the book than this. Without giving too much away, Chapter 52 was perfectly narrated, as was Chapter 49. You could tell Mr. Brownlow was a determined man. Jonathan Keble was perfect as Monks too. I'll give nothing more away, but if you haven't read any Dickens books, both this and Great Expectations are the perfect first starting point for you.
Another great book from Dickens. its the first time I have listened to the book and it is better than then the different films that have been made.
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