First of all, wow. It was not what I thought it was. I'm ashamed to admit, but yes, I read it at age 24. (But in retrospect, it was a good thing; I believe I got more out of it now that I'm a little older.) All these years I thought Oliver Twist was about this mischievous but cute little orphan boy running around, getting into all kinds of adventures and trouble. No sir. It turns out it is about this cute little orphan boy and everyone around him being miserable all the time. And it turns out it talks about other characters more than it does about Oliver Twist. His life is just the basis of the book. So it's not what I thought, but much more.
Where do I begin? It's a masterpiece, for sure. Dickens' sarcastic tone is very entertaining throughout the book, and it mocks nearly everything told in the book, particularly England's laws and some cruel people from the middle class. The story is smotheringly gloomy until two-thirds of the book, which from then on improves drastically. It felt like watching Dogville, where in the end, the bad people are punished one by one, very dramatically, in a very satisfying way .
The characters do talk a bit comically, though, as if they are caricatures rather than real people. And the story has a lot of extremes, too sad for a moment, then too happy. But hey, it was 1800s, right? And Dickens does really write fantastic.
I want moar Dickens!