“Oliver cried lustily. If he could have known that he was an orphan, left to the tender mercies of church-wardens and overseers, perhaps he would have cried the louder.”
…and so it begins, OLIVER TWIST, THE PARISH BOY’S PROGRESS by Charles Dickens
This cherished novel, one of Dickens’ most popular, is here rendered in audio format by Rob Goll.
Dickens’ vast cast of characters in this novel, from the lowliest orphan to the wealthiest and most influential, is brought to life perfectly by Goll. Every distinct accent and voice is suited to the figures which run through the work. Goll uses an interesting technique of very effectively making Dickens’ narrator into a sort of “character” unto himself. At the proper time, witty and sarcastic and ultimately serious, making this a riveting listen on all levels. I found it hard to pause as was necessary as to its length ( a bit over 17 hours). Several characters stand out, Mr. Bumble, whose name perfectly describes his character is read with a boisterous bluster. His interactions with other characters some of the standout parts of the narration. Goll’s reading of Fagin also shines. At times displaying a cunning persuasiveness, at other times firm, mysterious, angry, ultimately leading to the end and his final unraveling. As with Bumble, Fagin, and all the characters, Goll displays a true talent for dramatic narration indicative of his theatrical training. At a time when many are being asked to stay at home, this work, a true classic of British Literature, proves a wonderful distraction.