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Dickens dumbed down with 'text speak'

4th June 2010

Author and classic literature fanatic Martin Baum has translated 16 Charles Dickens novels into what he calls 'yoof speak'.

Battling criticism that he is simply dumbing down classic works of literature, having already reworked a number of Shakespeare's plays into text vernacular, Baum claims the new versions of Dickens favourites make the stories more accessible to modern youth.

'There are many people who love and understand great literature but many more who don't,' he told The Times.

'My book is the bait to draw them in and get them interested in some wonderful stories,' Baum added.

The writer was offered advice on how to engage under-16s by his 15-year-old son Josh.

Baum claimed that 'when you try and get kids into literature they often just don't get it'.

His solution to this problem was to change A Tale of Two Cities into Da Tale of Two Turfs and twist Oliver Twist's 'Please Sir, I want some more' into 'Oi mate, gimme some more'.

Oliver Twist, Dickens' second novel, remains popular more than 170 years after it was first published.

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