Oliver Twist (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
  • Oliver Twist (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
  • Oliver Twist (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Oliver Twist (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

4.5 2804
by Charles Dickens

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Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:…  See more details below


Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

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.

Features illustrations by George Cruikshank.

Jill Muller was born in England and educated at Mercy College and Columbia University, and currently teaches at Mercy College and Columbia University. She is working on a book on the Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, to be published by Routledge.

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Product Details

Barnes & Noble
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Barnes & Noble Classics Series
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4.13(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

From Jill Muller's Introduction to Oliver Twist

Second novels separate the sheep from the goats, the possessors of enduring talent from the mere purveyors of flash-in-the-pan literary sensation. Many writers embark on a second novel with a good deal of trepidation, especially if their first book has achieved the kind of instant acclaim awarded to Charles Dickens's Pickwick Papers. If Dickens experienced any such anxiety when he set out to write Oliver Twist, he countered it with his lifelong drug of choice, a frenetic and compulsive productivity. Appearing in monthly installments, the usual mode of publication for novels until late in the nineteenth century, Oliver Twist was mostly written in tandem with other projects. When the first two chapters were published in Bentley's Miscellany in February 1837, Dickens was still writing Pickwick Papers as a serial for Chapman and Hall. With Pickwick Papers completed in November 1837, the twenty-five-year-old Dickens devoted himself to Oliver Twist for a mere four months before beginning a third novel, Nicholas Nickleby. Oliver Twist was finished and published in three volumes in November 1838, while the serial version in Bentley's still had five months to run. This frenzied pace of production was halted only once, in June 1837, when the intensity of his grief over the sudden death of his seventeen-year-old sister-in-law, Mary Hogarth, forced Dickens to postpone that month's installments of both Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist. Mary Hogarth is memorialized as Rose Maylie in Oliver Twist.

Where many young writers would have been tempted to stay with a winning formula, Dickens's second novel was a total departure from the timeless comedic world of Pickwick Papers. The first three installments of Oliver Twist employed ferocious satire to address a contemporary social evil, the sufferings of the poor in the new workhouses mandated by the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act. Then, with the introduction of Fagin and his gang of juvenile pickpockets in the fourth installment, Dickens's readers found themselves plunged into London's criminal underworld. The novel's final installment contained a gruesome murder, a manhunt, and a hanging. While a few readers, such as the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, were shocked by Dickens's turn to such sordid subject matter, many more, including nineteen-year-old Queen Victoria, were enthralled. Oliver Twist was every bit as popular as Pickwick Papers. Three dramatizations played in London theaters during the winter of 1838-1839. Perfectly complemented by George Cruikshank's quirky illustrations, the novel was in a third edition by 1841, and even spawned an imitation, Thomas Prest's Oliver Twiss. It remained a bestseller through Dickens's lifetime and beyond. The penny edition of 1871 sold 150,000 copies in three weeks. During the last decade of his life, Dickens toured England, Ireland, and America, giving public readings of favorite sections from his novels. "Sikes and Nancy," based on chapter XLVII of Oliver Twist, was a particular favorite of both author and audience. While Dickens's rendition of Nancy's brutal murder sent audiences into fits of screaming and fainting, a physician waited backstage to monitor the ailing author's pulse rate. Dickens's friend and biographer John Forster speculated that the energy and fervor with which Dickens threw himself into these performances may have contributed to his early death from heart disease in 1870.

Oliver Twist remains one of the best known and most popular of Dickens's novels. Translated, adapted, dramatized, filmed (most notably by David Lean in 1948), and even turned into a musical, the story of Little Orphan Oliver and his grotesque tormentors has passed into popular culture. Millions of people who have never opened the nineteenth-century novel are familiar with the image of a ragged child holding out his porringer and asking for more. Like Robinson Crusoe or Huck Finn, Oliver has evolved from fiction into fable and archetype. Or perhaps he has simply returned to his roots. The characters and settings of Oliver Twist resonate so deeply and so variously because they echo a diverse collection of popular genres. The novel is at once social satire, thriller, melodrama, autobiography, fairy tale, moral fable, and religious allegory. While some of the specific texts that influenced Oliver Twist's composition are no longer familiar to contemporary readers and may require some literary excavation, each of the various genres whose competing voices create the novel's seductive energy survive and are easily recognizable in modern forms of entertainment.

Like its predecessor, Pickwick Papers, Dickens's second novel reflects his childhood passion for the eighteenth-century picaresque novels Tom Jones and Roderick Random. As in the novels by Henry Fielding and Tobias Smollett, the plot of Oliver Twist revolves around illegitimacy and disputed inheritance. Like his literary forebears, Oliver is unaware of his true identity and adrift in a world of rogues and schemers. Unlike the more robust heroes of Fielding and Smollett, however, Dickens's orphan does not grow up; he remains a frail and passive child throughout the novel, more victim than protagonist. Oliver's failure to reach adolescence preserves him from the sexual temptations that befall Tom Jones and Roderick Random, perhaps making it easier for Dickens to persuade his Victorian audience that "little Oliver" embodies "the purest good."

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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.