Dickens' 2nd novel "Oliver Twist" is a crucial MUST for an understanding of Dickens. While I do not consider it a 5 star book, it shows many sides of Dickens. It shows the harsh conditions of Victorian England very well. But it also exposes us to Dickens cynical sense of humor. One case is where the magistrate who is suppose to judge a case is comically unaware of the case. Also Dickens presents us with dramatic irony in that Fagin (the thief) treats his boys better than the legitimate firms. Dickens also provides us with a wide variety of characters. Also, Dickens provides us with an interesting situation in that it is clear that the legitimate firms do not hesitate in their abuse to Oliver. Fagin clearly DOES have a conscience. His concern for Oliver is genuine when Bill Sikes goes into his psychopathic rages. Furthermore, Dickens makes sure we feel a slow and agonizing pain when Fagin is arrested and doomed to die.