Monday, February 2, 2015

133. Our Mutual Friend

Our Mutual Friend
Charles Dickens
Around 900 pages

There were days where I simply couldn't will myself to pick up this book and days where I couldn't put it down.  Perhaps it was because of the sheer size, but this is one of the hardest books I have ever had to get through that I actually enjoyed.

A body is found in the Thames River and is identified as John Harmon.  Harmon was to inherit the estate of a rich old miser on the condition that he marry Bella Wilfer.  However, because of his death, the miser's estate goes to the Boffins, a quintessential example of a good, poor couple.  The Boffins decide to take in Bella, since she no longer has a fiancé.  I actually found Bella to be one of the most insufferable Dickens characters ever.  The way she talked to her father was just plain nauseating.

Several parts of this novel had me laughing out loud.  I loved the Lammles, a manipulative young couple who were reminiscent of the Thenardiers in Les Miserables.  Silas Wegg, an old man who attempts to blackmail the Boffins, also repeatedly made me chuckle.  However, I can't completely make this post a rave.  For one thing, I found some of the plot twists to be absolutely absurd and kind of hindered my enjoyment of the novel, since they caused quite a few continuity issues.  This book is also insanely long.  After all this time, Dickens still doesn't know when to shut up.

Our Mutual Friend is our last Dickens novel!  Although I wished for this moment to come many times (mostly while I was reading A Tale of Two Cities) I am really going to miss reading his novels. Oh well.  I still have a few tucked away that I can experience for the first time.  I mean, how can a book titled Barnaby Rudge be bad?

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Referenced many times in the tv show Lost.

The characters were heavily criticized by Henry James.

Trailer for the BBC version:

UP NEXT: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

1 comment:

  1. Way too long. Not your review--the book. That's all I can say about it.