This is a tale of the orphan who is reared in a workhouse, runs away to London where he is captured by thieves and finally escapes is a novel of social protest, a morality tale and a detective story. Oliver Twist presents some of the most sinister characters in Dickens the master thief, Fagin, the leering Artful Dodger, the murderer, Bill Sikes, along with some of his most sentimental and comical characters. Only dickens could mix terror with farce with pathos with piety in one unified work.
Although I used to consider abridged books almost amoral, my son has really enjoyed these series, which make the classic adventures much more accessible for the ages at which the stories hold the most appeal. He may go back to the original when he's older -- but meanwhile he has enjoyed the books immensely and has developed a good familiarity with much of the Western canon.
One of Dickenss 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 readers imaginations for more than 150 years: the loathsome Fagin, the beautiful and tragic Nancy, the crafty Artful Dodger, and perhaps one of the greatest villains of all timethe terrifying Bill Sikes.
Rife with Dickenss 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 salvationand the shocking discovery of his true identity.
This is not the Oxford World Classics edition that is shown in the picture. It is an abridged version that is part of the Treasury of Illustrated Classics for young children. I received this book in error from a PBS member who had the ISBN listed with the Oxford cover. I have tried to upload the correct cover, but only PBS staff can actually attach it to the ISBN.