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Our Mutual Friend (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – April 1, 1998
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?The fact that Dickens is always thought of as a caricaturist, although he was constantly trying to be something else, is perhaps the surest mark of his genius.? --George Orwell
From the Back Cover
John Harmon returns to London from exile at his father's death, to claim his inheritance. But he finds he is eligible only if he marries Bella Wilfer, and in order to observe her character he assumes another identity and secures work with his father's foreman, Mr. Boffin, who is also Bella's guardian.
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It is basically a story of a young orphan boy, named Pip, coming of age in the mid- 19th century. It is a life full of characters both good, bad and in between. The main thrust though is how theses characters all affect young Pip's beliefs; fears and... great expectations. As he grows he finds that many are not what he originally thought them to be. However, they are what they are. The story is about how Pip learns to deal with them and life's twist and turns.
It is really a good book. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. It is tough to read in a few spots but you can still get the context and keep the story moving along. I highly recommend this book, but you will have to decide if you are old enough to appreciate it. Just don't wait too long...
I was provided a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for my unbiased review. Many thanks for this opportunity!
Charles Dickens is my second favorite author of Victorian fiction after my favorite author of all, George Eliot. I have never read a Dickens novel that I did not complete enjoy. As stated these novels were written for mass appeal and consumption in Victorian England. Charles Dickens published these novels in serial form in periodicals. He would attempt to assess the reception of his work with his readers and thus the novel may be revised before the next installment.
In general, Charles Dickens has a wry and ironic sense of humor. I find hm extremely humorous. His writing is, at times, sentimental, but again, I enjoy it, in doses. I always read Charles Dickens novels while simultaneously listening to a professional audiobook narration and did so with "Olivier Twist" and always find the professional narration adds to my reading experience.
I have read this novel twice. I must confess that the first time, I was oblivious to what may be viewed by today's standards as anti Semitic connotations. There is a character who is a criminal who is seemingly endlessly referred to as a "Jew". He seems to lack redeeming virtues. I do not believe in censorship of historical works. But be prepared to encounter these references.
In summary, Victorian Fiction will not appeal to every modern reader. However I find it very entertaining and works by Charles Dickens are an excellent example of it. Thank You...