“Please, sir, I want some more.”
Charles Dickens is a well-known name in the world of literary fiction and Oliver Twist is one of his most loved books. This book explores life in the streets of Victorian London, the era which behind all the romanticization also has the harsh reality which is uncovered in the workhouse, parish house, and in the dark streets roamed about by thieves and criminals.
The story follows the life of an orphan Oliver Twist, who runs away from a workhouse only to be taken in by a den of thieves. The boy has such rotten luck that even whenever you are hopeful that something good is going to happen in his life, he is again pulled into the life of crime and misery. The story progresses further to uncover the mystery of Oliver’s parentage and his inheritance.
This is my second book by Charles Dickens and I somehow feel that his writing style doesn’t agree with me. There are few elements of the book that I absolutely loved and a few not so much.
I love how Dickens tells the darkest of the themes in such a satirical way. I was feeling so bad for Oliver, but at the same time laughing at the contrasts he portrayed in his characters and the dialogues. Few of the characters are straightaway loveable and few really surprised me towards the end.
However, I find the storyline a little too coincidental for my liking. The story has a theme that is much suited for a children’s book but the language is not so simple that it can be classified as children’s classics. I know we have various abridged versions available in the market and being marketed as children’s books but the original unabridged format will be too difficult for a child to consume.
Classics is my all-time favorite genre and one of the reasons being the beautiful old English language that we find there. But somehow I find Charles Dickens’s writing style a little difficult to comprehend. And the reason for this is too lengthy sentences. The opening line of the book only spans 6 rows. I found that it really hampers my compression if I am reading too fast and I need to slow down and re-read sentences multiple times at times. I am totally in the case of slow reading to enjoy literature but slowing down due to complex sentence formations really takes away the joy of reading at times.
I liked this book but I didn’t love it, so I won’t come as a strong recommendation from my side. But if you love Charles Dicken’s writing style, then you can definitely check this one out.