Book Review: Jack Dawkins by Terry Ward

I would like to say a big thank you to Publishers Push and the author of this book Terry Ward for supplying me with a review copy of this book.

This excellent book by author Terry Ward follows the story of Jack Dawkins better known as the Artful Dodger in the Charles Dickens classic novel Oliver Twist

The story continues where Jack’s fate was hinted at in Oliver Twist presumably being sent to an Australian penal colony after being caught stealing a silver snuff box.

In this continuation of the Dodgers story, Jack Dawkins is given one last chance to change his ways narrowly escaping the punishment he was lined up for.

Jack is sent to live with a man called Mr Godden who gives Jack work to do on his farm, his beautiful daughter Lysette catches Jack’s eye and she soon becomes the new focus of the Dodgers life.

Jack Dawkins by Terry Ward is a splendid book that shows the Artful Dodger in a new light, the book shows the past criminal as a caring and brave individual who shows several acts of heroism throughout the story in order to gain the heart of the person he loves.

In another side plot in relation to the Dodgers parents we see an emotional side to Jack that makes you feel for the character and root for his success.

My favourite part of the book was the love that Jack felt for Lysette Godden, I love a good romance so this soon got me hooked on the story, I also really enjoyed the references to Jacks criminal past as well as some character appearances from the Charles Dickens book Oliver Twist.

Jack Dawkins by Terry Ward may be one of the best books I have read in a long time, it is an excellent take on the Artful Dodger that gives the character more humanity and in my opinion makes him more likeable, the author was very brave to write a story based on such a timeless character but he did a wonderful job and I will be look out for Terry Wards books in the future.

Jack Dawkins, AKA as the Artful Dodger, wants to set the record straight about what happened to him after he was obliged to take up lodgings in Newgate Prison. Thanks to the genius of Lionel Bart, we all have a lasting image of him skipping away into the sunset, arm in arm with Fagin. Well, the young jackanapes is here to tell you that the truth is very different.
You don’t have to know your way round archaic words, history or the works of Mr. Dickens, because Jack has very kindly provided a Glossary that you can refer to as he relates in his own inimitable fashion, his encounters with an unusually erudite Bow Street Runner, murderous villains, turnkeys, philanthropists, Innkeepers, Owlers, passing strangers-and Miss Lysette Godden, the first human being he has ever loved. Strangely enough, Jack also reveals that, as he conducts what proves to be a highly dangerous search for his mother and father, he finds his true self.


I thought you might like to take a look at Jack Dawkins’ ghost-writer.
You can see more of both of us on the You Tube video ‘the spirit of the Artful Dodger’,
in which Jack does the decent thing by returning from ‘Mutton Pie and Porter heaven’ to give me a helping hand.


Thank you for reading this review of Jack Dawkins by Terry Ward

JACK DAWKINS- being the further adventures of the Artful Dodger’


Terry Ward.

In which the Artful Dodger expresses his opinions on:

Fagin:  He reminded me of one of those ravens you see strutting about, frightening the pigeons.

Poverty:  ‘Youi ought to try living on the streets of London, summer and winter; it’s an education.’

Judges; ‘I can’t stand their type.  They’ll condemn an out of work man for stealing enough to keep his family alive, then go home to a mansion and a two-hour dinner.’

Army generals:  ‘Kill one man and they’ll hang you for it.  Kill a hundred thousand and they’ll put up a statue with your name on it.’

Romance:  Well, there’s kissing and there’s kissing, isn’t there?

Sex: ‘You don’t spend your life living in overcrowded warrens without noticing things you ought not. I’ve seen just about everything from life being made and born, to death having the last laugh, so you’d better think again about what I can and can’t do.’

Down on the farm: ‘Farming is a disgusting business. Horse dung, pig dung and

cow dung keep piling up in pens and all over the yard. It makes

me grateful that the two hundred sheep Mr Godden told me he

owns are doing it in the fields, otherwise we’d be up to our necks

in the stuff in no time.’

Fantastic reviews for

‘Jack Dawkins-being the further adventures of the Artful Dodger’


Terry Ward

ISBN  9784-1-911546-30-6

Widely available from online book shops

Foyles, Blackwells, the Telegraph, Amazon etc.

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Book Review: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Please sir can I have some more?

1402754256So I have always wanted to read a classic Christmas story around this time of year and since the many Oliver Twist films always air near the end of December the original novel seemed to be the perfect choice but honestly after reading it I don’t think this is a Christmas story at all or at least I don’t recall the book ever referring to Christmas so it makes we wonder why so many people associate it with the holiday but unfortunately I read the entire thing so……. Merry Christmas?


This beautiful man is none other than Charles Dickens the world beloved author of such classics as A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations and well Oliver Twist

yhobpdnesiupuajk5pjrOliver Twist was released in 1838 and it follows the adventures of a young Orphan called Oliver who is sent to a private juvenile home after his mother dies in child birth, any one who has seen one of the many films based on the novel knows that Oliver is met with a lot of bad luck throughout his adventure and a lot of this bad luck causes him to seem like a bad kid which results in him being sent to live with many different characters throughout the book since each one of his new masters eventually dumps him on someone else but none of these people are as manipulative and genuinely cruel as the homeless man Fagin who has taken on homeless children to steal goods for him to sell for profit, one of these children is none other than the Artful Dodger who is fan favorite character of the many renditions of the classic tale, the book does have some very graphic scenes, one scene where the character Sikes Murders his prostitute girlfriend Nancy is very grizzly and I have been told that it is one of the most terrifying scenes that Charles Dickens ever wrote.

To be honest apart from two characters Oliver and an old man he gets caught stealing from, I didn’t care for any of the other characters in the book, now just because these two are some of the only nice people in the story that is not the reason why I didn’t care for the others, every one else I found to be boring and not very interesting which is a shame because I love a good villain and I just couldn’t bring myself to love any of the sadistic or more horrible characters in the book and before anyone goes nuts in the comments I am aware that a lot of people love Fagin and Sikes and I do like them in the made for TV movies I just found that they work better on TV than they do on paper but that is only my opinion so take it with a pinch of salt and please take this next opinion with that in mind, I dont like this book very much, I was really bored throughout my entire reading and honestly I think it might have been Charles Dickens writing style that didn’t work for me but I wont really know that until I read another one of his books so until then, Merry Christmas and I hope that you have an amazing day, remember to think of those less fortunate than yourselves when you are opening all of your presents and eating your home made Christmas Dinners because just like Oliver there are children out in their in world who have nothing to live for and would give anything to have just a bed to sleep on and someone to love them so this year lets make a toast to all of those amazing people who are making the most out of their lives even though they they have suffered such hard times.

Thanks for reading this review of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

By the way my two favorite versions of this story are Oliver and Company and the 1968 musical Oliver so if you get the chance this year I highly recommend you check them out also in Oliver in Company instead of an orphan its a kitten which is just adorable and its Disney so you know its gonna be good

Happy Holidays from Raggle Fraggle