From Goodreads:“Named a “national institution” by George Orwell, Dickens offers his most popular tale, of the orphan who is reared in a workhouse and runs away to London-a novel of social protest, a morality tale, and a detective story. A workhouse orphan, Oliver experiences the terror and brutality of the criminal underworld. His companions, a thief, a whore, a pickpocket, and a fence, are destined for gruesome ends, but Oliver emerges unscathed from the darkness of the underworld.“
I enjoyed this a lot, even though I don’t normally enjoy the classics, but I’m coming to love Dickens! I never thought I’d say that as school killed off my interests in classics but audiobooks have changed my mind as I loved Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities a few years ago, also read by Martin Jarvis.
I knew the parts of this story from having watched the 1968 musical Oliver! numerous times. It was because I’d thought about watching it again that I decided that I really should listen to the audiobook. I’d bought it years ago. and hadn’t got around to listening to it and now seemed like a good time. I knew about the workhouse, Fagin, Bill Sikes, Bullseye, Nancy and of course the Artful Dodger which all happens in the first part of the book, but I didn’t know about the rest of the story and of course how it ends.
I felt for Oliver all the way through the story and was so angry with the way he was treated by ‘responsible adults’ from his first breath in the workhouse. If they’d had their way he wouldn’t have l lived long at all! for most of the book he’s treated horrendously by all the adults he comes into contact with, until he meets a kindly old gentleman who wants to help. Thanks goodness for that man and others who come along to help him. It’s not an easy life for Oliver as things happened that see him back in bad company and in a very dangerous situation.
Martin Jarvis is one of my favourite narrators and especially so for reading Dickens. He portrayed all the characters superbly! I particularly enjoyed his portrayal of Oliver, The Artful Dodger, Fagin, Bill Sikes, Nancy and Mr Brownlow’s Housekeeper.
Thoroughly recommended if you enjoy the classics on audio!