Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Oliver Twist Readalong: Part 1


I was supposed to read at least 180 pages for the Oliver Twist Readalong which is hosted by Allie at A Literary Odyssey. However, midterms got in the way—my World History midterm, in particular, flayed me alive—and, so far, I’ve only read about 90 pages. I intend to catch up tomorrow, since I only have one exam left.

Here are my while-reading thoughts:
  1. Wow, Oliver Twist is easier to read than Great Expectations. I’ve reached the part where Oliver is caught by the cops after his friend the Arful Dodger tries to steal a handkerchief which, judging by the context alone, were worth a lot during the time. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
  2. Oliver Twist isn’t as atmospheric as Great Expectations, but it’s funnier and less boring. Charles Dickens is still as wordy, but, somehow, I feel like the extra words actually have a purpose this time—they made me laugh and showed me how bad conditions for the poor were during Charlie’s time.
  3. Like Great Expectations, there’s already a mystery in the beginning of the story. Who is Oliver Twist’s mother? Basing on Great Expectations, I have a feeling a lot of seemingly unrelated people will be magically connected in the end.
  4. Why do I keep comparing this book to Great Expectations? It’s better! Okay, I’ll stop now.
  5. Is it just me or does the narrator *cough.* Charles Dickens *cough.* sound really bitter? Don’t get me wrong. I love his bitterness, especially since he wrapped it up in humor. It’s just that the bitterness almost radiates off the pages.
  6. Charles Dickens was forced to work at a workhouse when he was a kid, so I keep wondering which events were based on his real-life experiences.
  7. I need to stop now, because there’s this Philosophy of Man textbook with my name on it, and I still have no idea what Philosophy of Man is. Midterms. Ugh.
On to the next chapter...

7 comments:

Zibilee said...

I have this book and really want to read it soon. I am glad to hear that it's easier than Great Expectations, and will be interested in hearing how you progress with it.

Kristi said...

I'm glad your enjoying it. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I don't love it, but I don't hate it. I loved Great Expectations though. Funny how we all have different tastes!

He does try to mask his bitterness with sarcasm, but it's pretty obvious. The social commentary is pretty strong in this one.

Teacher/Learner said...

I have this on my TBR shelf & have only seen the musical Oliver! *cough* Not even close, I know. Looking forward to your final thoughts on this. P.S. I have an award waiting for you here. Congrats :)

Allie said...

I'm so glad you're participating! :) No worries about being a little behind...it happens. I have to agree with you on a lot of things. He does seem much more bitter, and straightforward. The last Dickens I read was Bleak House, and that was so complicated compared to this story line. I like it.

Thanks again for participating! My fingers are crossed for your midterms.

LifetimeReader said...

I'm fascinated with the portrayal of class and ethnicity in this book. I've only read parts of it and am looking forward to hearing what you and Allie and others say!

Ellen said...

i've started this book once or twice and despite loving the beginning never got too far - i don't know why but i'll blame it on the design of the book, for now. (font was too small!)

i've only read one book by dickens (a tale of two cities) but all your posts on him are getting me a little inspired to read more...

Jillian said...

Yes!! I agree - the narrator sounds bitter. (Maybe because Dickens grew up poor?)

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