Oliver Twist is a boy who lives in a workhouse then is sold to a man to be his apprentice.The man wasn't treating Oliver well,so he escaped to London where he meets another boy named Artful Dodger. Artful Dodger was in a street gang of kids who pick pockets run by a man named Fagin. Fagin trains Oliver to become a pickpocket and after a while Oliver is sent on his first pickpocket. He tries to steal a handkerchief from a man but is caught. Mr. Brownlow, the man who's handkerchief was stolen sees Oliver in the street sick, and takes him back to his house and takes care of him. Lover stays there but soon after two of Fagins members go after Oliver. They capture him and return him to Fagin. Fagin wants Oliver to help another member named Sikes in a burglary. When they finally get wheat they were stealing Oliver gets shot and Sikes gets away. When a member named Nancy plans to expose Fagin, Sikes murders her, while Sikes is getting chased by an angry mob he ends his life while trying to escape. Mr. Brownlow and Oliver are reunited and live a peaceful life in the countryside.
I thought the book had a surprising ending and the book was filled with a lot of twist and turns. I did not think Oliver was going to be shot, and I also though Sikes would not be able to kill Nancy, then end himself. This was a great book and really enjoyable to read.
Dickens second novel is a landmark is socially conscious novels and I can well imagine the impact it had on the reading public, given not only its story of a helpless young boy, but also the description with which Dickens captures, with a great deal of vividness, the lives of the poorer people in greater London at the time. Dickens' irony and sarcasm in the opening chapters is particularly withering and you can imagine well-to-do people who thought themselves leading lights of humanity reading this book and having their hypocrisy and the true results of their efforts smacked in their faces.
The novel has dated rather a lot, however, as Dickens' story gets more preposterous as it goes and the ending feels not only absurdly happy, given the nature of the story, but a bit of a deus ex machina. However, it's hard to criticize him for that, given the other strengths of the book.
Synopsis: Brought into the world by a drunken nurse and an inept surgeon, innocent young Oliver Twist couldn’t have known the mysterious circumstances surrounding his birth—that his mother had been discovered wandering the streets, near bursting with child, and had died ignominiously on the cold bed of a workhouse, having just pushed the little boy from her womb and into the uncertain future shared by thousands of other orphans throughout England.
First and foremost: I am glad to be back. Several things in my personal life came up at once, preventing me from having any spare time for reading or blogging. I started reading Oliver Twist right before things got hectic, and over the next twenty or so days I could only squeeze in a chapter or two per evening if I was lucky. I've missed you guys, and I hope I'm back to posting reviews/other things on a regular basis.
Arguably the most popular character created by author Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist is the orphan who dared to ask for more gruel. The tragic story of workshops, thievery, and murder set against the bleak backdrop of London's Victorian Era, this novel is quintessential Dickens. It hosts a large cast of characters (though not as large as his readers would see in his later works), all with fascinating back stories and motives.
You probably think you know the story if you've never actually read it -- Oliver Twist living in pitiful conditions in a workhouse, starving . . . and while that is part of the story, it's the first part only. Soon after, Twist runs away and ends up living with two different families, becomes caught up in a gang of robbers, and the story unfolds from there. It's pretty interesting stuff!
What's funny about this book is I loved every character . . . except Oliver. I have two reasons for that: 1.) He is wildly complacent, and goes along to get along. He never, ever stands up for himself, and he's a huge whiner to boot. I totally understand that he has had an awful life, but damnit he can be a chore to read about sometimes. Luckily, despite being the title character, he's actually not in a whole lot of the story once it really gets going. And 2.) He never 'feels' or reads like a kid to me. His dialogue and actions are not that of a child. I understand this was only the second novel written by Charles Dickens, and I've heard his child characters in later novels feel much more realistic, so I guess I'll see eventually! I wanted so badly to like Oliver, and the terrible things he goes through do create a certain amount of sympathy for the boy, but after a few hundred pages I was sick of the brat. Just my opinion.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a highly enthralling read, and I wish I could have read more of it at a time than just a chapter or two. It's Dickens, so there's a bit of overwriting, but the writing itself is simply divine. Almost two hundred years after initially getting published, Dickens' mastery of the English language trumps almost any other novelist or poet. Oliver himself was a bit of an annoyance to read about, but the rest of the characters (especially Nancy -- oh, how I loved Nancy!) are a pure joy. If you're one of the few people who have yet to experience this story, what are you waiting for?