Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist, and Charles Dickens in particular, get a bad rap for being difficult reads. Surprisingly, Oliver Twist was a much easier read than I expected. I can't say the same for Dickens other stories since I haven't read them. Oliver Twist was published in 1838 and the language was not at all difficult. A modern teen would have no problem reading the story - that is if they don't get bored.

The story does bog down in a few places. It is interesting to see how Dickens is able to tie so many irrelevant chapters to the resolution. The story was originally published a chapter at a time, or so, in a magazine/newspaper. On the surface it would be difficult for an author to write a story in such a fashion. Today an author rewrites and edits many times before publishing. Dickens didn't have that luxury, but created the story as he went along. (from wikipedia).

Oliver Twist chronicles the story of an innocent, naive orphan who experiences much as he tries to find a safe and secure place. He naturally chooses good over evil despite his circumstances. Throw in some organized crime, class warfare, and Victorian ideals and you have an interesting story that is still relevant today. Today, some people would question Oliver's innocence and naivete. I just see him as a victim of circumstance and when given the opportunity he chooses good.

A classic worth reading. There have been many film adaptations. I have only seen the 1960s musical, so can't comment on any of the others. The story is darker than the musical, though I still get the Food song stuck in my head when I set out to make dinner.

Book Rating: 5 stars

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