Oliver Twist (Bantam Classics)

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This fiercely comic tale stands in marked'ca'cacontrast to its genial predecessor, The Pickwick'ca'caPapers . Set against London's seedy back'ca'castreet slums, Oliver Twist is'ca'cathe saga of a workhouse orphan captured and thrust'ca'cainto a thieves' den, where some of Dickens's most'ca'cadepraved villains preside: the incorrigible'ca'caArtful Dodger, the murderous bully Sikes, and the'ca'caterrible Fagin, that treacherous ringleader whose'ca'cagrinning knavery threatens to send them all to the'ca'ca"ghostly gallows." Yet at the heart of this'ca'cadrama is the orphan Oliver, whose unsullied'ca'cagoodness leads him at last to salvation. In 1838 the'ca'capublication of Oliver Twist firmly established the'ca'caliterary eminence of young Dickens. It was,'ca'caaccording to Edgar Johnson, "a clarion peal'ca'caannouncing to the world that in Charles Dickens the'ca'carejected and forgotten and misused of the world had a'ca'cachampion."