Poorhouse orphan Oliver Twist endures a miserable existence in Victorian England. "There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts." But this cannot be said of Oliver Twist, a powerful tale about the 19th century harrowing reality of a boy named Oliver Twist. Also known as The Parish Boys Progress, Oliver Twist is the second novel by Charles Dickens. The story revolves around poorhouse orphan Oliver Twist, who endures a miserable existence in a workhouse before being eventually placed under the care of an undertaker. He escapes and travels to London where he meets the Artful Dodger, leader of a gang of underage pickpockets in Londons underworld. Oliver is then led to the lair of their elderly criminal trainer Fagin, leading to many twists and turns as he is naively unaware of their unlawful activities. Packed with a variety of unforgettable characters this tale will have you laughing and crying in turn (but mostly laughing). Like most of Dickens work, Oliver Twist was aimed at calling the attention of the public to various contemporary social evils, such as child labor, the workhouse and the recruitment of children as criminals. The novel is full of dark humor and sarcasm, even as it treats its subjects seriously, while also revealing the hypocrisies of that period. Oliver Twist is a must-read for all booklovers and has been the subject of many film and television adaptations, as well as the basis for Oliver! the highly successful British musical.
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