‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist

Brought up in the workhouse, orphan Oliver escapes to London and finds himself caught in Fagin’s criminal underworld.

Everyone knows the basic plot of this classic tale, but I was surprised to learn how much of it was new to me. It turns out that the many film and TV versions rarely do justice to the full story as the author intended, so the second half of the story is often left out. I’ve had ‘Oliver Twist’ on my bookshelf for about thirty years but have never managed to get past the first chapter. Finding the weighty tome available as an audiobook, I jumped at the chance to listen rather than read. The lovely Martin Jarvis brings the text to life with a marvellous variety of voices and accents, and even succeeds in making those passages where Dickens goes off on a tangent about life in general appealing to the listener.

Given that I also have ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and ‘Great Expectations’ gathering dust on my bookshelves, I think audio versions of these two will soon be on my listening agenda.

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