Charles Dickens was born at Portsmouth on 7 February 1812. He received little formal education, but taught himself shorthand and became a reporter of parliamentary debates for the Morning Chronicle. He began to publish sketches in various periodicals, which were subsequently republished as Sketches by Boz. The Pickwick Papers were published in 1836-7 and after a slow start became a publishing phenomenon and Dickens's characters the centre of a popular cult. He began Oliver Twist in 1837, followed by Nicholas Nickleby (1838) and The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-41).After finishing Barnaby Rudge (1841) Dickens set off for America; he went full of enthusiasm for the young republic but, in spite of a triumphant reception, he returned disillusioned. His experiences are recorded in American Notes (1842). Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-4) did not repeat its predecessors' success but this was quickly redressed by the huge popularity of the Christmas Books, of which the first, A Christmas Carol, appeared in 1843. During 1844-6 Dickens travelled abroad and he began Dombey and Son while in Switzerland. This and David Copperfield (1849-50) were more serious in theme and more carefully planned than his early novels. In later works, such as Bleak House (1853) and Little Dorrit (1857), Dickens's social criticism became more radical and his comedy more savage. Charles Dickens died on 9 June 1870.
This latest adaptation of Oliver Twist by two established French comic creators is a compilation edition of five previously published graphic novels that chronicles the orphan boy's trials through the streets of London and his eventual discovery of his parentage. Dauvillier's text choices are easy to read and flow well, and while the adaptors retained Dickens's original chapter summaries for the table of contents, the back matter, unfortunately, offers only a single-page biography and short time line of Dickens's life. Compared with other graphic novel adaptations, this version is more fully developed; it provides readers both familiar and unfamiliar with the story a clearer integration of the many narrative threads. Oliver Deloye's illustrations are done in an exaggerated, caricature style and are an interesting juxtaposition with the serious plot and realism from the original serialized novel. Verdict While there is some violence, such as Nancy's murder at Bill Sykes's hands, teenage readers and up wanting a Twist adaptation would find this edition an involving read that doesn't oversimplify the plot and retains some of Dickens's passion for the plight of the poor.-Joanna Schmidt, Forth Worth, TX (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The inimitable Martin Jarvis brings his talents to bear on Charles Dickens's classic in an audiobook that will delight listeners with its superb recreations of gritty 19th-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. (June) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Gr 6 Up-This adaptation is well done. The pictures and panels match the tone of the story of one orphan boy's struggle to survive, and the text maintains enough of the classic for readers to understand Oliver's plight. Readers will especially like the character portraits on the inside and back covers. The art clearly defines the difference between good and evil in the story. This version opens the readership to a younger or reluctant reader audience as Dickens is long and challenging for many students.-Jessica Lorentz Smith, BendSenior High School, OR (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.