This is a follow-on, in the approximate language of Dickens, that takes place years after the end of Oliver Twist. I believe it is based on Tony Lee’s own graphic novel of 2011, but having not read this I cannot compare.

I can though comment on this audio presentation. The story itself was suitably dark, with psychological elements, a few in-jokes (even a reference to the Carol Reed musical?!), with familiar characters meeting new ones that wouldn’t have been out of place in a Dickens’ novel.

Oliver returns to London a decade after leaving it with his guardian, his circumstances requiring him to return. He runs into Dodger of course, also back in London after being transported for his crimes, and the two form an uneasy alliance as Oliver is persuaded to help his old friend commit a crime in exchange for financial assistance.

This worked so well as an audiobook, with the whole story dramatised, no narrator slowing down the action, the characters speak their thoughts to us, converse openly, and with sound effects in the scenes, the scenes came alive. Some great voices as well, a few famous voices were recognisable and the young men playing the lead characters did sound like older versions of Oliver and Dodger, those you might imagine if familiar with either the book or the musical.

With Fagin making an unexpected but sinister reappearance too, as well as other characters from the novel, it feels like a continuation in many respects, and a story that Dickens might well have approved of. There’s a Nancy substitute who manages to feel fairly contemporary as well, and Oliver and Dodger both changed a few times in my estimation and how I wanted their stories to conclude. Some nice ‘twists’.

I really enjoyed the story, the idea of it and its execution. Loved hearing this, a great production of sound and voice.

Katy Noyes 5/5

Dodge & Twist: An Audible Original Drama by Tony Lee
Audible Studios B07KG9XHGX audiobook Dec 2018