Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Our Mutual Friend (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – September 10, 2002
|New from||Used from|
Discover Memorable Fiction Books
AbeBooks.com, an Amazon Company, recommends a unique list of must-read books. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Our Mutual Friend was the last novel Charles Dickens completed and is, arguably, his darkest and most complex. The basic plot is vintage Dickens: an inheritance up for grabs, a murder, a rocky romance or two, plenty of skullduggery, and a host of unforgettable secondary characters. But in this final outing the author's heroes are more flawed, his villains more sympathetic, and the story as a whole more harrowing and less sentimental. The mood is set in the opening scene in which a riverman, Gaffer Hexam, and his daughter Lizzie troll the Thames searching for drowned men whose pockets Gaffer will rifle before turning the body over to the authorities. On this particular night Gaffer finds a corpse that is later identified as that of John Harmon, who was returning from abroad to claim a large fortune when he was apparently murdered and thrown into the river.
Harmon's death is the catalyst for everything else that happens in the novel. It seems the fortune was left to the young man on the condition that he marry a girl he'd never met, Bella Wilfer. His death, however, brings a new heir onto the scene, Nicodemus Boffin, the kind-hearted but low-born assistant to Harmon's father. Boffin and his wife adopt young Bella, who is determined to marry money, and also hire a mysterious young secretary, John Rokesmith, who takes an uncommon interest in their ward. Not content with just one plot, Dickens throws in a secondary love story featuring the riverman's daughter, Lizzie Hexam; a dissolute young upper-class lawyer, Eugene Wrayburn; and his rival, the headmaster Bradley Headstone. Dark as the novel is, Dickens is careful to leaven it with secondary characters who are as funny as they are menacing--blackmailing Silas Wegg and his accomplice Mr. Venus, the avaricious Lammles, and self-centered Charlie Hexam. Our Mutual Friend is one of Dickens's most satisfying novels, and a fitting denouement to his prolific career. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up-With a cast of characters that covers the whole spectrum of London life, Dickens weaves a tapestry of tales that are by turn funny, moving and tragic.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
Top customer reviews
"Our Mutual Friend" also contains -- as does all Dickens -- a range of vivid scenes and memorable characters: harrowing glimpses of riverfront lowlife contrasted with wonderful comic scenes of nouveau riche display, a particularly vicious pair of married grifters, an ambiguous young lawyer and dandy who turns out to be something like a hero, and (perhaps a late apology for Fagin) an evil goy moneylender who uses a kindly Jew as a front. Characters like John Harmon and Eugene Wrayburn end up in the waters of the river, and come out reborn as new men. Wrayburn emerges from the river on his deathbed, but is ready to marry Lizzie to save her reputation. He surprises everyone, including himself, when he survives and goes on to have a loving marriage with Lizzie. John Harmon also appears to end up in the river through no fault of his own, and when Gaffer pulls his "body" out of the waters, he adopts the alias of John Rokesmith. This alias is for his own safety and peace of mind; he wants to know that he can do things on his own, and does not need his father's name or money to make a good life for himself.
One reason this novel has gained in popularity during the last century is that it is as close as Dickens ever gets to a meta-fiction. The reading and interpretations of various texts -- exemplified by Silas Wegg's oral reading of Gibbon's "Decline and Fall" to the illiterate Noddy Boffin, and their subsequent discussions -- is an important metaphor here.
Having said that, however, I need to add that I wish I had listened to the unabridged version, even though it's much longer. Here's why: some of the characters are missing in this version. And, of course, some of the little plot twists are not covered. While I love listening to audio books (it makes exercising so much more tolerable!), I need to remember that where Dickens is concerned, it's best to listen to the entire book...I mean, what's the hurry when I need to keep exercising anyway??!?!?!
Now, about the book itself; it is not my favorite. Fro me, the characters were not as intriguing as they are in Bleak House - still one of my favorites. The plot line is not as engaging.
However, true to form, Dickens has some of the most classic lines ever written; as in, "Why ain't you ugly?" Now, that caused me to laugh out loud!
Or how about this section: "As is well known to the wise in their generation, traffic in Shares is the one thing to have to do with in this world. Have no antecedents, no established character, no cultivation, no ideas, no manners; have Shares. Have Shares enough to be on Boards of Direction in capital letters, oscillate on mysterious business between London and Paris, and be great. Where does he come from? Shares. Where is he going to? Shares. What are his tastes? Shares. Has he any principles? Shares. What squeezes him into Parliament? Shares. Perhaps he never of himself achieved success in anything, never originated anything, never produced anything? Sufficient answer to all; Shares. O mighty Shares!"
Or the lovely heroine, Bella who proclaims: "I have made up my mind, Pa, that I must have money. And I feel that since I cannot beg, borrow, or steal it, I am resolved, I must marry it!"
I think Dickens is sheer genius in his writing. And, he knows the human heart in terms of the power of money over some people. Money is such a theme in this book; we see it in the Lemmles, Riderhood, Veneerings, etc. And, even in Bella Wilfer, who does change her mind about the value of love over money as the story progresses.
I recommend listening to an audio version, but be sure to go for the unabridged. And, I highly recommend Dickens; for me, there's not many to compare.
I never listened to the accompanying audiobook. It was probably crap ad well.
Most recent customer reviews
Author has done much much better with his other works
I might try again.