9780140434972

Our Mutual Friend (Penguin Classics)

Dickens, Charles

ISBN 10: 0140434976 / 0-14-043497-6
ISBN 13: 9780140434972
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:

‘Has a dead man any use for money? … What world does money belong to? This world. How can money be a corpse’s?’

Our Mutual Friend centres on an inheritance – Old Harmon’s profitable dust heaps – and its legatees, young John Harmon, presumed drowned when a body is pulled out of the River Thames, and kindly dustman Mr Boffin, to whom the fortune defaults. With brilliant satire, Dickens portrays a dark, macabre London, inhabited by such disparate characters as Gaffer Hexam, scavenging the river for corpses; enchanting, mercenary Bella Wilfer; the social climbing Veneerings; and the unscrupulous street-trader Silas Wegg. Dickens’s last completed novel is richly symbolic in its vision of death and renewal in a city dominated by the fetid Thames, and of the corrupting power of money.

This edition uses the text of the first volume edition of 1865, and includes the original illustrations, a chronology, a list for further reading, and appendices on the illustrations and serial plans. Adrian Poole’s introduction examines biblical allusions and the central themes of Our Mutual Friend.


Review:
Our Mutual Friend was the last novel Charles Dickens completed and is, arguably, his darkest and most complex. The basic plot is vintage Dickens: an inheritance up for grabs, a murder, a rocky romance or two, plenty of skullduggery, and a host of unforgettable secondary characters. But in this final outing the author's heroes are more flawed, his villains more sympathetic, and the story as a whole more harrowing and less sentimental. The mood is set in the opening scene in which a riverman, Gaffer Hexam, and his daughter Lizzie troll the Thames searching for drowned men whose pockets Gaffer will rifle before turning the body over to the authorities. On this particular night Gaffer finds a corpse that is later identified as that of John Harmon, who was returning from abroad to claim a large fortune when he was apparently murdered and thrown into the river.

Harmon's death is the catalyst for everything else that happens in the novel. It seems the fortune was left to the young man on the condition that he marry a girl he'd never met, Bella Wilfer. His death, however, brings a new heir onto the scene, Nicodemus Boffin, the kind-hearted but low-born assistant to Harmon's father. Boffin and his wife adopt young Bella, who is determined to marry money, and also hire a mysterious young secretary, John Rokesmith, who takes an uncommon interest in their ward. Not content with just one plot, Dickens throws in a secondary love story featuring the riverman's daughter, Lizzie Hexam; a dissolute young upper-class lawyer, Eugene Wrayburn; and his rival, the headmaster Bradley Headstone. Dark as the novel is, Dickens is careful to leaven it with secondary characters who are as funny as they are menacing--blackmailing Silas Wegg and his accomplice Mr. Venus, the avaricious Lammles, and self-centered Charlie Hexam. Our Mutual Friend is one of Dickens's most satisfying novels, and a fitting denouement to his prolific career. --Alix Wilber

Review

Review:
With a cast of characters that covers the whole spectrum of London life, from the grotesque nouveax riches Veneerings to the poverty-stricken Betty Higden, Dickens weaves a tapestry of tales that are by turns funny, moving the and tragic.  It is both a powerful satire on the corrupting power of wealth and a richly comic vision of the great city of Dickens' time.

Originally produced for BBC broadcast by the world's most talented creators of radio entertainment, this audio presentation of Dicken's last completed novel is brought magically to life.  Wtih a full cast and stirring music, Our Mutual Friend is an extraordinary dramatization listeners won't soon forget.

From the Inside Flap

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Our Mutual Friend (ISBN: 9780140434972)
Dickens, Charles
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Book Description: Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Charles Dickens last complete novel, Our Mutual Friend is a glorious satire spanning all levels of Victorian society, edited with an introduction by Adrian Poole in Penguin Classics . Our Mutual Friend centre??i??i?? s on an inheritance - Old Harmon s profitable dust heaps - and its legatees, young John Harmon, presumed drowned when a body is pulled out of the River Thames, and kindly dustman Mr Boffin, to whom the fortune defaults. With brilliant satire, Dickens portrays a dark, macabre London, inhabited by such disparate characters as Gaffer Hexam, scavenging the river for corpses; enchanting, mercenary Bella Wilfer; the social-climbing Veneering; and the unscrupulous street-trader Silas Wegg. The novel is richly symbolic in its vision of death and renewal in a city dominated by the fetid Thames, and the corrupting power of money. Our Mutual Friend uses text of the first volume edition of 1865 and includes original illustrations, a chronology and revised further reading. As Adrian Poole writes in his introduction to this new edition, In its vast scope and perilous ambitions it has much in common with Bleak House and Little Dorrit , but its Our Mutual Friend uses text of the first volume edition of 1865 and includes original illustrations, a chronology and revised further manner is stealthier, on edge, enigmatic. Charles Dickens is one of the best-loved novelists in the English language, whose 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. His most famous books, including Oliver Twist , Great Expectations , A Tale of Two Cities , David Copperfield and The Pickwick Papers , have been adapted for stage and screen and read by millions. If you enjoyed Our Mutual Friend , you might like Dickens The Mystery of Edwin Drood , also available in Penguin Classics . The great poet of the city. He was created by London. (Peter Ackroyd). Bookseller Inventory # AAU9780140434972

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Book Description: Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2nd. 129mm x 42mm x 200mm. Paperback. 'Has a dead man any use for money? . What world does money belong to? This world. How can money be a corpse's?'Our Mutual Friend centres on an inheritance - Old Harmon&#03.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 928 pages. 0.635. Bookseller Inventory # 9780140434972

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