Thursday, December 18, 2008

Review: Our Mutual Friend

Charles Dickens is funny!

Our Mutual Friend
was the first of his books I've read, and I was surprised by the level of humor which colors his social commentary: Podsnappery, the Lammle's marriage, Jenny Wren turning around the doll. Why didn't anyone ever tell me how humorous Dickens's writing is?

Our Mutual Friend, the last novel he finished, appears to be rather unknown. The main plot focuses on a the fate of a large inheritance whose heir is murdered. The real joy comes from the many side stories and characters that get weaved together into the main plot.

The ending seems forced--there is a twist that I found to be unbelievable and inconsistent with the previous depictions of some of the characters. Also, the way Bella reacts to things at the end didn't seem true to me.

If you've never read any Dickens (or, even if you have), I highly recommend this as a place to start.

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