Oliver Twist

Things have been odd this month as I’m in the middle of moving, so while I was able to make time to read a Classic, it’s taken me a lot longer to get around to posting about it.

When I discovered this Classic

Like most people, I suspect, I knew Oliver Twist as a musical. I’m not sure when I first became aware that it was also a novel, but my grandparents had a collection of leather-bound Dickens novels on their bookshelves, so I probably saw it there.

Why I chose to read it

I thought I should include some Dickens in the 2016 Classics Challenge, and Oliver Twist was one that I hadn’t read yet.

What makes it a Classic

Dickens novels tend to be treated as Classics, but the story is part of popular culture now too.

What I thought of this Classic

I should start by saying that I’m not overly fond of Dickens. I find his novels too sentimental, and I find the digressions and cliff-hangers (which were probably very effective when his works were first appearing in serialized form) tedious. The aim of showing the effect of workhouses on society was a worthy one, but the coincidences in the plot made the story unrealistic, and there were too many villains for me to be particularly worried about any of them. The plot line involving the Maylie family was cut from the film version of the musical, and I have to say that I wouldn’t have missed it if it were cut from the novel.

Will it stay a Classic

I think Oliver Twist is too firmly entrenched in popular culture to disappear now.

Who would you recommend this to

I wouldn’t. If they wanted Dickens, I’d recommend A Christmas Carol or A Tale of Two Cities. If they really wanted Oliver, I’d direct them to the musical.

A short post this month, because I really felt the adage “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” applied to this one. My moving woes will continue into May, but I’m hoping to pick up a Sci-Fi Classic to get me through it. Any recommendations on Classic Sci-Fi by women authors (other than Le Guin; everyone knows about Le Guin), will be warmly received.

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