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Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens

Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens

After having successfully listened to A Tale of Two Cities, I decided to continue with the Dickens theme and listen to Our Mutual Friend. All 34 hours of it (I did listen to it at 1.2 speed).

Years ago I watched the BBC adaptation, which I really enjoyed and I always intended on reading it. But it is enormous and I was a bit daunted. However, the audio version (this one) was great.

Here’s the blurb …

Following his father’s death John Harmon returns to London to claim his inheritance, but he finds he is eligible only if he marries Bella Wilfur. To observe her character he assumes another identity and secures work with his father’s foreman, Mr Boffin, who is also Bella’s guardian.

Disguise and concealment play an important role in the novel and individual identity is examined within the wider setting of London life: in the 1860s the city was aflame with spiralling financial speculation while thousands of homeless scratched a living from the detritus of the more fortunate-indeed John Harmon’s father has amassed his wealth by recycling waste.

I really enjoyed listening to this. There are lots of stories intertwined, but at the core it is about identity and how we present ourselves to the world. There is fabulous dialogue, beautiful willful women, self-sacrificing women, greedy people and lovely people.

Here’s a beautiful review (about why you should read Dickens and Our Mutual Friend)

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