Artful

  • by Peter David
  • Narrated by James Langton
  • 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Oliver Twist is one of the most well-known stories ever told, about a young orphan who has to survive the mean streets of London before ultimately being rescued by a kindly benefactor.
But it is his friend, the Artful Dodger, who has the far more intriguing tale, filled with more adventure and excitement than anything boring Oliver could possibly get up to. Throw in some vampires and a plot to overthrow the British monarchy, and what you have is the thrilling account that Charles Dickens was too scared to share with the world.
From the brilliant mind of novelist and comic book veteran Peter David, Artful is the dark, funny, and action-packed story of one of the most fascinating characters in literary history.
With vampires.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Artful Dodger and the Vampyres

I'm not really a fan of classic literature but I do enjoy "alternate history" and this is sort of an alternate history of a classic fictional story. As such, the language and writing style took a little while to get behind and it was quite a few chapters before I felt "invested" in the story, but overall I feel the author did a good job capturing the classical feel in his writing, although I do agree with some other reviewers that he thinks himself a bit too clever at times. That feeling usually came across the strongest when the author was expressing the thoughts of a certain horse or of himself as the narrator of this tale.

I received this book from Amazon as part of their Kindle First program so I didn't actually read the entire synopsis before I started reading the book. Had I known initially that this was a vampire tale I wouldn't have picked it up. However, to me, the vampires are really just a sub-plot (even though they are presented as the main plot) and are presented as the foil against which the true character of the Artful Dodger and company are revealed.

The story isn't groundbreaking. It isn't really even anything new, but it's well told and ultimately enjoyable. I highly recommend adding the Audible narration to your purchase if you are into that sort of thing. This is the first time I have switched back and forth between reading and listening to a book and the narration by James Langton is truly fantastic and added a lot to my enjoyment of the book.
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- Jamie

The best of a weird genre

I didn't like Pride and Prejudices and Zombies -- strictly a one-trick pony. After the first hour or so, you'd already heard all the jokes so after that it was just silly and boring. I'm also one of the three people on the planet who hated Wicked. Since then I've tended to avoid books that re-envision characters from stories I liked just fine in the original.

Now this, on the other hand, shows how it CAN be done. The Artful, as our hero is usually called, is a delightful young "gentleman" and the other characters, many of whom will be familiar to the reader, are wonderfully woven into an adventure/fantasy that takes us on a joy ride through London circa 1835. It wold be hard to say more without spoilers -- let's just say the suspense is maintained right up to the end. Okay, one almost-spoiler: I loved what the author did with that syrupy-sweet Oliver!

As for the plot, well I don't suppose you could ever call a novel in the "fictional-character-revisited-in-an-alternate-universe" genre believable, so let's just say that in this case the plot "holds together".

The narration is spot-on. The only other James Langton book I remember listening to was non-fiction; I'm going to look for some more of his.
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- Townsend

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-01-2014
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio