Set against London's seedy back street slums, "Oliver Twist" is the saga of a workhouse orphan who runs off to London and is captured and thrust into a thieves' den, where some of Dickens's most depraved villains preside: the incorrigible Artful Dodger, the murderous bully Sikes, and the terrible Fagin, that treacherous ringleader whose grinning knavery threatens to send them all to the "ghostly gallows." Yet at the heart of this drama is the orphan Oliver, whose unsullied goodness leads him at last to salvation. This work was conceived by Dickens as a criticism of the Poor Law of 1824. Each novel, complete in just 80-pages, has been painstakingly adapted to retain the integrity of the original work. Each provides the reader a sense of the author's style and an understanding of the novel's theme.