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Onze wederzijdse vriend by Charles Dickens
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Onze wederzijdse vriend (original 1865; edition 2005)

by Charles Dickens (Author), Hans van Haaren (Translator)

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3,447None1,553 (4.17)2 / 318
Member:fredvanheezik
Title:Onze wederzijdse vriend
Authors:Charles Dickens (Author)
Other authors:Hans van Haaren (Translator)
Info:Company of Books / Brilliant Books; paperback; 13,5 x 21 cm.; 694 blz. (Eerder verschenen bij Het Spectrum, Utrecht)
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Engelse literatuur

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Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (1865)

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English (48)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
Quite a typical Dickens; full of humour, satirical, and a great read.
I very much enjoyed it and liked the story a lot; I enjoyed the different characters, who are all in a way charicatures of the type of people they represent. I found it a bit hard at the beginning, especially because there are a lot of different characters introduced, but I really got drawn into it. It's a book that really makes you feel for the people in it, it gives you a sense that you are close to them and makes you wish for the best for all of the nice people, and wish for something dreadful to happen to the bad people...
With a twist at the end, Dickens manages to do just that: the bad people are punished, the good are rewarded and live happily ever after. Though I found the ending somewhat unlikely, it did make for a nice twist to the story, and it was certainly unexpected. ( )
  Britt84 | Mar 7, 2014 |
Hooray! I finally finished this. And also, wow. Though I do have some reservations about its morality-- about which, more soon on my blog.
  rmaitzen | Feb 7, 2014 |
Haven’t read any Dickens for a while, not since Hard Times almost five years ago to be exact and this was the second time that I attempted this particular tome.

The first time, I just couldn’t get into it. I found it wordy and the characters didn’t hold together for me. I lost interest, got confused and it came to an abrupt halt.

This time, I still found it a bit tedious but managed to get over the hump, pass the place that I fell at last time and sail through to the end. Some great readers on Librivox helped.

Was it worth it. Yeah, but this is nothing like Great Expectations or David Copperfield. The story revolves around a case of mistaken identity, inheritances passing to the wrong people and everyone out for all they can grab. Along the way, this brings everyone’s true natures to the surface which the obvious characters appearing.

There were a couple of twists which you normally expect from reading Dickens. But these were constructed less skilfully than I expected from the genius. I enjoyed it, but this is not his greatest work. ( )
  arukiyomi | Feb 3, 2014 |
Dickens's last completed novel is not one of his best in my view, but it does contain some interesting themes on the effects of money on individuals at different levels of society, and a range of colourful and interesting characters, interspersed with some more tedious ones. The more interesting characters were Silas Wegg, the Boffins, the Hexams (but what happened to Charley?), the dolls' dressmaker Jenny Wren, and the Wilfers, especially the depiction of the inverted relationship between Bella and her father (matched by that between Jenny Wren and her father), and the imperious attitude of her mother Mrs Wilfer. Rather less interesting were the title character himself John Rokesmith/Harmon, and more especially the rich and/or upwardly mobile Twemlow, the Veneerings, the Podsnaps and Fledgeby; my interest waned appreciably in the chapters based around their lives. More ambiguous was Mr Riah, a character whose only function seems to be to provide a positive Jewish character to counterbalance the negative stereotype of Fagin in Oliver Twist (albeit nearly 30 years earlier); the insertion doesn't really work as Riah is a very minor character and is very two dimensional. There is also a brace of moving deaths that Dickens does so well, those of little Johnny in a children's home and of the elderly Betty Higden, who has run away to avoid going into the workhouse. Overall I found the plot too rambling to be as effective as it might be and, as so often, the best descriptive passages are those around the lives of the poor, in those case often based on and around the river Thames and its environs. ( )
  john257hopper | Dec 15, 2013 |
An excellent story, though it does drag a bit in parts. I saw the BBC TV production which I loved before reading the book and may have found the written version a little lackluster in terms of character development compared to the TV version. It is a very good story, likely with more elements of surprise if you haven't seen it first. ( )
  JSchem | Sep 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (67 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Dickensprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davies, E. SalterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Egg, AugustusCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, J. HillisAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Poole, AdrianEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, MarcusIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LyndIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winterich, John T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is inscribed by its author to Sir James Emerson Tennent as a memorial of friendship
First words
In these times of ours, though concerning the exact year there is no need to be precise, a boat of dirty and disreputable appearance, with two figures in it, floated on the Thames, between Southwark bridge which is of iron, and London Bridge which is of stone, as an autumn evening was closing in.
Quotations
"Why not possible, deary, when so many things are possible?" ~Mrs. Boffin
"You could draw me to fire. You could draw me to water. You could draw me to the gallows. You could draw me to any death." ~Bradley Headstone
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375761144, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:19 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

John Harmon returns to England as his father's heir. Believed drowned under suspicious circumstances--a situation convenient to his wish for anonymity--John evaluates Bella Wilfer whom he must marry to secure his inheritance. The story is filled with colorful Victorian characters and incidents -- the faded aristocrats and parvenus gathered at the Veneering's dinner table, Betty Higden and her terror of the workhouse and the greedy plottings of Silas Wegg. A comprehensive and penetrating account of Victorian society stiffled by materialism.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140434976, 0141199806

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