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Download Oliver Twist: Or, The Parish Boy’s Progress Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Oliver Twist: Or, The Parish Boy’s Progress Audiobook, by Charles Dickens Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (100,823 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Dickens Narrator: Martin Jarvis Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2007 ISBN: 9781482976731
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One of Dickens’ most popular novels, Oliver Twist tells the story of a young workhouse orphan who escapes into the mean backstreets of Victorian London. There, he is thrust into a den of thieves where some of Dickens’ most depraved villains preside: the incorrigible Artful Dodger, the barbarous bully Bill Sikes, and the terrible Fagin, whose knavery threatens to send them all to the gallows. A novel with autobiographical overtones, this was the first of Dickens’ works to realistically portray London’s impoverished underworld and to illustrate his belief that poverty leads to crime. At the heart of the drama, however, is Oliver, the orphan whose unsullied goodness leads him to salvation, and who represents Dickens’ belief in the principle of good triumphing at last.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The inimitable Martin Jarvis brings his talents to bear on Charles Dickens’ classic in an audiobook that will delight listeners with its superb recreations of gritty nineteenth-century London. To escape Mr. Bumble and life in the workhouse, Oliver flees to London where he meets the Artful Dodger and becomes embroiled with Fagin’s ragtag band of thieves. Jarvis simply dazzles: his performance captures both the humor and sorrow of the text, his narration is crisp, and his characterizations—his rendition of the terrifying district magistrate, Mr. Fang, is particularly memorable—are as varied as they are energetic, befitting, and enjoyable.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Oliver Twist was Dickens’ second novel and one of his darkest… The author’s moral indignation drives the creation of some of his most memorably grotesque characters: squirming, vile Fagin; brutal Bill Sykes; the brooding, sickly Monks; and Bumble, the pompous and incorrigibly dense beadle. Clearly, a reading of this work must carry the author’s passionate narrative voice while being flexible and broad enough to define the wide range of character voices suggested by the text…superior audiobook versions of this material.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca Gebhart | 2/9/2014

    " It was an uphill battle, but I managed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deviant Geek | 2/6/2014

    " I heard the movie is better than the book and I can see why. Lots of room left for creativity but I suppose dickens was such a strict fellow. Not that I hated the book or anything. But if you could see the scenario being played in the back of your head with missing patches here and there you would know the author didn't complete the job "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah H. Alshareef | 2/6/2014

    " I much more enjoyed the film! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lottie | 2/5/2014

    " I can safely say this book has been a struggle to get through with the changing of scenes and story jumping but I did enjoy it. I do find the character ofOliver a little bit untealistic and too idealistic of a character with his first class morality despite his environment in which he was brought up within and his upper class speech. Overall however whilst I did find myself yearning to reach the story conclusion I did enjoy exploring the original storylines from which the tv and film adaptations that introduced me to oliver twist, originated from. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mohammad Yasser | 1/26/2014

    " It makes me hate London for the bleak cloudy image the story brings up to your mind. Yet it was interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kenneth White | 1/22/2014

    " A definite top 5 all-time favorite novel!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtney | 1/18/2014

    " I read this classic to make up for all the romance books I read. It took a while, and I struggled but I did it! Think everyone should stay rounded and give it a try. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sean | 1/17/2014

    " Oliver Twist was a struggle. I found myself zoning out, especially during monologues. Occasionally you see a glimmer of his later skill at turning a phrase, but dialog is horrendous. I suppose Dickens can be forgiven to some degree since Oliver was one of his first works. Don't judge Dickens by Oliver Twist. I really enjoyed A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aleppigs | 1/15/2014

    " potret suram di kota besar, london yg mengusik kemanusiaan. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shell | 1/15/2014

    " Read it years ago.probably after watching some tv version. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tom Gase | 1/15/2014

    " Every three years or so I read a Charles Dickens book, and every three years I'm a little dissapointed. Although the descriptive writing is great by Dickens, I just got a little bored with the story. I may need to read this again in a few years and give it a second chance, but this time it just wasn't for me. The book is about an orphan, Oliver Twist, but it seems he is actually never in the story after the first 100 pages or so. I really didn't like any of the characters besides him. I'd read Great Expectations before this if you really want to read a Dickens classic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Billybobjoe | 1/12/2014

    " Very well-written. There are a lot of characters, but if you keep reading, they'll straighten out. The book is extrememly sad and depressing if looked at just as a story. If you look for what Dicken's was trying to say, you will see how funny and sarcastic it is! I won't be reading it again soon, but I bet I will in the future! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ele Eusepi | 1/10/2014

    " The first literary work I ever read, at the age of 8... Never stopped going back to it.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 1/9/2014

    " Quite enjoyed this- even if it was wordy at times. Justice is lovely! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather Willson | 1/8/2014

    " I loved the raw realness of the industrial era and every facet of the true depraved underbelly of society. Can be disturbing, but that's the point! He's not telling us a glossy clean story. He's creating a life on his pages "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adam Davis | 1/2/2014

    " Written by 'the inimitable' Charles Dickens, this tale encompasses much of old London, from the filth and squalor of the shanty town on the banks of the Thames, to the open fields of Hampstead. The descriptive powers of Dickens are such that you can almost walk down the streets yourself. The narration is almost a character in its own right, slamming the creation of the workhouse, pleading patience from the reader as a scene is set, and effectively reading the book to you. It is easy to imagine just how enthralling the public readings from Dickens must have been, as the book lends itself easily to performance (as has been proven). It isn't flawless though; some of the dialogue is hammy and theatric, (particularly from the female characters)and the sheer number of characters can be a little confusing at times. Overall however I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and I am now eager to read his other works. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elise Jones | 1/2/2014

    " Read in class and watch musical..."may I have more?" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Lebron | 12/27/2013

    " The story becomes a little bogged down towards the middle. However, it picked up nicely as I approached the climax of the story. I loved how Dickens brought all the characters into play for the finale..I can't wait to read a second Dickens novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kawthar | 12/27/2013

    " I have very nice memories with this book, I remember reading it when I was 8 years old trying to impress my teacher lol.. I loved it back then, but I still think it's a nice novel describing a lot of the victorian ages in Britain.. However, I feel english novelists didn't posses the techniques Russian novelists did back then.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Moseley | 12/22/2013

    " Oliver Twist is a story that we all know but we perhaps are not aware of the detail of the book. So much of the story is set in my own parts of London, with references to Clerkenwell, Barnsbury, Holborn and the river. A very different London to the one of my child. So much poverty that we can only just guess at in this modern world The attention to detail that Dickens provides can sometime make the read difficult but not as hard to comprehend as I had been warned it might be. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tammy Cordeiro (devadasi7) | 12/17/2013

    " The actual story itself is good. It's Dickens' telling of it that's terrible! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bob Paley | 12/11/2013

    " Do not delay in exposing your children to Dickens. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abby | 11/28/2013

    " I loved it! I like Charles Dickens, so this book was an instant like for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ella Brooke | 11/14/2013

    " I liked the story. I was not very good at deciphering the old British dialect & writing style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alisha~Seek and ye shall find~ | 11/8/2013

    " A real tear-jerker for me, Oliver is such a sweet boy! I felt that he was too forgiving, and yet that was what made him so endearing. Bill Sykes is a wonderful Villain, and I despise him for killing poor Nancy! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Philip | 11/5/2013

    " Great book, narration by Nadia May was excellent. Loved Dickens' rich language. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ashleigh Cronshaw | 10/25/2013

    " This is without a doubt my least favorite piece from Dickens. The writing is well done as always but I just can't get into the story. Some parts I find good, but the rest I think is dull "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susanne Gruß | 10/21/2013

    " 1st read oliver twist as a child, so this was a very nostalgic reading experience which i thoroughly enjoyed... however, i did get somewhat vexed by the amount of chance meetings and coincidences dickens relies on "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Molique Lawson | 10/18/2013

    " i liked this book Oliver grow up in an orphan and he was the son of a king "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shell | 10/10/2013

    " Read it years ago.probably after watching some tv version. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 10/1/2013

    " The first Dickens book I read. No one makes you fall in love or hate characters like Dickens does! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marie Williams | 9/22/2013

    " ehhh i didn't really like it that much it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheila | 9/8/2013

    " This book also I read it when I was in high school and I still remember how very good read it was for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Connie Cortesi | 9/2/2013

    " Just too happy of an ending wrapped in a great big red bow....I actually don't mind reading classics...but this one did nothing for me... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mark Spano | 8/27/2013

    " Try as I might, I have never enjoined reading CD. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Garima | 7/10/2013

    " perfect book for perfect ppl. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rohan Honwade | 6/23/2013

    " It was okay. The language was a bit difficult to understand at many points. You need a strong heart to bear all the troubles that poor Oliver has to go through initially. The second half of the book is fast paced and enjoyable "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rana Zaki | 5/26/2013

    " love it :) ..... most touchy quote when oliver was selected as to ask for more to eat ..(please sir I want some more) I have read it since I was twelve and when I hear oliver twist I remember this quote, and at the end of the novel when the chrurch bells rang ding ding it is heard death death "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toby | 12/31/2012

    " I need to read this one again. It's been quite some time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zahia saad | 12/17/2012

    " I loved the book as much as i loved the movie ! great story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dianne | 7/29/2012

    " I read Dickens as a child and decided to read this particular classic again. Great story but the old fashioned, hyperbolic and overly emotional style of writing was a big turn off. Nevertheless, Dickens was a master story teller and his works will live on. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamie | 6/12/2012

    " Just can't get into Dickens although a great writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie Rolnick | 4/25/2012

    " OK. long, had to slog through the old fashioned writing, but great social commentary of the time. Our systems may not be perfect but we don't just abandon people. Read for book club, and we'll be going to see the play Oliver together, I wonder how similar it will be... its been a long time. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 'Sylvie' | 3/17/2012

    " to be honest, i love Charles Dickens and despise this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara Muhamed | 2/8/2012

    " Plz Suh , I Need Sum More ! :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roaa | 1/21/2012

    " I've read it before (Arabic language edition). "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ss Ho | 1/7/2012

    " it was way too sad =( "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 8/9/2011

    " I know it's a classic but I foud it a little hard o follow at times. The language doesn't always transfer to modern time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa Hite | 6/23/2011

    " I love Dickens' plot lines, but his writing style is so convoluted and wordy!! So hard to follow! This one in particular requires a lot of backstory knowledge about the British systems of the time that he's satirizing. Not my favorite. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn Plourde | 4/25/2011

    " Grade 9 read! Again, great book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gana B | 3/13/2011

    " I had a really hard time getting through this book. It was way too long but I love Oliver! And I enjoyed the writing much more than other British classics. Overall a great story with lots of twists and turns and mostly PG so young kids could definitely read this as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Claire Fynney | 2/18/2011

    " Brilliant read, one of my favourite books "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 12/25/2010

    " I didn't really know what to think after the last few chapters. The story line was very enjoyable, though being written so old-fasioed, it was hard to follow times. Overall, another great Dickens. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Neil Van | 9/24/2010

    " I didn't care much for this book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vesa | 3/31/2010

    " It shows that Oliver Twist is an early work of Dickens. The style is not yet very refined but quite straight-forward. For a more mature book with some of the same feel I would recommend David Copperfield. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alisha~Seek and ye shall find~ | 2/26/2010

    " A real tear-jerker for me, Oliver is such a sweet boy! I felt that he was too forgiving, and yet that was what made him so endearing. Bill Sykes is a wonderful Villain, and I despise him for killing poor Nancy! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nivas | 2/18/2010

    " Charles Dickens is one of the finest authors from England. Read these books in school. Timeless classics "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melinda | 3/7/2009

    " I read David Copperfield and found it delightful. I had no idea I would like it so much. I'm taking a break from Mr. Dickens but can't wait to read some of his other stuff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tyrene | 8/21/2008

    " Though I didn't read this exact version, I have read these all unabridged and these are probably my top five favorite Dickens works. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 2/19/2008

    " This was my first post-high school Dickens and it is incredible! - That guy could write - Highly recommend
    "

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About the Author
Author Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens (1812–1870) was born in Landport, Portsmouth, England, the second of eight children in a family continually plagued by debt. A legacy brought release from the nightmare of debtors’ prison and child labor and afforded him a few years of formal schooling. He worked as an attorney’s clerk and newspaper reporter until his early writings brought him the amazing success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. He was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, and he remains popular, responsible for some of English literature’s most iconic characters.

About the Narrator

Martin Jarvis, OBE, has recorded more than 150 Just William stories for the BBC. These have become international audio bestsellers. He won the Theatre World Award for his starring role on Broadway in By Jeeves; his West End appearances include works by Ayckbourn, Frayn, Pinter, and Wilde. Screen successes include everything from Stargate Atlantis, Doctor Who, and Numb3rs to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Oscar-winning Titanic.