Sunday, January 25, 2015

OLIVER TWIST - Charles Dickens

The tale of the orphan boy Oliver Twist born and raised as a pauper.

This was Dickens first novel rather than a collection like Pickwick. The beginning sets the scene and establishing the conditions paupers had to endure living in work houses.  The children were treated as a hindrance and in Olivers' case sold off to lessen the burden on the parish.

The middle passages dragged a bit for me especially when dealing with Mr. Bumbles matrimonial pursuits.  This part felt like padding and may well have been as this was originally published in installments and I assume  Dickens got paid by the part.

The final third of the story rocks along nicely until its conclusion.

This novel gave us two of literature most horrid villains, Fagin and Bill Sykes, two men without a redeeming feature, extreme in their evil.

The story does tend toward the mawkish occasionally but this was done by Dickens deliberately for his readers.  This was written as a contemporary novel and I would hope that the some readers did take note of the conditions that people were living in everyday.

My only previous exposure to this story was Lionel Bart's musical adaptation so I kept seeing Jack Wild and Oliver Reed as I was reading but the movie bears no resemblance to the starkness of this story and how humans were forced to live.

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