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Where would we be in this life without books?  T’is a question I ponder often.  I for one would be completely lost if it weren’t for some of the great literary works of man.  Then I think how the majority of our population has completely discounted the act of reading for pleasure almost all together.  This fact saddens me deeply at the imbecilic future the masses are doomed to live.  If this is the case then it is a bleak future we all are to face.

For those of us who do still enjoy the written word and if you are reading this I would assume you must not hate it for this blog is still more content then visual or audio.  Every so often I like to share what I have been reading and what is worth your time.

Book XXXI: Fates Worse Then Death, Kurt Vonnegut, Putnam 1991, 240 pages.
“Why should they behave well, quite certain as they were that neither heaven nor hell awaited them? Virtue was its own reward.”  Kurt Vonnegut just may be one of the more important writers of the twentieth century.   Definitely one of the best to come out of the world wars camp. For myself this was actually my first reading of his and it so happened to be one of his last works.  It was enough to spark my interests.  Fates Worse Then Death was more of a collection of random thoughts and memoirs for the author looking back over his exceptional life and career then an actual novel.  The book reminded me of a more sophisticated and educated version of SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  Its a fast easy read and worth the time.

Book XXXII: A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens, 1859, Wordsworth Classics Edition, 1993, 321 Pages.
Ah yes what may have been Dickens’ greatest novel and one of my all time favorites has been inspiring audiences for years.  If I had to pick three novels to be stuck on an island with this would surely be one.  The plight of one of literature’s infamous anti heroes, Sydney Carton is presented.  A man one can’t help but to both love and despise at the same time.  A man who despite all evil manages to love better then every seemingly decent character in the story.    In the end he redeems himself beautifully.  I have read this work 10 times and have at least another ten in me.  “When you see your own bright beauty springing up anew at your feet, think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love besides you.”
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Currently I am reading The Ambassadors by Henry James.  I am about half way through and at the moment have not had the most time for reading with all the usual distractions in my life.  Happy reading.

 

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I have recently gotten a few messages/comments about what happened to the book club.  Some even asked if maybe I have killed so many brain cells from all the drinking and black outs that I might not even have the capacity to read anymore.  Never fear my friends I have not turned into a blabbering idiot just yet.  (hmm…do I even read most of what I write here cause all this site is composed of is the rants of a blabbering idiot).  Anyhow for those who have been wondering what literary works have recently tickled my brain here is what I have read over the past few months since the last time I decided to write a book club entry. In chronicle order from when I read it.

Book XXVI: The Prince and the Pauper, Mark Twain 1882, Bantam Classic Edition, October 1982, 219 pages.

What can I say I love satire, fuck my life is one.  Mark Twain has never failed to write a satire I have not enjoyed.  His wit in my opinion is surpassed by few.  In this classic he takes on the absurdity of the English monarchy and rule in the mind 1500’s in a story of a case of mistaken identity.  The Prince of Whales inadvertently switches place with a common London impoverished youth whom he looked similar to.  The novels plays out the misadventures of both as they become accustomed to their new lives.  I wouldn’t call this the best Twain novel I have ever read, but it is a short andan enjoyable read.  Certainly good beach reading.  Ironically I pretty much finished this waiting for the tide at Emma Wood.

Book XXVII: Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin, 1956, 224 pages

“People who believe that they are strong willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialist in self deception.”  This was actually a Heather pick.  I make very few forays into modern literature on my own accord.  If someone in my life gives me something to read that was import to him/her then I make it the next book on my list.  I have found you can learn a lot about a person by what he reads or doesn’t for that matter.  Don’t ask me what I learned about Heather from this one cause I still can’t put my finger on it.  Giovanni’s Room takes place in 1950’s France and is the story of a bisexual early twenties male’s struggle to come to terms with his homosexuality, which eventually becomes him and his lovers undoing.  Baldwin does a masterful job of writing about the some what unpleasant and unsettling subject of homosexuality as it pertains to Americans in the 1950’s yet I would say still to an extent holds true today.   As for me the book reminded me of one two many nights at the Wild Cat.

B00k XXVIII: Persuasion, Jane Austen 1818, Signet Classic Edition, 1996, 285 pages

“She Learned Romance as she grew older-the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.”  Austen’s portrayal of 18oo’s England and its upper class is always so remarkably splendid.  I love the manners and the courtships.  All the little acts of politeness that has all but been forgotten in today’s crude society.   I can escape to Austen’s world any time I like just by picking up one of her books.  I am pretty sure at the time I read this I needed such.   Persuasion  was her last novel and was not published till after her death.  Anne the middle daughter of three from a falling yet good standing family is forced at an early age to break a love engagement with a Naval officer as he is not considered an appropriate candidate for a women of her rank.  Years later he is thrown back into her life except this time as a man who has made his fortune.  At the same time another suitor, a family relation who would make the perfect societal match also steps into the game.  Anne is torn between her childhood love and saving her family’s good name.  Like I stated earlier Austen is always a good read and I enjoyed Persuasion as much as any.  Totally worth a read if you feel in the mood for that romance thing.

Book XXVIII: As You Like It, William Shakespeare 1599-1600, Signet Classic Edition, 1998, 227

“With a priest that lacks Latin and a rich man that hath not the gout; for the one sleeps easily because he cannot study, and the other lives merrily because he feels no pain; the one lacking the burden of lean and wasteful learning, the other knowing no burden of heavy tedious penury.  These time ambles withal…With a thief to the gallows; for though he go as softly as foot can fall, he thinks himself too soon there.”  So do you notice the pattern here.  I got lost in Austen and then subsequently lost in my own turbulent love life (see “I Still Wear My Heart on My Sleeve” blogs, PART I, PART II, PART III).   Shit maybe I should have read Dostoevsky instead and my current state of things would be a bit more palatable.  Anyway with the state of things at this time in Lisanti Land Shakespeare made sense.  I chose As You Like It to get lost in the “Forest of Arden” for a while.   Orlando’s quest to find and win Rosalind’s heart seemed a perfect fit since I was sort of in the same parallel.  Actually a funny thing happened to me about two days after I finished the play.  I was playing my Saxophone down at Leadbetter Beach in front of my house, a common occurrence for me whenever I find myself in hard times of introspection, depression, or just plain boredom.  Those of you who complain I don’t perform enough find your way down to Leads after dark and you just may her me blaring hip jazz into the darkness of the night.  I had finished blowing and was walking back to my apartment when I was stopped by a woman who had been listening to me play for a bit.  We got to talking and turns out As You Like It is one of her favorite Shakespeare play of all time.  We ended up talking till nearly 5am.  She moved to Oregon or something like that directly after our conversation and is now engaged and doing well.  Crazy right?  The power of Shakespeare.  Anyway I know most people get down on him because of the language, but it really is beautiful and once you get used to reading it you find yourself engrossed in his amazing stories.

Book XXIX: The Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Emmuska Orczy 1905, Pocket Books Enriched Classic Edition, 2004, 356 pages.

“Strange extremes meet in love’s pathway”.  My life ended up leveling out into a sort of crazy semblance of its former self only completely different as I embarked on yet another very serious relationship and all the stupidity, anger and frustration that goes with such. Oh yeah and I suppose there were some good moments too, though I stress the word moments.  Wait, I am still stuck in it at press time.  “Stupid is as stupid does” classic Forrest Gump.  Who know we could learn so much from a retard.  The Scarlet Pimpernel is a swatch buckling good time (ok, it said that on the cover).  In all seriousness it is a really cool historical fiction work about a league of English gentleman who took it upon themselves to save French aristocrats who were destined for guillotine during the French Reign of Terror.  Its a roller coaster ride of narrow escapes and near encounters with death.  Throw in a little love story for good measure and you have a winner in my reckoning.  Definitely worth a read and is a very high paced novel that can easily be read in a few short sittings.

Book XXX: Two Years Before the Mast, Richard Henry Dana, Jr. 1840, Signet Classic Edition, 2000, 391 pages.

I am not really a non-fiction reader though at the moment it seems that has been the bulk of my reading, soon to change.  This novel is basically Dana’s first hand account of his own personal sea going voyage as a common sailor after he had dropped out of Harvard due to health related issues.  His journey took him around Cape Horn to trade for cow hides in California during the 1830’s.  As a new Californian myself I found his descriptions and commentary on California coast rather intriguing.   It is also a perfect historically accurate look at what a sea fares’ life during that time period was like.  Dana spares no detail in his descriptions and insights making the book a bit of a slow read though very interesting.   Eventually the book was responsible for the early US settlement of the state.  Its not the most thrilling read but if you ever wondered about California or sailing during this time period you will be hard pressed to find a more thorough account then Two Years Before the Mast.

Well there you go, every book I have read over the last six months or so.  Normally I would have read double that amount, but I have been crazy busy and my life super hectic.  Currently I am reading Fates worse then Death, by Kurt Vonnegut.   Wow this was exhausting.  I need to try and stay on top of this blog more.  Thanks to John Mauriello who on my recent San Francisco trip mentioned that I had not wrote about what I had been reading in quite some time.

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Yes I have become one of those crazy book people. At my current rate I will be dead before I get to read all of these novels.

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Book XXV: The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, 2008, 374 pages

“You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope…I wonder if she will enjoy watching me die.”  These two lines should set the tone and mindset for the entire novel.  In The Hunger Games Collins tells the tale of a dark future for man kind in which the divisions between the haves and have nots are great and control is instilled with fear.  Just like its predecessors, 1984 by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Hunger Games paints a picture of complete class control with little upward mobility for those of the lower ranks.  I for one can never get enough of these tales of warning of future Utopian societies based solely on the disappearance of the individual for the good of the whole.   Collins designs on paper what is to look like a rather civilized society. that is until the reader finds out that once a year an event takes place that involves children from age 12-18 fighting each other in an arena to the death until only one remains for the entertainment of the entire civilization.

For me the novel plays with the age old idea behind a mob killing.  The atrocity of taking a human life and especially that of a child is naturally appalling, but work it into a popular entertainment format and instill fear into the people who oppose it and all of a sudden it becomes a yearly celebrated tradition.  If one should take anything from The Hunger Games it is that if something seems inherently wrong to a person then that person should do everything in his power to stop it even if it costs said person’s life.   I have read way too many of these works and have traced them all to a future we are all headed to if changes are not made soon.

As far as the work itself goes I must say that I found the story to be written at a very easy level of literacy.  Since the book was geared to a younger audience and a less educated reader then myself I will let it slide.  On another note considering the narrative is written in first person from the mouth of an impoverished, poorly educated 16 year old girl the wording makes perfect sense.   My final thought is that it was 1984 meets “The Running Man” only with out a bad performance by Arnold Schwarzenegger.  I guess Hollywood produced from what I heard a pretty shitty movie of the same title on this book.  All things considered it was a fast read that I did enjoy.  If you want some good beach reading The Hunger Games is just that.

For our next book, XXVI lets go back to some higher order literature and enjoy The Prince and the Pauper, by Mark Twain.  Happy reading everyone.

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Book XXIV: The Sea-Wolf, Jack London, 1904, 284 pages

“Life is a mess.  It is like yeast, a ferment, a thing that moves and may move for a minute, an hour, a year, or a hundred years, but that in the end will cease to move.  The big eat the little that they may continue to move, the strong eat the weak that they may retain their strength.  The lucky eat the most and move the longest.”  London is by far one of my favorite American authors second maybe to Thoreau.  His own personal struggle for survival and thirst for adventure translates right into his writing making for some of the most realistic and insightful fiction I have ever laid eyes on.  In the Sea-Wolf he challenges the reader with idea of Darwinism and civility as applied to the human spirit.  Basic plot line is that a well to do gentleman dandy finds himself stranded aboard a brutish sealing schooner and is forced by the hand of a ruthless captain to work as the ships cabin boy in order to earn his keep.  He must cast away all of the morals and teachings of a civilized society to survive.  I am not going to tell you any more.  Sea-Wolf will take you on an epic journey and harsh look at the human animal as a whole.  I highly recommend giving it a read.

For our next book, XXV lets embark on The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.  I know its rare that I buy into popular reading.  Especially those that have been hyped up by both the media and made into a movie.  Luckily I live under a rock, by choice and rarely go to the movies.  Mauriello recommended it to me and being a person who’s literary opinion I truly respect I am giving it a read.  Also I scored at a thrift store yesterday for fifty cents.  Got to love a bargain.

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Book XXIII: Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier, 1938, 457 pages

“I am glad it can not happen twice, the fever of first love.  For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say.” Folks all I can say about this novel is WOW!  It was that good.  It is rare for me to pick up a piece of modern literature, but it was modern British literature and  came very highly recommended.  Ironically this pick proceeded Othello which set the tone for Rebecca quite nicely.  My hat is off to Du Maurier as a writer her descriptive style and articulation was off the charts for me.  It has been a while since I have not been able to put down a book.  I almost could have housed it in one sitting.  From the very first page I was taken by it.  Usually I am not a big fan of writing done in first person, but at times I was so in tune with the main character I may have well been her.  Mystery or thriller I am still not sure, maybe a little of both.  All I can say is if you have not yet done so, get a copy right now and read it.

For Book XXIV lets go back to American Literature and keep things in the 20th century with Jack London’s The Sea Wolf.  I was very impressed by The Call of the Wild and since have considered London one of my favorite writers.  Here is to another great literary experience.

This was Hitchcock's version of what Manderley was suppose to look like.  I had never heard of the movie till after I read the book and it was pretty much how I envisioned the estate too.

This was Hitchcock’s version of what Manderley was suppose to look like. I had never heard of the movie till after I read the book and it was pretty much how I envisioned the estate too.

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Book XXII: Othello, by William Shakespeare, 1604, 127 pages

“Forth of my heart those charms, thine eyes, are blotted.  Thy bed, lust stained, shall with lust’s blood be spotted.” Ah there are few works more disparaging then a Shakespearean tragedy.  It seems every four novels or so I find myself picking up a work by the master playwright.  Othello is considered by many critics to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest of his tragedies.  Somehow our great public education system allowed me to fall through the cracks on this one, never reading in either high school or college.  Luckily I found  a copy at a thrift shop a while back for 75 cents.  It seems almost a crime that a Michael Connelly work was going for $3.  Then again no one reads anymore anyway.

A story of love, deception and honor Othello does not fail to appeal to one’s own struggles in life on some level or another.  For me it was the lesson of always trust your own personal feelings and instincts over those of another and do not be rash to act until all the facts have been laid out.  Overall I found Othello to be a rather entertaining work although far from my favorite of Shakespeare’s.  That being said it is a decent read and well worth your time.

For Book XXIII lets move back in to modern British literature with Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.  The book was gift from a dear friend of mine in an early edition hard cover no less and was also highly recommended by the special lady in my life.  So if you missed Othello pick it up and give it a read or grab a copy of Rebecca and read along with me.  Or just turn on the TV and watch some pointless trash.  The choice is yours.  Don’t buy into the hype.
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Book XXI: Mrs. Dalloway, Written by Virginia Woolfe, 1925, 197 pages

“Here he was walking across London to say to her in so many words that he loved her.  Which one never does say, he thought. Partly one’s lazy; partly one’s shy.”  How can one not love the elegance of the written word and Woolfe is a master of such.  She has always been one of my favorite writers along the lines of character development, sentence structure and flow of content.  Plot on the other hand has always been one of those tough ones for me to stomach with her and Mrs. Dalloway did not change my opinion.  The entire novel took place in one day and night and focused on a party.  Yes the novel is suppose to be a satire/expose on the British upper class society, but give me a break.  It took me nearly four months to finish this book cause it was like watching paint peel off the wall.  At least in the case of the latter some little kid might walk by and eat a piece to give a mild bit of entertainment.  If she intended to show how dry and boring society life is in London then she certainly did prove her point.  Its not a terrible read, but I just couldn’t get into this one.

For Book XXII lets go back to Shakespeare who for plot rarely went wrong.  I think I could use a little drama in my current monotonous life so why not Othello.  Happy reading everyone!   

 

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Book XVIII is Tuesdays with Murray, by  Mitch Albom, 1997: 192 pages

“Once you learn how to die you learn how to live”.  Like I said I have been blowing through books lately and at times have not even had chance to write about what I am reading when I am reading it.  Tuesdays with Murray is not a book I would normally pick up.  For one thing it is late 20th century American Literature where I am more of a fan of 17th-19th classics  and mainly British Literature.  An anonymous person, maybe a guardian angel even,  had sent it to me in the mail.  As I said in an earlier blog if someone is going to go through all the trouble to send me a book and even fold pages in it they thought were important for me to grasp, finally inscribing the cover, well then I certainly will not ignore.  To my mysterious benefactor I thank you for your kindness.  I found the text to be very heart warming and I think I am pretty sure I get the point you were trying to make.  Its nice to know that someone out there cares enough about me to take an interest in helping me get back on track with my life.

Since reading this book I am making a serious effort to control my excessive drinking habits. I am far from there yet but you know what I am taking baby steps towards something.  I am really trying to love myself.  A good friend told me after Adrienne and I split up “how could you have ever expected to love anyone when you don’t even know how to love yourself”.  This is a really hard one for me.  I have spent the better portion of my life thriving in self loathing.  I know that seems like an oxymoron cause my ego and arrogance are so prevalent.  I assume I use them as an easy defense mechanism to hide my rampant low self esteem, awkwardness and insecurities.

Albom wrote this thing about self pity “I thought of all the people I knew who spent many of their waking hours feeling sorry for themselves.  How useful it would have been to put a daily limit on self-pity.  Just a few tearful minutes and on with the day”.  Honestly I really try and do this.  I only give myself very short windows of self-pity when it comes on then I shake it off and get “on with my day”, my life for that matter.  I am still pretty lost in life at the moment, but at least I know where I have been, where I don’t want to be and where I do not want to return.

This book is about a beautiful man on his last months of life and his seemingly simple yet ingenious realizations that I feel many of us forsake never to realize the errors of our ways till it is too late.  One thing I really have to give Tuesdays with Murray credit for is that I was about to take this Sous Chef job at a new restaurant downtown.  They had offered me a substantial raise, and a chance to really spread my wings as a chef.  The hours and hardships were to be long and hard.  At the moment I really love my job and everyone I work with.  Next to surfing it is the second happiest place I spend my time at.  Sure I am not making very much money, but if I made more I would just spend more and my situation would still be same.  One thing I can say with the utmost certainty all the wonderful people in my life love me for me and not my money and that my friends is priceless.

Tuesdays with Murray is good beach reading.  It’s written at a very philistine level.  At first I was put off by such.  Being a Literature snob and all I like to be challenged with my reading.   Maybe Albom wrote it that way so it could be enjoyed and learned from by the masses.  Its with out a doubt worth picking up.

Book IXX: The Call of the Wild, Jack London, 1905: 176 pages

“Mercy didn’t exist in the primordial life, It was misunderstood for fear, and such misunderstandings made for death.  Kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, was the law; and this mandate down out of the depths of time he obeyed”. What a book my friends.  I was at the Ventura swap last fall with Kooky Kyle looking through a pile of junk marked “Everything $1” for something hideous to buy Mauriello for his Birthday when I came across this book.  Kooky found some piece of trash he wanted so we bargained with the guy to get the whole lot for a buck.  Since he was some toothless meth head who probably found all that stuff in the trash anyway he complied.

I finally got a chance to sit down and read it, a book that supposedly people have read by 8th grade.  I am glad I didn’t cause I would have missed so much.  In 8th grade I would have thought it nothing more then a story about a dog instead of a struggle for survival and acceptance.  Basic plot is a Southern Californian pet dog circa late 1890’s is kidnapped and sent up to Alaska to be used as a sled dog for gold rushers.  The book outlines his trials and tribulations with such.  After reading the previous book it was very refreshing to read really good writing. I laughed, I cried and in the end held my head up high.  Read it I promise it is better then anything on the boob tube.

I read the signet edition which also included short stories Diable-A Dog; An Odyssey of the North; To the Man on Trail; To Build a Fire; Love of Life; all of which I also found riveting. London has found his way into my heart and favorite authors.  I think I am going to move to Alaska, get a sled team and train for the Iditarod.  I already started training by spending more and more time each day in the walk-in freezer at work.  Oh and I forgot to mention Alfie is going to be lead cat…

For our next book lets read some Voltaire and enjoy Zadig for book XX.  Happy reading.

This is going to be me and my dogs some day!!!

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Book XIV: Measure for Measure, William Shakespeare, 1604, 205 pages

“Some rise by sin and some by virtue fall”.  Finally a new book. Those Hemingway short stories took me forever to read. Talk about the most depressing collection of writings I have read since Oliver Twist (see blog Chris’ Notes, Oliver Twist).  At the time I was in the mood for such.  Being its summer now and feeling rather nostalgic for NYC’s Shakespeare in the park free play series I thought why not read Measure for Measure.  I actually have never read this play.  I scored it for a quarter at a garage sale a few months back.  Its time.  The last book took me nearly 7 months to read, which in my opinion is completely disgraceful.  My goal is to finish this one by the end of the month.  Feel Free to pick up a copy and read a long with me.

If you missed the Book XIII The First Forty Nine Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway click this link.  I will not be doing a Chris’ notes entry on this book cause it was a collection of fifty stories and I am not about to take that on.  There were some really insightful entries and serious introspection to be had.  I think it is definitely worth picking up for a read.  There are few authors as powerful as Hemingway.

I don’t even know.

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This weeks UCB makes a winner of John Mauriello who inadvertently made a suggestion on yesterday’s book club blog and spurred on an entire new segment I would like to call Chris’ Notes.  You remember back in high school and even in college when you would pick up those twenty page summaries of classics and used them to cheat with instead of reading the actual book.  I know I did.  I love reading, but when you have to read a novel or two a week it gets hectic.

So as most of you know in the Book Club portion of this blog I always write a summary of my feelings on the former book each time there is a new entry.  John had asked just recently with the Oliver Twist that I write a summary about the actual story.  I got to thinking that would make a most splendid new segment.  Instead of Cliff’s notes which may actual enhance your literary enlightenment of a novel we will have Chris’ Notes that will for sure cause you to fail if you use it as your primary resource.  John gets 2 points since his suggestion will become a new segment.

Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist is about this orphan who is born in a Christian workhouse, a bastard child from an unidentified mother.  She dies in child birth leaving him at the mercy of this corrupt place of charity that over works and starves the poor, while the parish heads rape the system.  Upon his mother’s death she bestowed one of the nurses with a locket and some other proofs of Oliver’s birthright, which get stolen and pawned by another nurse.

From infancy to kinder years Oliver is reared by the forceful and neglectful care of this bullshit despicable old lady who profits on starving orphans. He comes of age and is brought back to the workhouse where his life just mildly improves. The modus operandi of the house being to slowly starve the poor while working them to the bone.  Nothing but good wholesome Christian values being dished out there.

One day after being forcefully threatened by an older boy Oliver asks for seconds of the meager gruel that is dished out during lunch time.  “Please sir may I have some more?” For this heinous act he is sternly beaten and a ransom is put out to any tradesman who will apprentice the boy.  He gets picked up by the local coffin maker who sees in Oliver’s eyes a kind gentle soul.

Oliver is very happy to be put to a useful cause and gives his all to his new trade.  Unfortunately the coffin maker’s other apprentice this douche bag Noah Claypole feels threatened by Oliver’s eagerness to learn and winning of the boss’ favoritism.  Claypole frames the poor boy claiming he beat him up and the cleaning girl, Charlotte, even though Noah is twice the size of Oliver.  Twist is severely punished for his misdoings and decides to escape and make a run for London first chance he gets.

On his way to London he meets up with a boy around his age, John Dawkins or better known as the “The Artul Dodger” for his impeccable feats as a pickpocket.  Dodger recruits Oliver, by making him think he is going to a good home.  In reality it is basically an 18th century London version of a Detroit crack house where Oliver is unknowingly taught the trade of thievery by the ringleader of the gang, a Jew who goes by the name of Fagin.

Deciding Oliver is ready for the streets, Fagin sends him out with Dodger and another pickpocket, Charlie Bates.  When Oliver observes what is really going on he is appalled (a result of his predestined genuine quality) that his new friends are ruthless thieves.  In his shock he is mistaken for the actual perpetrator.  He flees the scene and is chased by an angry mob insinuated by both Bates and The Artful.  He is caught up with, tackled beaten then arrested.

Beaten so bad he can hardly walk he is taken in front of the magistrate.  The gentleman he is the victim, a Mr. Brownlow sees in Oliver’s eyes that he could not have been the one who robbed him and decides not to press charges, instead taking the boy home with him where he is nursed back to health.

Meanwhile Fagin, heartbroken with the loss of his new apprentice sends a pickpocket turned prostitute Nancy out to find the kid.  Once cured of his illness/injures Brownlow seeks a meeting with Oliver to procure his story, being that Oliver resembles the likeness of a close childhood friend of his.  Before getting the entire story, Brownlow sends Oliver on an errand to return some books to the Library and get some bread as a show of his trust.

In the process Nancy the little whore she is kidnaps Twist and brings him back to Fagin.  This other sinister Gentleman, Monks appoints Oliver along with this bad ass criminal Bill Sikes and his gang to go rob these rich people in the country.  The owners of the house are suppose to be in the country on holiday.  Turns out the whole thing was a set up and Oliver gets shot in the chaos of the fudged robbery.  Sikes drags the kid with him for a few miles before leaving him for dead in a ditch.  Some how Oliver survives and manages to make his way back to exact house he was forced to rob.

He is found passed out on the front lawn and is taken in by the Maylie’s.  At first the gentlemen of the house wish to turn him over the police till they are convinced otherwise by Rose and her Aunt that the boy was too gentle to ever commit a crime.  They nurse him back to health and then bring him with them to the country where he is educated.  In the process Rose is taken ill and nearly dies.  Upon her survival she is proposed marriage by Harry Maylie, whom she rejects in order to save his bright political career, being of an illegitimate birth herself.

Time passes and all the while Oliver is getting well groomed and educated by his new benefactors.  Him and the Maylies end up in London where Oliver searches for Brownlow to make known to him the particulars of his unfortunate disappearance.  At the same time Nancy the slut who captured Oliver from Brownlow finds news of some misdoings towards Oliver by Fagin, Sikes and Monks.  Unable to live with herself for the wrongs she brought to Oliver, she seeks out Rose and explains to her that Monks destroyed some artifacts that proved Oliver is of noble blood and entitled to an inheritance.

With this knowledge Rose and Oliver call upon Brownlow who is overjoyed to be reunited with his young countenance.  Brownlow hears the story and immediately puts the mystery to pasture.  As it turns out Monks is Oliver’s half brother and owed half his fortune to Oliver when his being alive was made known unless Oliver had turned to a life of crime.  This is the reason Monks set up Twist and Sikes at the Maylie house in the first place.  It also turns out Rose is Oliver’s aunt and Brownlow was entrusted by Oliver’s father to make sure he go his share of the inheritance that was to be split between him and Monks by a letter sent to him shortly after Oliver’s father’s death.

With the fear of being brought to the gallows Monks signs a confession and agreement to pay Oliver half his fortune and leave England all together.  In the meantime while all this was happening.  Sikes brutally murders Nancy when Fagin has Noah Claypole (that’s right the old apprentice, now turned thief) follow her to disclose the information she gave Rose about Oliver.  As a result the whole gang gets busted.  Sikes accidentally hangs himself in attempt to escape an angry mob.

Fagin is hung for all his wrong doings, Dodger is hung as well although a few chapters earlier.  Harry Maylie denounces his position in life, opting to take up a parsonage at a small church in the country thus Marrying Rose.  Brownlow adopts Oliver and he moves there as well.  The tale ends with all of them happily passing their days in each other’s company.   I thought reading the book was exhausting, but summarizing a 600 page novel in less the 1500 words is just plain Masochistic.

Speaking of Masochism...

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