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Our Mutual Friend
Cover of Our Mutual Friend
Our Mutual Friend
Borrow Borrow

This sinister masterpiece was Dickens's last completed novel and perhaps his ultimate vision of a dark, macabre London and the corrupting power of money. Opening with a father and daughter scavenging for corpses on the Thames, this chilling tale unfolds around drownings, disguises and doubles, violence, murder, and triumphant love.

Young John Harmon, presumed killed on his return home to England, is very much alive. The heir to a dust merchant's fortune, he goes to work under an assumed name for his father's current heirs, the amiable, elderly Boffins—who are about to be blackmailed by the unscrupulous one-legged Wegg.

So begins the intrigue in a novel that is quintessentially Dickensian in flavor—in its grotesque caricatures, its rich symbolism, and in the astonishing realism of its heroine, Bella Wilfer, one of Dickens's most splendid female characters.

This sinister masterpiece was Dickens's last completed novel and perhaps his ultimate vision of a dark, macabre London and the corrupting power of money. Opening with a father and daughter scavenging for corpses on the Thames, this chilling tale unfolds around drownings, disguises and doubles, violence, murder, and triumphant love.

Young John Harmon, presumed killed on his return home to England, is very much alive. The heir to a dust merchant's fortune, he goes to work under an assumed name for his father's current heirs, the amiable, elderly Boffins—who are about to be blackmailed by the unscrupulous one-legged Wegg.

So begins the intrigue in a novel that is quintessentially Dickensian in flavor—in its grotesque caricatures, its rich symbolism, and in the astonishing realism of its heroine, Bella Wilfer, one of Dickens's most splendid female characters.

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About the Author-
  • Charles Dickens (1812–1870) was born in Landport, Portsmouth, England, the second of eight children in a family continually plagued by debt. A legacy brought release from the nightmare of debtors' prison and child labor and afforded him a few years of formal schooling. He worked as an attorney's clerk and newspaper reporter until his early writings brought him the amazing success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. He was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, and he remains popular, responsible for some of English literature's most iconic characters.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 28, 2008
    David Timson reads Dickens's last complete novel with a sense of fun. As always, Dickens creates a fabulous array of characters: the nouveau riche Veneerings, the dwarf who makes doll clothes, the bizarre schoolmaster, and the abysmally poor who trawl the Thames for bodies or daily sift the dust and dirt of Victorian England for a skimpy living. Timson's dramatic talents add dimension to each personality—just the sort of acting that makes an audio experience so satisfying. Naxos has done a fine job of abridging the book (Timson also reads the unabridged version on 28 CDs). Not much is lost in terms of plot and characterization, and Dickens's great satiric and social themes come through clearly: the plight and misery of the poor and the greed and heartless stupidity of the rich. If the abridgment seems a bit disjointed, it simply follows the novel's narrative style. This is a wonderful listen for Dickens fans and novices alike.

  • AudioFile Magazine Happily, all kinds of pitfalls have been avoided in this dramatization. Because Dickens's authorial voice is so strong, his work can be badly dramatized in scripts. This is not the case here. This BBC dramatization keeps portions of the omniscient narration, using it to bridge gaps. Quiet multilayered sound effects--a baby crying, the clink of coins--set the stage and never overwhelm the core narratives. Despite the size of the cast, each character is immediately recognizable, due to the distinct class and regional accents, a feature that is entertaining in itself. Though the complex plot combines death, romance, and changes in fortune, this production makes following them all a pleasure. G.T.B. (c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine
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    Blackstone Publishing
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Our Mutual Friend
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