Our Mutual Friend [NOOK Book]

Overview

When the body of John Harmon, the dust-heap's expected heir, is found in the Thames, fortunes change hands surprisingly, raising to new heights "Noddy" Boffin, a low-born but kindly clerk who becomes "the Golden Dustman." Charles Dicken's last complete novel, Our Mutal Friend encompasses the great themes of his earlier works: the pretensions of the nouveaux riches, the ingenuousness of the aspiring poor, and the unfailing power of wealth to corrupt all who crave it.
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Our Mutual Friend

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Overview

When the body of John Harmon, the dust-heap's expected heir, is found in the Thames, fortunes change hands surprisingly, raising to new heights "Noddy" Boffin, a low-born but kindly clerk who becomes "the Golden Dustman." Charles Dicken's last complete novel, Our Mutal Friend encompasses the great themes of his earlier works: the pretensions of the nouveaux riches, the ingenuousness of the aspiring poor, and the unfailing power of wealth to corrupt all who crave it.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

David Timson reads Dickens's last complete novel with a sense of fun. As always, Dickens creates a fabulous array of characters: the nouveau riche Veneerings, the dwarf who makes doll clothes, the bizarre schoolmaster, and the abysmally poor who trawl the Thames for bodies or daily sift the dust and dirt of Victorian England for a skimpy living. Timson's dramatic talents add dimension to each personality—just the sort of acting that makes an audio experience so satisfying. Naxos has done a fine job of abridging the book (Timson also reads the unabridged version on 28 CDs). Not much is lost in terms of plot and characterization, and Dickens's great satiric and social themes come through clearly: the plight and misery of the poor and the greed and heartless stupidity of the rich. If the abridgment seems a bit disjointed, it simply follows the novel's narrative style. This is a wonderful listen for Dickens fans and novices alike. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
“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
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940027128579
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens (1812-70) was a political reporter and journalist whose popularity was established by the phenomenal success of his PICKWICK PAPERS. He held the public imagination over a period of more than thirty years. Adrian Poole is a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Biography

Born on February 7, 1812, Charles Dickens was the second of eight children in a family burdened with financial troubles. Despite difficult early years, he became the most successful British writer of the Victorian age.

In 1824, young Charles was withdrawn from school and forced to work at a boot-blacking factory when his improvident father, accompanied by his mother and siblings, was sentenced to three months in a debtor's prison. Once they were released, Charles attended a private school for three years. The young man then became a solicitor's clerk, mastered shorthand, and before long was employed as a Parliamentary reporter. When he was in his early twenties, Dickens began to publish stories and sketches of London life in a variety of periodicals.

It was the publication of Pickwick Papers (1836-1837) that catapulted the twenty-five-year-old author to national renown. Dickens wrote with unequaled speed and often worked on several novels at a time, publishing them first in monthly installments and then as books. His early novels Oliver Twist (1837-1838), Nicholas Nickleby (1838-1839), The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1841), and A Christmas Carol (1843) solidified his enormous, ongoing popularity. As Dickens matured, his social criticism became increasingly biting, his humor dark, and his view of poverty darker still. David Copperfield (1849-1850), Bleak House (1852-1853), Hard Times (1854), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1860-1861), and Our Mutual Friend (1864-1865) are the great works of his masterful and prolific period.

In 1858 Dickens's twenty-three-year marriage to Catherine Hogarth dissolved when he fell in love with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. The last years of his life were filled with intense activity: writing, managing amateur theatricals, and undertaking several reading tours that reinforced the public's favorable view of his work but took an enormous toll on his health. Working feverishly to the last, Dickens collapsed and died on June 8, 1870, leaving The Mystery of Edwin Drood uncompleted.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of David Copperfield.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Charles John Huffam Dickens (full name) "Boz" (pen name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 7, 1812
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portsmouth, England
    1. Date of Death:
      June 18, 1870
    2. Place of Death:
      Gad's Hill, Kent, England

Foreword

1. Many of Dickens’s contemporaries thought the world of eccentrics depicted in Our Mutual Friend went too far. Do you think this conceit got away from Dickens, or did he have a purpose?

2. Henry James, in his review of Our Mutual Friend in The Nation, says “In all Mr. Dickens's stories, the reader has been called upon . . . to accept a certain number of figures or creatures of pure fancy. . . . He was, moreover, always repaid for his concession by a peculiar beauty or power in these exceptional characters. But he is now expected to make the same concession with a very inadequate reward.” Does Dickens offer little reward?

3. Do you think Dickens originally meant to have Boffin have a change of heart?

4. Some scholars characterize Dickens’s work as giving a voice to the masses that, in his society, were never heard. Is this true of his Jewish characters? Consider the character of Riah and the role he plays in Our Mutual Friend. Do you think Dickens was anti-Semitic?

5. Consider Bella Wilfer and John Harmon/John Rokesmith’s relationship. Was Dickens making the novel neat when the betrothed couple truly falls in love, or was he creating a plot twist? Is this a comment about marriage?

6. Could it be said that Jenny Wren and the life she leads is the true heart of this novel?

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Reading Group Guide

1. Many of Dickens’s contemporaries thought the world of eccentrics depicted in Our Mutual Friend went too far. Do you think this conceit got away from Dickens, or did he have a purpose?

2. Henry James, in his review of Our Mutual Friend in The Nation, says “In all Mr. Dickens's stories, the reader has been called upon . . . to accept a certain number of figures or creatures of pure fancy. . . . He was, moreover, always repaid for his concession by a peculiar beauty or power in these exceptional characters. But he is now expected to make the same concession with a very inadequate reward.” Does Dickens offer little reward?

3. Do you think Dickens originally meant to have Boffin have a change of heart?

4. Some scholars characterize Dickens’s work as giving a voice to the masses that, in his society, were never heard. Is this true of his Jewish characters? Consider the character of Riah and the role he plays in Our Mutual Friend. Do you think Dickens was anti-Semitic?

5. Consider Bella Wilfer and John Harmon/John Rokesmith’s relationship. Was Dickens making the novel neat when the betrothed couple truly falls in love, or was he creating a plot twist? Is this a comment about marriage?

6. Could it be said that Jenny Wren and the life she leads is the true heart of this novel?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Horrible Format

    There are so many typos and added punctuation that this ebook is unintelligible gibberish.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This is the Ultimate "Our Mutual Friend!" A Classical Masterpiece! With Illustrations!

    If you haven't read Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens, then this is the book I recommend. This book has the illustrations by Marcus Stone. You will love this book and treasure it--pass this classic tale on to others. Needless to say, Dickens stories will live forever.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2005

    One of my favorite Dickens novels

    Mistaken identity, love, lust, murder - this book has it all. The characters are exquisitly portrayed. You'll fall in love with Bella Wilfer, Lizzie Hexam, and Eugene Wrayburn! Definitely worth the reading!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    Unreadable

    I was really looking forward to reading another Dickens classic. Unfortunately this free version is unreadable. Once sgain, Iappreciate the effort to make these classics available in electronic format, but it's so disappointing to have the reading experience msr by the lack of quality control. I've always believed that if you are going to do something at least give it your best effort.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    Garbled

    This ebook is totally garbled and unreadable--I tried reading it on the Nook Classic, Nook for PC, and Nook for Android with no luck.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2005

    a classic worth reading

    I keep rereading my favorite passages and find myself wondering about the characters during the day. The BBC movie version is worth watching as well. Bella Wilfer and Jenny Wren (I know your tricks and manners!)have endeared me to this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2014

    Legible!!

    Finally a version of this great book which is readable! Not perfect, but good. Our Mutual Friend is (in my opinion) more exciting, faster paced, and much more optimistic than Dicken's other works. With the exception of A Christmas Carol, this is his "easiest read". BBC's version of his book is also very good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2013

    Imari.to all(aka Ree)

    Any1 on?-,-

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    Anyone on

    Shelby

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    Cc

    Walks in "did i missi it?"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    Haven't read it

    I really want to read this,and since its free i will

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted January 15, 2011

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    Posted December 26, 2009

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    Posted January 1, 2011

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews

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