Our Mutual Friend Audiobook | Charles Dickens | Audible.com
We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Our Mutual Friend | [Charles Dickens]

Our Mutual Friend

A sinister masterpiece, Our Mutual Friend was Dickens' last completed novel. It is perhaps his ultimate vision of a dark, macabre London and the corrupting power of money.
Regular Price:$38.47
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

A sinister masterpiece, Our Mutual Friend was Dickens' last completed novel. It is perhaps his ultimate vision of a dark, macabre London and the corrupting power of money.

Opening with a father and daughter scavenging for corpses on the Thames, the chilling tale unfolds around drownings, disguises and doubles, violence, murder, and triumphant love. Young John Harmon, presumed killed on his return home to England, is very much alive. The heir to a dust merchant's fortune, he goes to work under an assumed name for his father's current heirs, the amiable, elderly Boffins, who are about to be blackmailed by the unscrupulous one-legged Wegg.

So begins the intrigue in a novel that is quintessentially Dickensian in flavor, in its grotesque caricatures, its rich symbolism, and the astonishing realism of its heroine, Bella Wilfer, among Dickens' most splendid female characters.

(P)1999 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (196 )
5 star
 (98)
4 star
 (48)
3 star
 (28)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
4.3 (62 )
5 star
 (36)
4 star
 (13)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.4 (65 )
5 star
 (44)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (6)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Erez Israel 07-05-08
    Erez Israel 07-05-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    394
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    400
    45
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    57
    0
    Overall
    "Worth six stars"

    What I enjoy most about Dickens is the quality of his writing. And this book, to me, is his best. It seems like Dickens managed to squeeze every character he ever came up with into this book, and I loved each and every one of them. And the narrator -- well, if you haven't heard anything performed by Robert Whitfield (whose real name is Simon Vance), just get this book. By far my favorite narrator, reading Dickens at his best. Who could ask for more?

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hugh SassenheimNetherlands 01-09-07
    Hugh SassenheimNetherlands 01-09-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Superb"

    Worth every penny. Robert Whitfield is an excellent narrator. Tip: Always listen to the sample.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica Warren, RI, United States 06-27-07
    Monica Warren, RI, United States 06-27-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A Masterpiece"

    For my money, Our Mutual Friend is the best novel Dickens ever wrote--a bit darker than the others, but all the more powerful. Although it presents the usual cast of caricatures, there are no throwaways, the themes they represent are not trivial. Dickens (sorry, no apostrophe function) attacks on snobbery and greed are unusually vicious as well as funny, and there is a new depth to the main characters--especially in the darker romance (there are two). Lizzie Hexam is a breathtaking character--serious, beautiful, redemptive. Dickens sentimentalism (to my mind the serious flaw in his works) is kept to a minimum in this one.

    And--The reading is perfect. Robert Whitfield is a talented and sensitive reader. I will be looking for more of his work.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marius Irene, South Africa 01-15-07
    Marius Irene, South Africa 01-15-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    480
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    186
    115
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    15
    0
    Overall
    "Mutual pleasure"

    In this audiobook, Charles Dickens and Robert Whitfield (the narrator) mutually conspire to deliver audio pleasure to the listener. Superbly written and read, the Thames winds through this tale of class difference, greed, social frippery, mystery, murder, financial skullduggery and love. Do yourself a great favour and listen to it. You'll love it.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wolfpacker Memphis, TN 07-22-08
    Wolfpacker Memphis, TN 07-22-08 Member Since 2005

    Curtis

    HELPFUL VOTES
    474
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    295
    103
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    70
    3
    Overall
    "Classic Dickens, Extremely Well Read"

    This is a great story whether read, listened to, or watched on BBC version. I have done all three and never tire of the story. The characters are at times caricatures (as always in Dickens), but always bring to mind people we have known. Reading Dickens is like reading a manual on human nature and foibles. This is one of the author's best works, in my opinion. You will love and hate these characters.
    The narration is superb and well-fitted for this book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AuntyJ Portland OR 12-04-07
    AuntyJ Portland OR 12-04-07 Member Since 2006

    AuntyJ

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Wonderful!"

    This is my favorite Dickens novel, and the narrator does it full justice - especially Fledgeby, Wegg and the Boffins. Highly enjoyable.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada 07-15-08
    Andrea Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada 07-15-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    107
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "My very favorite Dickens"

    I can't even tell you how many times I've listened to this book. It gets better every time. The first time I actually enjoyed it much less than the subsequent listens. The characters are all flawed and yet there is something likeable about them. I really think it does boil down to characters with Dickens.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. McCulloch Greensboro, NC USA 04-28-08
    J. McCulloch Greensboro, NC USA 04-28-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Vintage Dickens"

    Our Mutual Friend is vintage Dickens with subplots, intense character development, and wordy. While the main plot lines converge at the end of the book, there are some plot lines that ramble on without a real tie in to the main lines. Having read or listened to all of the novels, I certainly was not surprised by the pace. I would strongly recommend this Audible version because the reader is supurb.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nana Quilter Corona, CA 01-07-09
    Nana Quilter Corona, CA 01-07-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Classic Dickens, Well Read"

    I was unfamiliar with this Dickens book, but thoroughly enjoyed it. The narrator is great. Editor could have been better (several repeated lines or phrases that should have been eliminated). But the story is classic Dickens (I sure enjoy his phrasing) and the narrator's rendering has such a flow that far surpassed some other Dickens audiobooks I've heard in the past. Wegg sounded just as smarmy as he should have (rather Uriah Heep-ish) and Mr. Boffin seemed a genuine, right jolly old fellow. An enjoyable listen, and of course long enough to make friends of the characters and not feel the visit was cut unnecessarily short.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Washington, DC, United States 04-11-10
    John Washington, DC, United States 04-11-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Whitfield/Vance grows tiresome."

    My review goes against the ecstatic judgment of the crowd. The vastly popular and nearly ubiquitous Simon Vance/Robert Whitfield (the same man) strikes me as among the most tiresome readers out there. I find this so in large part because of the generic 'extra' emotion he inserts and sometimes slathers all over the place in whatever he reads -- without sufficient sensitivity to the genuine subtleties of any text. To me it sounds like sight-reading much of the time, highly practiced, very smooth, applause-gaining quite professional sight-reading, but I want way better than that. Or at least I do not want to be distracted. If Vance/Whitfield were to read aloud that "two bridges cross the river, one to the north and one to south," his voice would rise and fall and rise, for his habit is to offer a three-act play when none is wanted. His voice is a pleased, singing voice and not a speaking one, and dulcet tones which aim to impress finally get on your, or my, nerves. A matter of taste, yes. Some people hate Fred Williams' profoundly respectful and ultimately magnificent reading of THE FORSYTE SAGA. He is a reader with no singing tones in him (few Forsytes would ever sing, anyway) and he has no tricks at all, except for deep respect and perhaps love for his text, which, I bet, he knows by heart in places. Or try Eileen Atkins's MILL ON THE FLOSS for a supremely intelligent reading that inflicts no dazzle. As far as OUR MUTUAL FRIEND, I spent $38.47 (I am not yet a subscriber) on a reading I could not endure -- and then I went to the David Timson narration (also on Audible), which is good, so good that much of the time you forget the reader completely, which is how some people like it.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 17 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
Sort by:
  • Anne
    Holywell, United Kingdom
    2/25/12
    Overall
    "Bad editing"

    It's a pity that the editing of this audiobook is so poor, the narrator frequently re-reads phrases and both versions are kept in - so you keep hearing double! It's sometimes entertaining to get a glimpse of the craft involved in audio narration, but mostly it distracts you from the narrative. I can't think of any other medium where this would be acceptable, imagine watching a movie where the outtakes are left in! Otherwise this is a great story, but I love Dickens in any form. I enjoyed Simon Vance's narration but found it a bit one-dimensional, he has a supercilious tone to his voice all the time which, with Dickens' long sentences, can be a bit irritating. (Anton Lesser's narration cannot be matched - please do more Mr Lesser!)

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Filey, United Kingdom
    4/4/13
    Overall
    "Great book, well read, but sadly spoilt"

    Dickens is in his usual form with great characters who are recognisable in every age. Here he deals with wealth and poverty and introduces us to people of every layer of society who are greedy for money and others who are generous and kind.

    He shows us that for some wealth can ruin their character whilst others thrive in relative poverty.

    His text could well the "The love of money is the root of all evil."

    The characters are brought to live by Simon Vance's wonderful reading of the story. Each character is distinct and clear.

    Sadly the recording is ruined by dreadful editing. In pretty well every chapter, and often several times in a chapter, lines are repeated as the reader gives a second rendition of the same phrase. In one case a whole chapter is repeated.

    This failing is a surprise at first, becomes a frustration and by the end of the book is a genuine annoyance.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Lou
    Reading, United Kingdom
    12/30/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic Dickens"
    If you could sum up Our Mutual Friend in three words, what would they be?

    Cutting social commentary.


    What other book might you compare Our Mutual Friend to, and why?

    Most novels by Dickens - Dickens's books are incredibly good at examining society of the time and pointing out the flaws, inconsistencies and two-facedness of it. This does of course mean that the villains are more villainous and the heroes more heroic than one would expect in reality, but part of the novelist's role is to shine a spotlight on these things, necessarily making them stand out more brightly.I have a particular joy at Dickens's onomatopoeic character names, they're marvellous throughout his books!


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    Vance is a truly admirable reader. His characterisations are brilliant, and maintained throughout (I loved his voice for Silas Wegg, so fitting!). I actually logged in to Audible just now in order to identify more books he has read!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No - I need sleep; it's a little long for that! However, I did manage a few long sessions with it. I believe the original was published monthly in nineteen parts. It would be interesting to know where the original breaks were, in order to attempt listening to the novel again in those same parts.


    Any additional comments?

    More care could have been taken with the editing. There are several places where Vance has re-read a line but the editing (or lack thereof) has left both reads in the final audio.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • K.A.Thompson
    Kinvara, Ireland
    9/11/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Masterpiece"

    Is it only me who has been living in ignorance or is this book vastly underrated? I thought I knew of all Dickens' great young characters, but I had never come across Jenny Wren, the doll's dressmaker, and she's far more interesting and well-developed than many of the better-known ones. A great book, enhanced by an excellent reader.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Patricia
    norfolk, United Kingdom
    1/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent production but poor editing."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Several sentences in each volume are repeated, breaking the rhythm of the prose. Closer attention to detail in the editing would repay. Also the recording is broken into several downloads of equal length. It would improve the production if the breaks in downloads followed the division of the original work into volumes.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    In a book this rich it is hard to choose, but I have always had a soft spot for 'Mr Venus, the articulator of skeletons'.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will now look for others.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Our Mutual Friend?

    Absolutely none. I bought this because it is unabridged. I would have liked the date of publication mentioned so that listeners can place it in the canon of Dickens' work.


    Any additional comments?

    I find the American voices introducing and ending this very British production intrusive. Surely a British actor could be found for this task.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.