Tag Archive | Our Mutual Friend

Book Review: Dickens Final Work

Title: Our Mutual Friend
Author: Charles Dickens
Date Started:  January 11, 2014
Date Finished:
February 5, 2014

Other works by author: The Pickwick Papers
The Adventures of Oliver Twist
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
Old Curiosity Shop
Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty’
The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit
Dombey and Son
David Copperfield
Bleak House
Hard Times: For These Times
Little Dorrit
A Tale of Two Cities
Great Expectations
Several Christmas Novellas (including A Christmas Carol)
Several Short Stories
The Mystery of Edwin Drood – unfinished

For a complete list with the shorter stories see Charles Dickens Wikipedia biography here.

How many have I read: I have read all of the completed novels except Barnaby Rudge

My Rating: 4

Summary: When John Harmon—who has been left a fortune if he will marry the girl his miserly father chose for him—is found floating dead in the Thames, he sets in motion a story overflowing with cases of deception and mistaken identity, of murder and attempted murder, of sin and redemption. The influence of the notorious Harmon inheritance ripples through a large cast of vividly drawn characters from every level of society, including Noddy Boffin, known as “the Golden Dustman”; the one-legged villain Silas Wegg; willful Bella Wilfer; saintly Lizzie Hexam; the sharp-witted doll’s dressmaker Jenny Wren; the social-climbing Veneerings; the ruthless speculator Fascination Fledgeby; and the river-scavenging corpse robbers Gaffer Hexam and Rogue Riderhood and many others. Out of this flurry of invention Dickens creates in Our Mutual Friend a portrait of a city and a civilization that is at once indignant, compassionate, and utterly unforgettable.

Charles Dickens’s last completed novel features one of his most surreal and haunting visions of  London, shadowed by towering dust heaps that supply the corrupting riches at the heart of the plot and washed by the dark river that winds its way insistently through the story.

Summary copied from Amazon.com

My thoughts: I enjoyed the book once I got into it and began understanding the characters and remembering who was who… I generally have a difficult time understanding Dickens works, I had to watch the movie to help myself begin to understand it, but I always enjoy the story.

It was an enjoyable story pointing out the dangers of miserliness, the silliness of both the upper and lower classes for looking down upon the other, and the great danger of unchecked passion and jealousy.

Where did I hear about this book: My friend over at Polly Wolly Designs and I have been going through all of Dickens’ completed novels together, she highly recommended this one to me.

Where can you get this book: Amazon, Gutenberg, and there is also a free audio book at Librivox