Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Reads: Our Mutual Friend

Another confession: I LOVE LOVE LOVE classic literature.  I read them obsessively.  You know those lists that circulate every once in awhile, asking how many of these 100 greatest classics you've ever read?  Usually I can click off the majority, no matter which list you look at.  This one doesn't always end up at the top of those lists, but I like it anyway:

Our Mutual Friend
by Charles Dickens

For: Adults

Genre: Social Commentary, Satire, Classics (you pick)

Published: 1865

Description: A satiric masterpiece about the allure and peril of money, Our Mutual Friend revolves around the inheritance of a dust-heap where the rich throw their trash. When the body of John Harmon, the dust-heap’s expected heir, is found in the Thames, fortunes change hands surprisingly, raising to new heights “Noddy” Boffin, a low-born but kindly clerk who becomes “the Golden Dustman.” Charles Dickens’s last complete novel, encompasses the great themes of his earlier works: the pretensions of the nouveaux riches, the ingenuousness of the aspiring poor, and the unfailing power of wealth to corrupt all who crave it. With its flavorful cast of characters and numerous subplots,Our Mutual Friend is one of Dickens’s most complex—and satisfying—novels.

Why I liked it: I don't know.  I just did.  I thought Mr. Boffin was delightful and the dead John Harmon was a compelling character (trust me, that will make sense if you read the book), the dust heaps were fascinating, and the commentary on wealth and corruption was thought-provoking.  Besides, it's Dickens!
Got a favorite classic you'd like to share?  Bring it on!

And happy weekend reading!


  1. I'm especially fond of MAIN STREET (Sinclair Lewis)--about 50 years after Dickens! Though I like Dickens too. Haven't read OUR MUTUAL FRIEND, though.

    1. Ooh, I haven't read MAIN STREET. I'll have to pick that one up now. Thanks for the suggestion!