Oliver Twist

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Random House, Jun 6, 2013 - Juvenile Fiction - 736 pages
1 Review

‘Look here! Here’s a jolly life! What’s the odds where it comes from?’

Meet the Artful Dodger, as roistering and swaggering a young gentleman as ever stood four foot six. With him, you’ll run down the dirty backstreets of London to be entertained by the Respectable Old Gentleman and his brood of thieves and pickpockets. Fagin will bring you to ‘the trade’, and make something of you, something profitable.But there’s something about the young orphan Oliver that’s too good for this dark and dangerous world – can he ever escape its clutches?

Includes exclusive material: In ‘The Backstory’ you can learn more about Oliver Twist’s London!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

 

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This book is a great way to find out about the Victorian times. A young boy called Oliver Twist is almost apprenticed to an evil chimney sweeper. Instead he has to go to a cruel burgling gang.
After
he is caught with pickpockets, a drunken magistrate nearly sentences Oliver to three months' labour but a kind gentleman named Mr Brownlow gets Oliver off the hook and invites Oliver to live with him.
When Oliver goes out to return some of Mr Brownlow's books, the gang of robbers corner him and make him rob a very grand house. Instead, he drops the lantern he is holding to warn the owners of the house that they are being robbed. Then the owners come down with pistols and shoot him!
The following morning he tells the owners of the house that thieves have made him steal from them. They take pity on him and allow Oliver to stay with them. The gang's plots deepen...
I would give it a big 100/100! The only thing about it is that the language is quite hard. I only looked up the important words in the story. It is great for good readers and children over 9 years old.
 

Contents

Treats of the Place where Oliver Twist was Born
6
Relates how Oliver Twist was very near getting
23
Oliver being offered another Place makes
37
Oliver mingles with new Associates Going
49
Oliver being goaded by the Taunts of Noah
66
Oliver continues refractory
74
Oliver walks to London He encounters on
85
Road a strange sort of young Gentleman
99
In which Oliver is taken better Care of than
129
Some new Acquaintances are introduced to
144
Comprising further Particulars of Olivers Stay
157
Showing 110w very fond of Oliver Twist the merry
174
Relates what became of Oliver Twist after he
185
Olivers Destiny continuing unpropitious brings
200
In which a notable Plan is discussed
228
The Expedition
256

Oliver becomes better acquainted with
109
Furnishes a slight Specimen of his Mode
117

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About the author (2013)

Charles Dickens was a brilliant and prolific writer, probably the most famous nineteenth-century English novelist. He was very successful during his lifetime and his books have never been out of print. The exciting plots and fantastic characters in his books have meant they have all been adapted (in some cases, many times over) for television or the big screen.

Charles Dickens was born on 7 February 1812 in Portsmouth. He was one of eight children, and at first his family enjoyed a happy life in the countryside of Kent. But Dickens’ father was not very good at managing his money, and when the family fell into financial difficulties they had to move to London. In Dickens’ time people who could not pay their debts were sent to a kind of prison, and Dickens’ father eventually ended up in one of these debtor’s prisons, called the Marshalsea. Charles was forced to leave school and go to work in a ‘blacking factory’ where he pasted labels on to pots for many hours a day. Even though Charles was only twelve at this time, he understood that without education he would never escape the poverty that had so entrapped his family. Charles often used his childhood experiences in his books. For instance, in David Copperfield, the hero Davy is taken out of school by his cruel stepfather and sent to work in a similar factory. Another novel, Little Dorrit, is set in and around the Marshalsea prison.

Fortunately Charles was eventually sent back to school. He went to work as a lawyer’s clerk, and then as a political reporter. In 1833 he began to publish short stories and essays in newspapers and magazines. His first book, The Pickwick Papers, was published in instalments in a monthly magazine, and was a roaring success. Even before this book was finished, Charles began writing another novel, Oliver Twist. This is one of his most famous books – perhaps you’ve read it, or seen the musical or one of the film adaptations? Many other novels followed and Dickens became a celebrity in America as well as Britain. He also set up and edited the journals Household Words (1850-9) and All the Year Round (1859-70). Dickens used his books to highlight the suffering of the poor, the inadequate support provided to them, and the massive inequalities between the different ranks of society. This social and political commentary was very influential and it is believed Dickens’ work did a great deal to reform workhouses, prisons, and most particularly public opinion of the working classes. Charles travelled all over Britain and America giving public readings from his books. He was a wonderful performer(at one point he had wanted to be an actor) and his readings were said to be electrifying – women in the audience would scream and faint when he read about the murder of Nancy from Oliver Twist. His readings were therefore extremely popular, and on some occasions Dickens only charged a penny for tickets so that poorer people could also attend. In later years, these energetic readings took a terrible toll on his failing health. Dickens died after stroke on 9 June 1870, leaving his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

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