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Oliver Twist; or, the Parish Boy's Progress is Charles Dickens's second novel, and was first published as a serial from 1837 to 1839. The story centres on orphan Oliver Twist, born in a workhouse and sold into apprenticeship with an undertaker. After escaping, Oliver travels to London, where he meets the "Artful Dodger", a member of a gang of juvenile pickpockets led by the elderly criminal Fagin. Oliver Twist is notable for its unromantic portrayal of criminals and their sordid lives, as well as for exposing the cruel treatment of the many orphans in London in the mid-19th century. The alternative title, The Parish Boy's Progress, alludes to Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, as well as the 18th-century caricature series by William Hogarth, A Rake's Progress and A Harlot's Progress. In this early example of the social novel, Dickens satirises the hypocrisies of his time, including child labour, the recruitment of children as criminals, and the presence of street children. The novel may have been inspired by the story of Robert Blincoe, an orphan whose account of working as a child labourer in a cotton mill was widely read in the 1830s. It is likely that Dickens's own experiences as a youth contributed as well. Oliver Twist has been the subject of numerous adaptations for various media, including a highly successful musical play, Oliver!, and the multiple Academy Award-winning 1968 motion picture. Disney also put its spin on the novel with the animated film called Oliver & Company in 1988.
Notes from Underground (pre-reform Russian: Записки изъ подполья; post-reform Russian: Записки из подполья, tr. Zapíski iz podpólʹya), also translated as Notes from the Underground or Letters from the Underworld, is an 1864 novella by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Notes is considered by many to be one of the first existentialist novels. It presents itself as an excerpt from the rambling memoirs of a bitter, isolated, unnamed narrator (generally referred to by critics as the Underground Man), who is a retired civil servant living in St. Petersburg. The first part of the story is told in monologue form, or the underground man's diary, and attacks emerging Western philosophy, especially Nikolay Chernyshevsky's What Is to Be Done? The second part of the book is called "Apropos of the Wet Snow" and describes certain events that appear to be destroying and sometimes renewing the underground man, who acts as a first person, unreliable narrator and anti-hero.
Vanity Fair is an English novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, which follows the lives of Becky Sharp and Emmy Sedley amid their friends and families during and after the Napoleonic Wars. It was first published as a 19-volume monthly serial from 1847 to 1848, carrying the subtitle Pen and Pencil Sketches of English Society, reflecting both its satirisation of early 19th-century British society and the many illustrations drawn by Thackeray to accompany the text. It was published as a single volume in 1848 with the subtitle A Novel without a Hero, reflecting Thackeray's interest in deconstructing his era's conventions regarding literary heroism. It is sometimes considered the "principal founder" of the Victorian domestic novel. The story is framed as a puppet play, and the narrator, despite being an authorial voice, is somewhat unreliable. The serial was a popular and critical success; the novel is now considered a classic and has inspired several audio, film, and television adaptations. In 2003, Vanity Fair was listed at No. 122 on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's best-loved books.
My Michael is a novel written in Hebrew by the Israeli author Amos Oz, published in 1968 by Am Oved, and translated into about thirty languages. It has also been adapted into a movie, in Hebrew. The Bertelsmann publishing house named it among the one hundred best novels of the 20th century. The book describes the love and marriage of a young woman against the background of 1950s Jerusalem. The book manages to probe into the mystery of the world of the Jerusalem girl, and follows the nightmares that come to control her. In the process, the reader comes to know the general atmosphere of Jerusalem, its neighborhoods, and its alleyways.