This is a gem. As usual, Dickens develops his characters richly and thoroughly. But there are a couple here that you are very intrigued with. Jenny Wren and Mr Boffin. A great read and great story.
I have to admit that the main reason I read this book was for a class. The novel is divided up into four books. The first book is laying down the foundations of the plot and introducing characters. The first chapter lays the foundation of a mystery. When you get towards the end of book one, Dickens starts to have the characters come alive. You begin to sympathize with Eugene Wraeburn, Lizzie Hexum, and of course, John Rokesmith. Dickens use of fairy tale allusions is prevalent such as Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and conventional wrong side of the tracks, poor girl/aristocratic man. He uses the allusions to pull at the heartstrings. He is a master story teller and has a few aces hidden in his sleeve in OMF. He has his usual humor, his usual social criticism, but Dickens still confirms a belief that good people are at the heart of society. You come to care for the characters. In the end, we should all have a Twemlow and a Lightfoot.
Of the five or six dickens books I have read this was my least favorite. I liked the narrator and the voices he created for the various characters but I found The plot to be boring and I found myself not really caring what became of these characters. The book is making social commentary about class, snobbery and gender roles that May have been biting and significant at the time they were written but are far less so now.
The performance was wonderful and really pulls you into the story line. I don't know how the narrator kept track of all the characters in the story and gave each of them a personality that I felt matched up very well with the written nature of each one. But the real treasure of the book is simply the telling of the story. Charles Dickens is a matchless teller of tales.
This is my favorite Dickons book and my favorite male narrator. Loved it! Treat yourself to the best!
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
The last is not first in Charles Dickens book, "Our Mutual Friend". This is Dickens' last; not his best novel, but better than most books by authors that call themselves writers. His skill as a writer is well-proven. Dickens’ skill is clearly evident in "Our Mutual Friend" but caricature begins to cloy by the end of the story.
One can see the commercial serialization and fluid evolution of Dickens’ characters with each chapter. Characters are transformed from imagination to reality but, in the end, become depreciated by caricature. Dickens’ underlying theme is a “send-up” of English society in the mid-19th century. It resonates with caricatures of the rich and poor, ethnic and professional, and working class of all societies. However, Our Mutual Friend’s caricatures are so stereotypical, neither comedy nor tragedy move the reader/listener in the way of earlier Dickens’ books.
Dickens makes his points about society with heavy-handed caricatures. Each of Dickens’ chapters entertains but the overall story is riddled with characters that are too perfectly evil or too perfectly good. "Our Mutual Friend" is still a joy to listen to; in spite of its journey away from suspended belief and its anticlimactic reveal of the killers of the wrong John Harmon.