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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Our Mutual Friend

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens, 884 pgs, published 1865.

Simply not my favorite novel by Charles Dickens. In fact, this is the first Dickens novel I've encountered that I did not just get wrapped up in and totally love. I guess it was bound to happen.
There were way too many plots and sub plots and characters for me to even try to summarize this book so I am not even going to try.
What I generally love about a Dickens novel are the characters. Nobody does character development like Dickens and the whole plethora of interesting and strange characters were all there, but they just seemed to be lacking something this time around, like a cohesive plot. The most interesting characters were the creepy ones (Charley Hexam, Bradley Headstone and Eugene Wrayburn.) But there were many that I could not find myself caring about and sighed every time I came to a chapter featuring them (the Veneerings, Twemlow and that lot.) And the rest, eh, just so-so. Sometimes interesting and made the story feel like it was actually going somewhere and other times just made the story feel bogged down.
This was the most tedious and at times confusing Dickens novel I've read but it was still Dickens and therefore in the end, looking back over the novel as a whole, well worth the time and effort. Definitely the darkest Dickens novel I've read.
Just don't start with this novel if you are new to reading Dickens. Start with something like Great Expectations, Nicholas Nickleby or The Pickwick Papers



Thanks for the book review.

I've never actually read anything by Dickens. I've always meant to, but I've just never gotten around to it yet.

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