Orphaned at birth and abandoned to the hardships of the workhouse, Oliver Twist lives a gruelling life of poverty. Desperate to escape his heartless tormenters, he runs away to start a better life in London but, once there, he is befriended by a young pickpocket known as the Artful Dodger, who introduces him to Fagin and his gang of thieves. A chance encounter gives Oliver a chance to escape the criminal underworld which threatens to destroy him, but Fagin won�t let Oliver get away so easily. And just when everything seems hopeless, events take a most unexpected turn�This special edition features an exclusive introduction by the highly-acclaimed writer Peter Ackroyd, one of Britain�s leading literary biographers.
It is no small task to condense one of Dickens's most beloved and frequently retold stories from 400 pages into a mere 88 while maintaining the major plot developments. However, remarkably, this graphic novel version is generally a success in this regard, the only exception being a few hurried wrap-ups that may leave some readers a bit befuddled and in need of rereading the resolution of the many narrative threads. Overall, Johnson's wordsmithing makes this edition an easy read, and it includes annotations when Dickens's original phrasing may be unknown to modern readers. Nagulakonda's use of color-and the lack thereof in the seedy underworld of Fagin and the Artful Dodger-adds vibrancy and a strong emotional tone to Oliver's plight. Readers who are less familiar with the story will find this an engaging read and might even be persuaded to read the full-length tome. VERDICT Owing to the minor violence and complexity of Dickens's plot twists, this would be suitable for middle school students who like darker stories; think A Series of Unfortunate Events for older readers and note that 2012 marks the 200th birthday of the giant of English literature.-Joanna Schmidt, Fort Worth, TX (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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August 15, 1998
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