Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens: Mini Book Review

Oliver Twist 
by Charles Dickens
Kobo edition
Buy from Indigo

Description: One of Dickens’s 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 time—the terrifying Bill Sikes.

Rife with Dickens’s 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 salvation—and the shocking discovery of his true identity.

Review: One of the first plays I ever saw was Oliver Twist and it has always been one of my favorites.  I have always put off reading the actual novel because I was worried that it would colour my enjoyment of the play.   I also have always had difficulty reading classic novels due to the overly formal and flowery writing since I am a speed reader. That being said Oliver is actually quite readable in spite of the writing style. The biting social commentary is brilliantly done and Dickens had a true gift for telling a story.   I however have to be honest my enjoyment of the novel was marred by the blatant anti-semitism in it, which obviously had been toned down in the play. Also was a little dismayed on how much bleaker and darker the novel is compared to the play -- but hey I am a lighter hopeful girl, so take that with a grain of salt.  I actually would have liked to read it in its original serial format, which would have made some of the filler chapters a little more interesting.

Rating: 3.75  Dewey's 

I read this as part of my BBC Top 100 Book Challenge and it came installed on my Kobo which is seriously cool


  1. I haven't read this one (yet) and am surprised that there is anti-semitism. Sometimes it's hard to read the prejudices of an earlier era.

  2. I was surprised too -- its not horribly over the top but by the way he describes him and the constant use of "The Jew" makes you go - hmmm