• Oliver Twist

  • The Audible Dickens Collection
  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Pryce
  • Length: 18 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (763 ratings)

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Publisher's 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

What listeners say about Oliver Twist

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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

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Excellent narration!

Kudos to Mr. Pryce for an extraordinary narration. I highly recommend this audiobook to anyone

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Excellent story and narration!

Out of all the books to which I've listened, this is by far the best narration. Fantastic story, excellent performance, and I look forward to hearing it again.

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Narrated very well

What an extraordinary tale. Pryce breathes life into characters through his thoughtful reading. I recommend this edition of the audio book. Well done!

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  • Keith Phillips
  • 04-27-19

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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-07-20

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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  • T. Evans
  • 06-25-19

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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  • John ross
  • 08-21-20

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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  • Lesley
  • 06-19-19

wonderful narrator

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

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  • Rebecca
  • 06-03-19

Brilliant

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michelle Cobbett Garcia
  • 07-29-22

How to rate such hate?

I am so torn with this. It is quite right, that Dickens should write this story, lest we forget the evils of the past and never return to the time of the workhouse. So first, I am going to discuss the merits of the book.

The tension, regardless of the length of the book, was maintained throughout. I rooted for Oliver from the get-go and the tension Dickens maintained was the need to see Oliver safely into adulthood, which at many, many times became damned unlikely.
The story is well written. I have no doubt that it is true to the life of the time. The characters become alive in a way only a truly great artist can accomplish. We all love Oliver, Mr Brownlow and Rose. While in equal part hating Fagin, Sykes, and on occasion Nancy.
Well written. Interesting. But...

I hated the story. I hated being party to the abuse of a small child. I hated those who had it in their power to at the very least not harm him, but still did so. There were several times I nearly switched the book off. It was merely the need to know Oliver's outcome that kept me listening. As Dickens intended.
I hated that Nancy wouldn't leave Sykes. I hated that Fagin's boy's couldn't be just that. Boys. I hated the squalor and filth that Dickens' description brought so vividly to my consciousness that at times I thought I could smell Sykes's bad breath.

Above all that though was the term 'The Jew'. It was always phrased as an insult. As if his badness came from being Jewish, and it rattled me as much as the child abuse. It incensed me so much I felt pity for Fagin. For all the things we should hate him, his race is NOT one of them. He was not bad because he was Jewish, he was just a wicked man, and would have been cruel no matter what his ancestry was. I understand that we need to see history in this context, so that we might never repeat it, but I just can't stand race hate and antisemitism. It was most certainly not the excellent oratory of Jonathan Pryce, but every time the phrase was used, I had to swallow down bile.

Jonathan Pryce brought all the characters to life most excellently. Especially Fagin and Mr Brownlow.

I will not, as long as I live, ever re-read this book. Nor will I watch the movie Oliver, or attend the theater to see the play or a musical. I had not fully comprehended the truth behind this book, as I had never read it, but who in their right mind would make a song and dance about such a vile story? It is not fun. It is not romantic. It is however an essential read, if only to take a glimpse into the hell that was life for poor people in Victorian England, to ensure the vile occurrences of the past do not repeat.

So to sum up. Absolutely bl**dy spellbinding in its horribleness.

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  • Strawberry
  • 07-24-22

A Very Moving, Touching And Heartwarming Story

A very moving, touching and heartwarming story. I never knew the full story of Oliver Twist, my remembrance of the musical and TV films, was the workhouse, the Artful Doger, pick pocketing and Fagin. But in listening to this book, there was so much more and a wonderful story unfolded. Yes there was heartbreak in the way Oliver began his life, and dispite his unfortunate start, he had a beautiful heart. And there are so many heartwarming parts to this book. Charles Dicken's in my opinion was probably the best author of all times. And I wonder if he ever knew that. I love the way he wrrote from his own experiences and his own heart and perception. The narrator Jonathan Pryce was wonderful, a lovely rich, thoughtful, expressive voice, just the right pace of reading for me. And his voice for Fagin, made me smile everytime I heard this! Totally enjoyed! Thank you to Charles Dickens and Jonathan Pryce!

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  • david lock
  • 04-26-22

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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  • Alan M.
  • 04-14-22

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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  • Debbie
  • 07-27-22

amazing

such a great classic. narration was brilliant. thus is such an amazing classic story.

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  • Jane Prosser
  • 05-05-22

Best narration I have ever heard

Jonathan Pryce has convinced me that Dickens designed his work to be read aloud - he does an outstanding job. Bill Sykes and Fagin will chill you to the bone, and of course they are the most interesting characters. Brilliant.

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  • RM
  • 04-16-22

Brilliant Narration of a Classic

The narrator has done a brilliant job of telling Oliver’s tale. A timeless classic brought to life.

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  • Hayley
  • 06-13-21

Outstanding narration

This story was wonderfully brought to life by Jonathan Pryce. The various voices of the characters made it a joy to listen to.