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Publisher's Summary

One of Charles Dickens' most popular novels, Oliver Twist is the story of a young orphan who dares to say, "Please, sir, I want some more". 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: the loathsome Fagin, the beautiful and tragic Nancy, the crafty Artful Dodger, and the terrifying Bill Sikes, perhaps one of the greatest villains of all time.

Rife with Dickens' disturbing descriptions of street life, the novel is buoyed by the purity of the orphan Oliver. Though he is treated with cruelty and surrounded by coarseness for most of his life, his pious innocence leads him at last to salvation - and the shocking discovery of his true identity.

(P)2008 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
  • Karen
  • Burbank, CA, USA
  • 12-11-08

Amazing narration!

I had never read Oliver Twist and found it to be the most heartwrenching and loving story, both at the same time. What truly amazed me was the narrator, his skill in how he had such completely different voices for each character, it was like listening to a play, not just one person. I highly recommend this book to anyone, even if they have already read the book.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 02-09-13

Shows why Dickens is MASTER of the social novel

It is hard to exit the original worlds created by Dickens. I usually manage it crying like a baby. Oliver Twist is top shelf storytelling. The characters are amazing. The setting is perfect. The plot manages to throw out hundreds of threads and ties them all together at the end, while never losing or boring the reader.

Weakness? This is probably nit picking, but the story seems to work out too well in the end. Don't get me wrong, I know this is a social novel and FICTION, but I guess I just have a little bit of an issue with the whole melodramatic end, with every shoe finding a foot and every evil getting a noose. Other than that, Dickens shows with 'Oliver Twist' why is/was the master and the giant of the social novel.

Simon Vance, as always, delivers a solid narration.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Dickens + Simon Vance = Divine

Oliver Twist is the second novel by Dickens. He was a writer with a huge social conscience, and has a great deal to say with this book. It is as though Dickens has written his heart directly onto the pages. While I find some of it melodramatic and overwritten, the minutely-drawn characters, plot, writing and feeling are more than worth a few wordy passages. It's a deeply affecting story.

Simon Vance, as usual, inhabits the characters and simply becomes the book. He has a tough line to walk here; the book is an intense plea from the heart, and the narrator could easily overdo it. Vance voices not only the characters but Dickens himself, and his tone is perfect. Slight quibble: I didn't like his voicing of Rose, but that's the only negative I can come up with. It's a marvelous performance of a wonderful book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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A Beautiful Classic

I read this book last when I was about 10 years old, which is to say 30 years or so ago. I had forgotten how exciting it was to be Oliver hoping to escape, praying to find a way to get back to those few who showed some kindness. You are drawn into the characters and find yourself on pins and needles to find out the fates of the characters. You cant wait to see Sykes get his desserts. You want Faegen to get his too. But most of all you want Oliver to find peace and really know it would last.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jes
  • Hobart, IN, United States
  • 09-25-13

Charles Dickens is the man

I’ve seen many movies based on this book and never got the full story. So, I decided because it was on sale with Audible that I’d grab it. I’m glad I did. I had to resist looking up the story line online and it was worth it. It is said that Charles Dickens used to walk the streets of London at night because he couldn’t sleep. He saw some orphans being mistreated and came up with this story. Based on the time it was amazing that he came up with it at all. Look at the research that goes into a story and realize he did it with the use of the Internet or any means of central research at all. Let’s face it library’s back then weren’t worth mentioning.

The story itself is very in depth with the characters and their inter dependency on each other. I’ve been part of the junior authors guild when I was in school, so I know how hard it is to write a book. Here Charles Dickens went beyond simply writing a story, he made us love the characters. He didn’t skip the smallest detail or the simplest mistake with the characters or story line. I like a great story with intricate characters and storyline. Here we meet young Oliver Twist who by chance or fate was named such. We see how his life goes from being simple to complex by a series of unfortunate situations or misinterpreted, misrepresented facts and situations. They say take two breaths then act. If someone had done that then young Mister Oliver would have had a very different life. He wouldn’t have been shot, thrown threw a window or kept as a slave before the truth was told. In the end I like this one better than Great Expectations for the depth of the storyline and characters.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Gerry
  • Plain City, UT, United States
  • 10-10-12

Charles Dickens is a master story teller.

Would you listen to Oliver Twist again? Why?

I love listening to Simon Vance narrate Charles Dickens. I plan on listening to as many Dickens novels as I can get my ears on! Charles Dickens is a master story teller and Simon Vance is a master at bringing his masterful characters to audio.

What other book might you compare Oliver Twist to and why?

David Copperfield read by Simon Vance was thoroughly entertaining as well.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed and cried and I was amazed at how I could appreciate the virtue of pure innocence and abhor pure evil in the same paragraph.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • Topanga, CA, United States
  • 10-08-12

Simon Vance should win an Oscar!

Would you consider the audio edition of Oliver Twist to be better than the print version?

For those of us who have more time for audio books than have time to sit and leisurely read, this performance of a classic cannot be beaten.

Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

In general, the "bad" guys are more interesting in Dickens than the good... so I'd pick the bad guys...<br/>

Any additional comments?

I cannot say enough about the brilliance of Simon Vance's performance.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Harriet
  • Westlake, OH, United States
  • 06-30-12

Loved it!

I had read an abridged version of this classic and I had seen the movie, but the book is better! I found this story very listenable whereas I found reading the book more tedious. THe narrator does a good job keeping the story moving along. I wanted to keep coming back and hear what was going to happen next, even when I was pretty sure that I already knew. I would recommend this book for children and adults to enjoy. That is a sign of a good book!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Oliver Twist

This is a great classical novel. Very touching story. The narrator did a great job of distinguishing all the different characters.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynn B
  • Chattanooga, TN, USA
  • 04-16-09

Thoroughly enjoyable!!!!

This is one of the most enjoyable, entertaining books of any genre I have read / heard! The author develops the most remarkable characters and story and the narrator is fabulous! I hated to have it end and will listen to it again to make sure that I haven't missed a word!!! Classic or not, it was thoroughly enjoyable!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Christine
  • 01-10-15

As captivating and as jaw dropping as always

What made the experience of listening to Oliver Twist the most enjoyable?

Re-hearing the parts of the story I had forgotten and remembering the horror of the whole thing

What other book might you compare Oliver Twist to, and why?

Most of Dickens books, but maybe David Copperfield the most.

Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favourite?

Fagin - I thought his Fagin sounded like the Fagin that has always been in my mind. The self-preservation-at-all-costs mentality. The way he will corrupt the innocent to further his means - His total lack of conscience if it of benefit to him.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It is a book that I have 'rewound' more times than I can count to make sure I haven't missed anything, such as when I have dozed off or there has been an interruption. Because of the books length it has not been possible to do it in one sitting - but not for the want of trying !!

Any additional comments?

I cannot think of a modern book that has all of the horror, sadness, gripping, spine tingling, look-over-your-shoulder moments, but also has uplifting, humerous, sentimental and moral content all within the same volume. A work of art - A masterpiece of English literature.

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  • Trevor
  • 11-09-17

Excellent and easy listening

Simin Vance does the whole story so well, the feeling of living and feeling as he leads you through is inspiring and I couldn't stop listening. i even went back a few chapter's to pick up the storyline a few times. You will enjoy it.

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  • Tina
  • 01-28-16

It becomes addictive.

I really have enjoyed listening to this book.
I found myself listening to this one as often as I could. I have several books to play, because I regularly switch from day to day. But not with this classic.