Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist  by Charles Dickens
Read:  2013  
Daily Lit emailed selection

I can't believe this is a first time read for me.  I, sometimes, find that Mr. Dickens is far too thorough for my reading tastes.  Have you read David Copperfield?  I don't think anyone has ever covered one person's existence so thoroughly.  Even The Bible skips over 30 years of Jesus' life.

Oliver Twist was a rough read for me.  Yes, we do start with his birth and the immediate death of his mother, followed by negligence and near starvation for the next 9 years.  Things didn't always seem so grim for him, but that was really just a ploy to lull the reader into a sense of security before Dickens pulled the rug out from under us all.  It's very difficult to read about a child who is so poorly treated over and over again. As soon as you get the sense that things are looking up, even the teensiest bit, and then, BAM!  I reached the point where I dreaded what was to come whenever something good happened to him.

However, Oliver is a very likable character. He is kind and honest, despite his upbringing by bullies and thieves.  You find yourself always rooting for him to overcome all that he has to endure.  I could only keep reading by pinning my hopes on a happy ending. I'm extremely grateful that this was the case. As always, I am so glad that I never had to live in the 18th or 19th centuries.

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