Thursday, June 27, 2013

Reading Journal - Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (Audio Book)

Book Description:
Born and raised in the appalling deprivation of the workhouse, orphan Oliver escapes the drudgery of apprenticeship and heads for London, only to fall into the hands of the notorious Fagin and his gang of child thieves. But Oliver is an innocent at heart, and the attempts by Fagin and the impudently witty Artful Dodger to teach him the tricks of the pick-pocket’s trade lead only to his almost immediate capture. His subsequent rescue, by the kindly Mr. Brownlow, is only the beginning of a series of adventures that lead him to an incredible discovery.
My thoughts:
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens is a book that is coming up for one of next school years literature selections for Destini and Chantry. I have been trying to be more intentional and read ahead so I know what they are talking about when they come and narrate to me. Plus, it makes me look better in their eyes if I have read it!

I have only read one Dicken's book which was The Pickwick Papers and to be honest that wasn't an easy read. I decided to listen to it on audio book to make the thought of reading Dickens a little less scary. Well, I really didn't need to be worried. Oliver Twist is a much different book than The Pickwick Papers .

I wasn't that far into the story when I could kind of see where the story was heading and how it would probably end, though I didn't know exactly how or hadn't figured out how each character fit into the story. That didn't make the story any less appealing, though, due to Dicken's great description's of the places that Olive went and lived and also all the interesting people that Oliver's life touched in some way whether good or bad.It was amazing how I could be swayed from love to hatred in just seconds. I definitely felt a whole gamut of emotions.  I think I held my breath for most of the story.

I was also in suspense the whole time to see if poor Oliver would truly escape from Fagin and Monks. And then there was the awful robber, Bill Sikes, and poor Nancy, that even though I knew what would happen to her in the end, I still was horrified when she died. Thankfully it was balanced out with all the characters that showed such love to Oliver--Mr. Brownlow, Mrs. Maylie, and Rose.

The narrator, Martin Jarvis, does a wonderful job of reading this book. He uses quite variety of voices and they were all excellent. When he does the voice of Fagin, I think I had a chills go up and down my spine every time. He makes him sound that creepy!

This book will definitely be going on the list to read, though I can't decide if I will read it aloud or let them use the audio book. I'm kind of leaning toward reading aloud since it does deal with some heavy topics. My oldest hasn't read it and I think it would be great for him to join us in it.

If your only knowledge of Oliver Twist is from a cartoon film (like mine was) I urge to go check out Oliver Twist immediately and acquaint yourself with the real Oliver. I don't think you will be disappointed!


  1. I've only read Great Expectations (9th grade, so YEARS ago), Tale of Two Cities, and Christmas Carol, so I really do need to add this one to my sooner-rather-than-later list. The audiobook sounds wonderful! If only I could figure out how to listen amid all the other noises and distractions!

  2. Watch the movie musical of Oliver now that you've read the book, if you like musicals. I love Dickens, by the way.



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