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Publisher's Summary

Oliver Twist is one of the most well-known stories ever told, about a young orphan who has to survive the mean streets of London before ultimately being rescued by a kindly benefactor.

But it is his friend, the Artful Dodger, who has the far more intriguing tale, filled with more adventure and excitement than anything boring Oliver could possibly get up to. Throw in some vampires and a plot to overthrow the British monarchy, and what you have is the thrilling account that Charles Dickens was too scared to share with the world.

From the brilliant mind of novelist and comic book veteran Peter David, Artful is the dark, funny, and action-packed story of one of the most fascinating characters in literary history.

With vampires.

©2014 Second Age, Inc. (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Artful

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The best of a weird genre

I didn't like Pride and Prejudices and Zombies -- strictly a one-trick pony. After the first hour or so, you'd already heard all the jokes so after that it was just silly and boring. I'm also one of the three people on the planet who hated Wicked. Since then I've tended to avoid books that re-envision characters from stories I liked just fine in the original.

Now this, on the other hand, shows how it CAN be done. The Artful, as our hero is usually called, is a delightful young "gentleman" and the other characters, many of whom will be familiar to the reader, are wonderfully woven into an adventure/fantasy that takes us on a joy ride through London circa 1835. It wold be hard to say more without spoilers -- let's just say the suspense is maintained right up to the end. Okay, one almost-spoiler: I loved what the author did with that syrupy-sweet Oliver!

As for the plot, well I don't suppose you could ever call a novel in the "fictional-character-revisited-in-an-alternate-universe" genre believable, so let's just say that in this case the plot "holds together".

The narration is spot-on. The only other James Langton book I remember listening to was non-fiction; I'm going to look for some more of his.

86 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

The Artful Dodger and the Vampyres

I'm not really a fan of classic literature but I do enjoy "alternate history" and this is sort of an alternate history of a classic fictional story. As such, the language and writing style took a little while to get behind and it was quite a few chapters before I felt "invested" in the story, but overall I feel the author did a good job capturing the classical feel in his writing, although I do agree with some other reviewers that he thinks himself a bit too clever at times. That feeling usually came across the strongest when the author was expressing the thoughts of a certain horse or of himself as the narrator of this tale.

I received this book from Amazon as part of their Kindle First program so I didn't actually read the entire synopsis before I started reading the book. Had I known initially that this was a vampire tale I wouldn't have picked it up. However, to me, the vampires are really just a sub-plot (even though they are presented as the main plot) and are presented as the foil against which the true character of the Artful Dodger and company are revealed.

The story isn't groundbreaking. It isn't really even anything new, but it's well told and ultimately enjoyable. I highly recommend adding the Audible narration to your purchase if you are into that sort of thing. This is the first time I have switched back and forth between reading and listening to a book and the narration by James Langton is truly fantastic and added a lot to my enjoyment of the book.

66 people found this helpful

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Very creative spin off from Oliver Twist.

Very creative spin off from Oliver Twist. I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end. I am a heavy listener of audio books and this was one of the best I've listened to in quite some time.

6 people found this helpful

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An enjoyable listen

ok If you like the mix of classic lit with new angles, you will enjoy this listen. PAD is at his witty best, and the reader hit the right tone
characters are easily differentiated and the pace is brisk and enjoyable.

3 people found this helpful

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very disappointing

There's taking liberties with a story and then there is so changing it as to destroy any remote semblance to the story, leaving only minor, irrelevant details that justify claiming it's based on another story. I expected far better from Peter David. Writing this, it occurs to me I should have returned it. Maybe I still can.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Is this a children's book?

This read like a juvenile title. While I've read and enjoyed many children's books, I'd prefer to know what I'm buying at the time of purchase.

2 people found this helpful

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Entertaining and worthy

This likable addendum to the Dickens classic Oliver Twist takes up with the dodgy "Artful" a very few years down the road. Many of your favorite Victorian characters, fictional and historic, will make an appearance to aid or hamper the intentions of our young anti-hero. The book was broadly comic at the start, which I enjoyed, but settled into a more prosaic adventure story as it progressed. The narrator is superb!! And I'll be looking for more additions to the genre by this author.

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful Book

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and overall quality of this book. I would absolutely recommend the book to anyone interested in the Artful Dodger, adult, or young adult reader/listener. I hope that Peter David writes a sequel. Wonderful book!

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful listen

I very much enjoyed the mixture of "classic" and urban fantasy fiction, loads of fun.

4 people found this helpful

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Have a Listen

I picked this up free with my Prime account with narration. I had recently finished Dickens "Oliver Twist" and found this an amusing romp into the adventures of the other characters.

A flaw in the story is that if Fagin was really a vampire, then why did he not escape prison in the original Dickens classic?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-27-17

very interesting

I loved it. A different but very interesting take on Charles Dickens. Would definitely recommend.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-23-17

laugh out loud

Brilliant! laugh out loud funny. Well performed and a good, fun plot. Very enjoyable read / listen

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  • Mike
  • 07-24-15

Dodger the Slayer

Another good read by Peter David, and update on classic characters with a few cameos thrown in for good measures