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Oliver Twist

The Dickens Collection: An Audible Exclusive Series
Narrated by: Jonathan Pryce
Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This Audible Exclusive production revisits one of Dickens' most popular novels: Oliver Twist, narrated by internationally acclaimed, award-winning actor Jonathan Pryce. 

Part of the Dickens Collection, an exclusive series of unmissable performances, Oliver Twist is a gleaming example of the genius and foresight of Charles Dickens.   

When young orphan, Oliver Twist, is sold into an apprenticeship with an undertaker, he leaves behind years of miserable servitude and mistreatment at an English workhouse. Hoping to move on to better things, he decides to escape his new, equally dreary surroundings and head to London.  

It is there that the novel unravels as Oliver meets a host of larger-than-life characters, including The Artful Dodger, a high-ranking member of a juvenile pickpocketing gang, and their elderly leader, Fagin. 

Desperate for affection and the sense of belonging that he has never known, Oliver unwittingly throws himself into a life of petty theft, which soon takes a violent turn with the introduction of one of Dickens' most terrifying characters, Bill Sikes. 

Exposing the cruel and inhumane treatment of orphans in 19th-century England, Dickens created one of the most significant social novels of all time. With it, he condemned the establishment for neglecting homeless children and leaving them vulnerable to recruiters who would exploit and abuse them. Oliver Twist cemented Dickens’ reputation as one of the most talented, influential and revolutionary of English authors.    

Following his father’s incarceration, Charles Dickens had to abandon his studies at a young age and set to work in a factory so as to support himself. Despite his short-lived education, Dickens went on to write 15 novels, various articles, novellas and short stories. He lectured and led campaigns for children's rights and education and arguably became the ultimate self-made man.

Jonathan Pryce is an award-winning actor of the stage and screen. He is best known for Brazil, Glengarry Glen Ross, Evita, Tomorrow Never Dies, and the Pirates of the Caribbean series as well as his widely recognised performances as High Sparrow in HBO’s Game of Thrones and Cardinal Wolsey in BBC’s Wolf Hall

Jonathan most recently starred opposite Glenn Close in the critically acclaimed film The Wife, directed by Björn Runge. He can soon be seen as Don Quixote in Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote and in the upcoming Netflix feature film The Pope, directed by Fernando Meirelles, in which he stars as Pope Francis opposite Anthony Hopkins.

Public Domain (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

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Profile Image for Mikey
  • Mikey
  • 04-22-19

Expertly narrated

Many of us are familiar with Oliver Twist, it's arguably one of Dickens' most popular and modernised stories. So what makes this purchase different from the others? Easy: the fantastic narration.

I'm growing ever fonder of The Dickens Collection on Audible. From hearing that Matt Lucas was the lead narrator in Great Expectations to Jonathan Pryce taking the lead in Oliver Twist these audiobooks have succeeded (in my eyes) in bringing the works of a master storyteller to life in spectacular fashion. Pryce has lived up to the hype created by his counterparts in this rendition of Oliver Twist and I am thrilled to have in my library, I will probably listen to this more than once.

Don't waste a second or a credit, buy this, I promise you won't be disappointed.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Keith Phillips
  • 04-27-19

A brilliant rendition of an absorbing book.

As with most of Dickens, his novels are full of characters. Jonathan Pryce bring the to life superbly even the most minor ones. I congratulate him.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • T. Evans
  • 06-25-19

A truly gripping story

The story is familiar to many through film and TV but it is only when you hear it word for word as written that the power and depth of the tale of Oliver comes to life, the narration brings real life to the characters and this very moving and sometimes tragic story demonstrates the true talent of Charles Dickens as a story teller.

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  • Lesley
  • 06-19-19

wonderful narrator

We all know the story so well and Jonathan Price,s superb reading brought it to life.Excellent!

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  • K. J. Noyes
  • 06-07-19

Enthusiastically-narrated edition

Enthusiastically-narrated edition of the famous orphan story.

Most people know the 1960s musical and/or a simplified version of the book from school. It's surprising just how much of the actual plot is unfamiliar when you first read this. Oliver, the eponymous 'hero' of Dickens' novel, is really a very minor part of the action, mostly there to move the action along and to be a stimulus for other characters with more interesting stories.

The heart of the story is, of course, the workhouse orphan's escape to London, how he falls in with thieves but finds sanctuary with a benevolent patron. But it is everyone around him that makes up the story, Oliver is a very negligible character for much of the book, and often speaks in an over-the-top sentimental way, much like Little Nell.

The poverty and impoverishment of Dickens' London is clear and real, and Jonathan Pryce brings every character out with an appropriate voice, you forget it's a man narrating the women. His Fagin sounds just like Ron Moody, Oliver is cloying and sweet but that's as he's written. Dickens himself as author is almost another character as he waxes lyrical on the subjects close to his heart of the mistreatment of society's poorest, the hypocrisy of the wealthy, the social injustices of the era. It's a call to action for his compatriots, and a historical lesson for us.

Oliver Twist works as an audiobook, with multiple voices all distinct, a narrator talking to us, though the intricate dual plots of Fagin/Sykes and Monks, with the usual Dickens mystery twists makes it one you need to concentrate on. There are two 'benefactors' as well, and stories intertwine, so it's a complex tale centred around little Oliver, but drawing from multiple strands.

Well worth the time to investigate the full novel.

With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.

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  • Rebecca
  • 06-03-19

Brilliant

The best narrated thing I’ve listened to on Audible so far. Jonathan Pryce is amazing.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-13-19

Not for me

I found it hard to listen to... then he said and he said and someone else said... Rrrrrrrr!