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Our Mutual Friend

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
By: (1812-1870)

As the last published novel of a writer whose career spanned over a dozen novels, innumerable short stories, plays and nonfiction, Our Mutual Friend is indeed a great composition by Charles Dickens.

Considered to be one of his most mature, insightful and refined works, Our Mutual Friend takes a long, hard look at what many Victorians loved but hated to admit they did—money. Dickens uses satire, irony, symbolism and biting wit to portray this unlovely picture of a society obsessed with material comforts and its hypocrisy about the means it uses to achieve its ends.

In his fourteenth novel Dickens is writing at the height of his abilities. He brings all his legendary gifts for plot and characterization to bear in this book. It tells the story of young John Harmon, who inherits the fabulous fortune of his dead father, a miserly millionaire who made his fortune literally from garbage, as a dust contractor. However, the nasty and ill-tempered old man had alienated his entire family including his son. John Harmon, the heir will inherit provided he marries the woman his father has commanded him to. He lives away from England and is on his way home, but goes missing en route. A body is found floating in the Thames and presumed to be his. The entire fortune passes on to his father's servant, Nicodemus Boffin (aka the Golden Dustman), a naïve and gullible man. However, John Harmon is far from dead. The rest of the story follows his quest for the truth, how he finds true love and true riches.

In Our Mutual Friend, we encounter some of Dickens' most horrifying villains and also some of his most noble characters. Unforgettable people like the sweet Jenny Wren and Bella Wilfer, the evil Bradley Headstone, the repulsive Silas Wegg, the avaricious Fascination Fledgeby and a host of others populate this wonderful Dickensian universe and keep the reader enthralled. In addition to these, the River Thames itself features as a wonderful symbol of renewal and resurrection.

Dickens was inspired by several incidents in his own life and in the lives of his friends while creating the plot of Our Mutual Friend. During the writing of it, his personal life was marked by several huge upheavals and he was involved in a serious railway accident.

Our Mutual Friend is indeed a brilliant novel, sweeping in its scale and scope and would certainly appeal to readers of all ages.

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 7 reviews)

Reviewer: - November 22, 2020
Subject: Our Mutual Friend
Beautifully read, thank you so much Mil, and beautifully written, Dicken's every word is thick with meaning, I made sure I listened to everyone of them. An absolute joy!
Reviewer: - April 26, 2018
Subject: This ... was ... awesome
It's Dickens, so of course. The voices and intonation were right on. Professional grade, for sure.
Reviewer: - March 14, 2017
Subject: Dickens
I am afraid I find Mil's voices rather too much, particularly the slow 'deep' male ones that are so slow. Have listened to several Dickens books read by Mil and this is the same with those too. Great books though.
Reviewer: - January 21, 2015
Subject: Review
It's a book in a book in a book in a book. Mil does a beautiful job reading this book, but I was always lost as to who was who and where they fit into the story. I'm sorry but I only lasted until chapter 11 and had to stop. It was way too confusing for me.
Reviewer: - November 13, 2013
Subject: Brilliant writer, brilliant reader
Mil Nicholson is indeed a master reader. She is in a class of her own. Thank you for the privilege of spending many delicious hours listening to Dickens brought to life.
Reviewer: - May 12, 2013
Subject: Absolutely one of the Best
I loved this book and how beautifully does she read it. Thank you very much!
Reviewer: - January 29, 2013
Subject: Our Mutual Friend
I have listened to scores of audio books from this website but this one is read so well it far surpasses all other efforts by any other readers. My only disappointment is that Ms. Nicholson cannot read all the books! Listening to her read is like watching a play. Her range of voice characterizations is amazing. LISTEN TO THIS BOOK.

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