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Summary

This Audible Exclusive production revisits one of Dickens' most popular novels: Oliver Twist, narrated by internationally acclaimed, award-winning actor Jonathan Pryce. 

Part of the Dickens Collection, an exclusive series of unmissable performances, Oliver Twist is a gleaming example of the genius and foresight of Charles Dickens.   

When young orphan, Oliver Twist, is sold into an apprenticeship with an undertaker, he leaves behind years of miserable servitude and mistreatment at an English workhouse. Hoping to move on to better things, he decides to escape his new, equally dreary surroundings and head to London.  

It is there that the novel unravels as Oliver meets a host of larger-than-life characters, including The Artful Dodger, a high-ranking member of a juvenile pickpocketing gang, and their elderly leader, Fagin. 

Desperate for affection and the sense of belonging that he has never known, Oliver unwittingly throws himself into a life of petty theft, which soon takes a violent turn with the introduction of one of Dickens' most terrifying characters, Bill Sikes. 

Exposing the cruel and inhumane treatment of orphans in 19th-century England, Dickens created one of the most significant social novels of all time. With it, he condemned the establishment for neglecting homeless children and leaving them vulnerable to recruiters who would exploit and abuse them. Oliver Twist cemented Dickens’ reputation as one of the most talented, influential and revolutionary of English authors.    

Following his father’s incarceration, Charles Dickens had to abandon his studies at a young age and set to work in a factory so as to support himself. Despite his short-lived education, Dickens went on to write 15 novels, various articles, novellas and short stories. He lectured and led campaigns for children's rights and education and arguably became the ultimate self-made man.

Jonathan Pryce is an award-winning actor of the stage and screen. He is best known for Brazil, Glengarry Glen Ross, Evita, Tomorrow Never Dies, and the Pirates of the Caribbean series as well as his widely recognised performances as High Sparrow in HBO’s Game of Thrones and Cardinal Wolsey in BBC’s Wolf Hall

Jonathan most recently starred opposite Glenn Close in the critically acclaimed film The Wife, directed by Björn Runge. He can soon be seen as Don Quixote in Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote and in the upcoming Netflix feature film The Pope, directed by Fernando Meirelles, in which he stars as Pope Francis opposite Anthony Hopkins.

Public Domain (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

Behind the scenes with Jonathan Pryce

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What listeners say about Oliver Twist

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A brilliant rendition of an absorbing book.

As with most of Dickens, his novels are full of characters. Jonathan Pryce bring the to life superbly even the most minor ones. I congratulate him.

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If you’ve seen the musical, you know nothing

Bleak, telling, romantic and if it were not for Eliza Davis, outright racist, this is a story worth knowing.

A vivid depiction of its era and values, with characters and themes which are both timeless and oft referenced.

It meanders in the second half of the second act, perhaps a victim of Dickens’ penchant for serialisation. Did he forget his propagandist? Still all come good in the end. And Fagin, despite the visceral hatred of both audience and author; concludes as perhaps the most interesting and relatable of Dickens’ characters.

Jonathan Pryce’s performance is beyond excellent; it perseveres, engaging one as if you were present in the room.

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A truly gripping story

The story is familiar to many through film and TV but it is only when you hear it word for word as written that the power and depth of the tale of Oliver comes to life, the narration brings real life to the characters and this very moving and sometimes tragic story demonstrates the true talent of Charles Dickens as a story teller.

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more Dickens genius

who hasn't seen the film or read the book on Oliver Twist but the superb portrayal by Jonathan Pryce brought a new level of enjoyment to me as I walked the streets during lockdown. brilliantly done.

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wonderful narrator

We all know the story so well and Jonathan Price,s superb reading brought it to life.Excellent!

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Brilliant

The best narrated thing I’ve listened to on Audible so far. Jonathan Pryce is amazing.

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Fantastic

I thought I knew the story to Oliver having seen the film many times. However , the book has so many more characters and storylines all beautifully read by Jonathan Pryce. Absolutely brilliant , I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Fabulous writing matched with a wonderful performance.

My favourite audio book to date. A wonderful performance from Jonathan Pryce. Please Sir, I want some more.

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Brilliantly read by Jonathan Pryce

Jonathan Pryce brings this gripping classic to life. His reading has depth and passion and understanding. He delineates all the different characters. I heartily recommend this version of Oliver Twist

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Brought to life

The narrator was excellent. I know the story and have read before but Jonathan price brought it to life. wonderful.

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  • victor j chriest
  • 27-12-20

Narration

I have listened to many books over the years I have been with audible and never had I experienced such wonderful narration. Jonathan Price voiced the characters perfectly. I had no trouble understanding what character was speaking. Each character had his or her voice and peculiarly which made it very easy to relax and get lost in the book. Well done!

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  • robert
  • 22-09-20

A classic tale and masterful performance!

Jonathan Pryce's performance is equal to the task of Dickens' colorful characters. I enjoyed every minute.

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  • Jane
  • 23-01-22

Jonathan Pryce is a one man broadway show

Jonathan Pryce does not simply read this; he performs it. Not in an over acting way, or even with extra sound effects of any kind. He created with his tones, tempo, and voice complete characters for my imagination which made the story quite vivid and so easy to follow. I’ve read many of Dicken’s books but I’m inclined now to look for more read by Jonathan Pryce. The story of course, is a classic and much fuller and darker than it’s musical versions which I’ve also enjoyed over the years. This by far my favorite Audible book experience.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-12-21

Amazing performance

Pryce does a wonderful job portraying multiple different voices. Dickens is incredibly loquacious so the story drags on at times. It’s also much darker than I anticipated. However it’s a lovely story in the end and I enjoyed the experience overall.

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  • Kid at Heart
  • 10-01-21

Jonathan Price is my new favorite narrator!

Everyone has heard of Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist. But, have you heard it masterfully performed by Jonathan Price? This telling was exquisite in every definition of the word. Price's skill as an actor brought to life each character. I will be a forever fan and am on the hunt for another novel he has narrated. Just superb!

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  • Mary
  • 07-12-20

Narrator was perfect

Classic story as it is, it was the narrator’s performance that truly made it worth the investment in time to revisit the timeless story.

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  • Alina
  • 21-09-20

indeed

love it after a well vocal voice rells it to again i see why it is a story of love of hope and forgiveness

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-22

great book and excellent narration

great book and excellent narration. kept me captivated during those long drives to work.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-05-22

Fantastic narration!

I loved this story and how Charles Dickens really affected the society of the time with story. It truly is such a wonderful way to gain empathy for others and relate to your fellow man.

The narrator was amazing, doing every accent so well! I especially loved the creepy (cockney?) laugh for different characters. It fit their personality and the situation perfectly!

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  • Rebecca B.
  • 27-03-22

Great voices and memorable characters

Loved Dickens's savage wit and social commentary. I found myself guffawing often, sometimes just moments before the story delivered a gut punch with its descriptions of how the poor were treated in Dickens's day. Jonathan Pryce's narration is excellent, complete with a variety of voices and regional accents.

The story itself, while occasionally melodramatic and a teensy bit slow in the middle, is engaging overall. There were characters I loved (Oliver, Mr. Grimwig, Mr. Losberne) and characters I loved to hate (Mr. Bumble, Mrs. Mann, Noah Claypole). Whether or not you're familiar with the story, I encourage you to give this one a listen.

Don't miss out on this classic!