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Oliver Twist

Jeremy DEagle

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I'm interested to hear how you get on. I read it school - a tiny, old hardback with miniscule print. I always suspected the teacher had been last to the book cupboard, as she taught it with no enthusiasm.

I've since taught it myself many times, but from the Dramascript version, so I know bits of the text really well, as they lift dialogue wholesale, but have probably missed a lot of the subtlety.

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I read this a year or so ago and really enjoyed it. Admittedly, it's not my favourite Dickens novel but it truly is a classic in every sense of the work and was a pleasure to read.


Let us know what you think, Jeremy, when you've finished it..




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  • 1 year later...

I just finished Oliver. I thought it was absolutely fantastic. I was supposed to read it at school when I was 15 (now 22) but I never finished it (I think I wrote my essay based on the musical film :rolleyes: ). I'm so glad I decided to try again. I did have the songs from the musical in my head throughout though. I think I would have liked to have read the book before watching the film, but I first saw the film and the musical before I could read. I am still quite amazed that someone (Lionel Bart?) read this and thought it would make a good musical (it does, but I think it's far from an obvious choice!). I think I learnt a lot more about some of the social problems of Dickens times than I have from many other books. I really need to read more Dickens. The only other one I've read was Great Expectations a couple of months ago. For some reason I've been sort of scared to try anything of his because I thought it was 'too hard', but it really isn't.

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Hello, mrs_bellamy, and welcome to BGO.


Reading between the lines, you were most likely put off Dickens at school. This has left you "sort of scared" that something will be "too hard"... I write as a teacher, and it is a crying shame that people get put off.

You're dead right when you say that Oliver Twist is a highly unlikely subject for a musical, but it works so well. I remember watching the film with tears streaming down my face when I must have been about ten or eleven...; maybe less...


What makes classic literature classic is that it remains relevant to life from age to age. Do try some more Dickens: the longer ones are very forbidding, but can I suggest David Copperfield next? Or maybe Hard Times, less well known than some of the others, but also rather shorter than most.

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A Happy New Years' reading to us All! :)


I'd go for David Copperfield myself, Mrs B. It's long, but very entertaining, with a nice range of fun-to-creepy characters, and can easily be left aside for a week if you feel like something different, without losing the plot.


Parts are a bit heart-wrenching (no-one likes following the suffering of children, and David goes through a few tough times) but we're reassured that he comes out of it just fine, and a mature, confident man.


Whatever you choose - I hope you enjoy it.

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Thank you for the suggestion jfp and Book-Chatter! I used to listen to the tape of David Copperfield to go to sleep to when I was little, so I'd definitely be interested to read it and see if I actually remember anything and what I think of it now I'm older. I used to absolutely love it, and my Nicholas Nickleby tape. I try not to read books by the same author one after the other to make sure I have some variety, but I'm really looking forward to more Dickens after I finish my current book!

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