Our Mutual Friend

  • by Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • 31 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Mr David Newton

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!)
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- Anne

Book Details

  • Release Date: 24-05-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.