Oliver Twist (Everyman's Library Series)

Oliver Twist (Everyman's Library Series)

4.5 2804
by Charles Dickens, George Cruickshank

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Oliver is an orphan living on the dangerous London streets with no one but himself to rely on. Fleeing from poverty and hardship, he falls in with a criminal street gang who will not let him go, however hard he tries to escape.

One of the most swiftly moving and unified of Charles Dickens’s great novels, Oliver Twist is also famous for its

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Oliver is an orphan living on the dangerous London streets with no one but himself to rely on. Fleeing from poverty and hardship, he falls in with a criminal street gang who will not let him go, however hard he tries to escape.

One of the most swiftly moving and unified of Charles Dickens’s great novels, Oliver Twist is also famous for its re-creation–through the splendidly realized figures of Fagin, Nancy, the Artful Dodger, and the evil Bill Sikes–of the vast London underworld of pickpockets, thieves, prostitutes, and abandoned children. Victorian critics took Dickens to task for rendering this world in such a compelling, believable way, but readers over the last 150 years have delivered an alternative judgment by making this story of the orphaned Oliver Twist one of its author’s most loved works.

This edition reprints the original Everyman’s introduction by G. K. Chesterton and includes twenty-four illustrations by George Cruikshank.

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Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Everyman's Library
Edition description:
Everyman's Library Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 8.29(h) x 1.16(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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Chapter I

Treats of the place where Oliver Twist was Born; and of the Circumstances attending his Birth.

Among other public buildings in a certain town, which for many reasons it will be prudent to refrain from mentioning, and to which I will assign no fictitious name, there is one anciently common to most towns, great or small: to wit, a workhouse; and in this workhouse was born: on a day and date which I need not trouble myself to repeat, inasmuch as it can be of no possible consequence to the reader, in this stage of the business at all events: the item of mortality whose name is prefixed to the head of this chapter.

For a long time after it was ushered into this world of sorrow and trouble, by the parish surgeon, it remained a matter of considerable doubt whether the child would survive to bear any name at all; in which case it is somewhat more than probable that these memoirs would never have appeared; or, if they had, that being comprised within a couple of pages, they would have possessed the inestimable merit of being the most concise and faithful specimen of biography, extant in the literature of any age or country.

Although I am not disposed to maintain that the being born in a workhouse, is in itself the most fortunate and enviable circumstance that can possibly befal a human being, I do mean to say that in this particular instance, it was the best thing for Oliver Twist that could by possibility have occurred. The fact is, that there was considerable difficulty in inducing Oliver to take upon himself the office of respiration,-a troublesome practice, but one which custom has rendered necessary to our easy existence; and for some time he laygasping on a little flock mattress, rather unequally poised between this world and the next: the balance being decidedly in favour of the latter. Now, if, during this brief period, Oliver had been surrounded by careful grandmothers, anxious aunts, experienced nurses, and doctors of profound wisdom, he would most inevitably and indubitably have been killed in no time. There being nobody by, however, but a pauper old woman, who was rendered rather misty by an unwonted allowance of beer; and a parish surgeon who did such matters by contract; Oliver and Nature fought out the point between them. The result was, that, after a few struggles, Oliver breathed, sneezed, and proceeded to advertise to the inmates of the workhouse the fact of a new burden having been imposed upon the parish, by setting up as loud a cry as could reasonably have been expected from a male infant who had not been possessed of that very useful appendage, a voice, for a much longer space of time than three minutes and a quarter.

As Oliver gave this first proof of the free and proper action of his lungs, the patchwork coverlet which was carelessly flung over the iron bedstead, rustled; the pale face of a young woman was raised feebly from the pillow; and a faint voice imperfectly articulated the words, "Let me see the child, and die."

The surgeon had been sitting with his face turned towards the fire: giving the palms of his hands, a warm and a rub alternately. As the young woman spoke, he rose, and advancing to the bed's head, said, with more kindness than might have been expected of him:

"Oh, you must not talk about dying yet."

"Lor bless her dear heart, no!" interposed the nurse, hastily depositing in her pocket a green glass bottle, the contents of which she had been tasting in a corner with evident satisfaction. "Lor bless her dear heart, when she has lived as long as I have, sir, and had thirteen children of her own, and all on 'em dead except two, and them in the wurkus with me, she'll know better than to take on in that way, bless her dear heart! Think what it is to be a mother, there's a dear young lamb, do."

Apparently this consolatory perspective of a mother's prospects, failed in producing its due effect. The patient shook her head, and stretched out her hand towards the child.

The surgeon deposited it in her arms. She imprinted her cold white lips passionately on its forehead; passed her hands over her face; gazed wildly round; shuddered; fell back-and died. They chafed her breast, hands, and temples; but the blood had stopped for ever. They talked of hope and comfort. They had been strangers too long.

"It's all over, Mrs. Thingummy!" said the surgeon at last.

"Ah, poor dear, so it is!" said the nurse, picking up the cork of the green bottle which had fallen out on the pillow as she stooped to take up the child. "Poor dear!"

"You needn't mind sending up to me, if the child cries, nurse," said the surgeon, putting on his gloves with great deliberation. "It's very likely it will be troublesome. Give it a little gruel7 if it is." He put on his hat, and, pausing by the bed-side on his way to the door, added "She was a good-looking girl, too; where did she come from?"

"She was brought here last night," replied the old woman, "by the overseer's order. She was found lying in the street. She had walked some distance, for her shoes were worn to pieces; but where she came from, or where she was going to, nobody knows."

From the Hardcover edition.

Copyright 2001 by Charles Dickens

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Oliver Twist 4.5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 2804 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Charles Dickens uses the novel Oliver Twist similarly to his many other novels to portray the life of the poor through the struggle of the main character. Oliver Twist is a bast@rd child who is forced into an orphanage (workhouse) for the poor. He eventually runs off and gets tangled up with a group of other poor children who steal for their leader in crime Fagin. While there, he learns the tricks of the trade and also discovers that it is not the life for him and struggles to get out. Charles Dickens does an excellent job of ridiculing the upper and middle class for their treatment of the poor, while delivering an excellent story about the adventures of Oliver Twist.
readingissexy23 More than 1 year ago
After years of people telling me how great this book was I decided to read it to see what all the fuss was about. It turned out that it lived up to my expectations. This book is well written and a classic story about an orphan and his surrounding characters. There is drama, fear, compasion, and so many more emotions Dickens put into this novel. It's a good read; you won't be disapointed!
bamagv More than 1 year ago
Getting your child to read one of those classic novels can certainly be a challenge. Thanks to Jonathan Keeble and Roy McMillian this task has been revolutionized. The classic story "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens has been retold for younger listeners on audiobook. Created with children ages 8-13 in mind, this audiobook features the original text found in Dicken's classic but the words are simplified and clarified at certain points throughout the story to ensure that the child understands them and can easily follow along with the storyline. This audiobook re-telling of the classic Oliver Twist will keep children's attention and have them engaged in the story through its unique and captivating audio.
Kim Mariano More than 1 year ago
Oliver goes from tragedy to triumph in this heartwarming book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This a good book and im jewish and oliver is also so its interesting. If you read this review and you like it, please hit the like button
BookReader75 More than 1 year ago
You can still read the rest of my review, but to draw this down to the bottom line.......... A amazing book by Dickens! Now, to start with some things some might consider "bad" but which did not bother me is this. Note, Dickens is very descriptive. So he explains and describes places, and people, for quite a bit. You will notice this as SOON as you start reading. But once into the middle of the book, will get used to it and actually start to like his styel of writing some chapters of the book you might have to read over as some chapters (I say some which is the two chapters at the end of the book for those two chapters contain alot of information with LOTS of plot twist) Now, that I have named some think "some" may not like. Let me get on to the GREAT things. This book has AMAZING characters, I did not expect less of Charles Dickens. The characters were amazing, and the plot is a VERY good one, as we see Oliver start from a poor abused orphan, than go to London to seek his fortune, he then meets a gang of thieves commanded by an old tricky, evil deceptive, man. Oliver tries to choose between the life of crime or a home. At that point new things just keep piling on and on and on, with the plot, until all the things just explode, with an epic plot twist at the end! So with good characters a great storyline, and unforgettable moments what more could you want from this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read this book, probably, about ten times, and I still enjoy the Victorian setting, classic characters, and the message of hope and redemption in the world of crime and greed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is a pretty much unabriged story compared to all the other Oliver Twist books I've read. A great book. Makes sense and does not have the word sense of Charles Dickens. I recommend this book for readers ages 9-23. As soon as you pick up this book you will not want to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They left out Charlotte, Toby, and included pretty much none if the original lines (Do you know who you are? Or what you are?) and changed the plot a little bit. When Nancy went to see Rose, I can tell you that Oliver was NOT there at ALL in the original. Oliver was also never trying to be James Bond to save Nancy. Bill Sikes was never trying to be batman when jumping from roof to roof. Edward Leeford moved to America. Changed a lot. Oliver never met both Bill AND Nancy untill later in the book when they kidnapoed him. And, uh-hum, excuse me, but where was Bet?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book yet! One day I got really really bored so just decided to pick up this book and I read through the first 5 chapters and I was like OMGosh this book should be in the book of world records! I NEVER stopped reading unless I had to.
pwee More than 1 year ago
A grand novel, great for anyone who desires a little mental stimulation, rather than the same, over-explained novels that often occur in current day writing (I'm not saying all, but quite a few!!!). Magnificent, and certainly memorable, this novel follows the story of young Oliver Twist, an orphan in the dastardly workhouses whom dared to rise the question "May I have some more?" Throughout this novel, the reader is met with unique and memorable characters, such as the tragic Nancy, the disturbed Mr. Sikes, the humorous (and ironic) telling of Mr. Bumble, the young "Artful Dodger" (forever truthful to his name!) and the devilish, terrifying Fagin. Certainly a heartwarming novel, where one finds an irresistible liking towards even the most hated villains, with a story that shall last in one's memory for many years to come!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of all the wonderful books in the world, so far I have not read one that can top this classic! At sixteen years old I have just finished reading this masterpiece for the fifth time at least. It's an all-time-favorite. Though some people may argue that it is boring or childish, it is none of these. The characters are well developed with complex personalitys and the plot intriguing. Such a book is hard to find and ought to be appreciated!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blu walked in {I'm on my computer,my nook broke last night...}
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
malik have any off u seen siren?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awh darn. ;~; *she sniffles.* I'ma go then. Go to Steak and Shake with the idiots I call my friends. :3 'Bai. *she saunters out, humming Falling Away From Me.*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Any body up for chat
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She giggled more, licking happily.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey there. Do you want to rp ur favorite celebrity or singer or actor? Ten go to celeb res 1&2. Result one is bios and result two is chatroom. You can use the other books as chatrooms too. Here r some guides 1) you must put a bio of ur favorite singer before he/she is taken 2) if your celebrity u want to rp is taken you have to pick someome else. 3) there will be no fighting cusskng or weapons or anything like that. 4) yes there is dating allowdd. You can link up with whoever u want 5) res3 is snackbar res 4 is lounge res 5 is a restaurant and res 6 is the pool. 6. Everyone is welcome. Please come and enjoy. tell ur friends!!!!! &#9786
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does somone named Salem RP here?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah. A song you shouldn't be singing. When you stop f<_>ucking everyone that opens their legs to you, then maybe you can sing that, b<_>itch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Reyna, darling, I must leave. It's been a pleasure," she says as she falls asleep.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jack pulled his knees to his chest, gazing blankly at nothing standing before him. He had pocketed his wedding band, and sighed. Freddie played with a toy car at his side, kicking his legs happily. Jack watched his son without expression, and stood, 'if anyone sees Serena..Tell her I say I'm sorry..and that I love her.' He turned, giving Freddie's head a pat and a kiss on the forehead before vanishing. Freddie paused, blinking at his father. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
'I know. That's why I love you. So much.' She nuzzled him softly. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
'I missed you too.' She leaned into his embrace. 'Everynight I wonder if I'd return. Then fears creep in and take a chokehold.'  (If You have an Instagram or even a WattPad, We can communicate there. I'm i_like_goldfiesh on Insta, and AllyStaudt on Watt..) 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She hugged back quietly. 'Today. But I have to be careful about rp'ing.' She sighed into his shoulder.