Oliver Twist Readalong: Final Thoughts

Author: Charles Dickens, 1837
Genre: Social Criticism, Fiction
Format: Paperback, 603 pages

There you go, I have finally read my first Dickens. I am glad that my first experience turned out so pleasant, and I am looking forward to reading a few more works by him. Looking back at the first pages of the book again, I can’t help but think how surprised I was with Dickens’ language and wonderful characters. Yes, sometimes Oliver was intolerably gullible and overly nice; and yes, maybe the fact that he met his long-lost relatives left and right was a little too much even for a coincidence.  However, I never got annoyed , which is pretty amazing, because I am rather sensitive to things like that.

I heard a lot of people had problems with Dickens’ language, finding it sometimes too dry or sometimes too preachy. Personally I find that Dickens’ way of expressing his ideas and beliefs id actually what drew me into the story. I loved strong sarcasm, evident opinions on social stratification and poor living conditions, and somewhat dark humor in places where it is most appropriate. When it came to his storytelling, I didn’t think the story dragged at any point, the way I usually felt with some classics that focused on fruity prose and number of pages. Like I said, sometimes it was hard to believe that Oliver, who grew up on nothing but mistreatment and abuse, could turn out so sweet and innocent. He was almost too perfect of a representation  of innocence, taking into consideration that he never was corrupted by all the evil around him. Yes, many of Dickens’ characters might seem a bit too black and white, but I found it rather fitting for what he had been trying to achieve here.

I think I will invest some more time into discovering Dickens’ genius. Few of his books that caught my eye and that are squeezing their way into my reading list are The Christmas Carol, Bleak House, and The Old Curiosity Shop. I just hope I will like them as much as I liked Oliver Twist. Actually, I can see myself re-reading this one a couple of years from now.

8 comments

  1. Thanks for your review. I enjoyed A tale of Two Cities but hadn’t heard good things about Oliver Twist. I think I will add it to my reading list after all.

  2. I enjoyed the sarcasm and dark humor as well! I wasn’t expecting it.

  3. @Livingdelilah I heard that a lot of people struggle with A Tale of Two Cities. It’s great to know that you liked it. I definitely recommend to give Oliver Twist a shot. It seems like most readers fall into two categories: those who love it, and those who hate it. 🙂 One way to find out for sure is to try the book yourself. Good luck!

    @Katy F. I was totally surprised to see Dickens as a great entertainer. I always imagined his books boring and dry. Proved me wrong!

  4. Jillian · ·

    I still can’t bring myself to finish this one. I need to.

    I want to understand Dickens also. I’ve just gotten a copy of the Tomalin biography (about his affair with Nelly Ternan.)

    I might read that before finishing Oliver Twist

  5. @Jillian

    It happened to me before. There is a book others love, but I just can’t stand reading it. Maybe his other works would appeal more to you. Thankfully, Dickens was rather productive when it came to writing. 🙂

  6. netlinking…

    […]Oliver Twist Readalong: Final Thoughts « Tasseled Blog[…]…

  7. I love it too, even more now that it settled in a little in my mind. I am planning to reread it for my Dickens project someday, so that is something to look forward to.

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