CharlesDickens' last complete novel, "Our Mutual Friend" is a glorious satire spanning all levels of Victorian society, edited with an...... more
CharlesDickens' last complete novel, "Our Mutual Friend" is a glorious satire spanning all levels of Victorian society, edited with an introduction by Adrian Poole in "Penguin Classics". "Our Mutual Friend" centre??i??i??'s on an inheritance - Old Harmon's profitable dust heaps - and its legatees, young John Harmon, presumed drowned when a body is pulled out of the River Thames, and kindly dustman Mr Boffin, to whom the fortune defaults. With brilliant satire, Dickens portrays a dark, macabre London, inhabited by such disparate characters as Gaffer Hexam, scavenging the river for corpses; enchanting, mercenary Bella Wilfer; the social-climbing Veneering; and the unscrupulous street-trader Silas Wegg. The novel is richly symbolic in its vision of death and renewal in a city dominated by the fetid Thames, and the corrupting power of money. "Our Mutual Friend" uses text of the first volume edition of 1865 and includes original illustrations, a chronology and revised further reading. As Adrian Poole writes in his introduction to this new edition, 'In its vast scope and perilous ambitions it has much in common with "Bleak House" and "Little Dorrit", but its "Our Mutual Friend" uses text of the first volume edition of 1865 and includes original illustrations, a chronology and revised further manner is stealthier, on edge, enigmatic.' CharlesDickens is one of the best-loved novelists in the English language, whose 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. His most famous books, including "Oliver Twist", "Great Expectations", "A Tale of Two Cities", "David Copperfield" and "The Pickwick Papers", have been adapted for stage and screen and read by millions. If you enjoyed "Our Mutual Friend", you might like Dickens' "The Mystery of Edwin Drood", also available in "Penguin Classics". "The great poet of the city. He was created by London." (Peter Ackroyd).
There have been many film and TV adaptations of Oliver Twist but this 1948 production from director David Lean remains the definitive screen interpretation of...... more
There have been many film and TV adaptations of Oliver Twist but this 1948 production from director David Lean remains the definitive screen interpretation of the CharlesDickens classic. From the ominous symbolism of its opening storm sequence (in which Oliver's pregnant, ill-fated mother struggles to reach shelter before childbirth) to the mob-scene climax that provokes Bill Sikes's dreadful comeuppance, this breathtaking black-and-white film remains loyal to Dickens while distilling the story into its purest cinematic essence.Every detail is perfect--Lean even includes a coffin-shaped snuffbox for the cruel Mr. Sowerberry--and as young Oliver, eight-year-old John Howard Davies (who would later produce Monty Python's Flying Circus for the BBC) perfectly expresses the orphan's boyish wonderment, stern determination and waifish vulnerability. Best of all is Alec Guinness as Fagin, so devious and yet so delightfully appealing under his beak-nosed (and, at the time, highly controversial) make-up. (Many complained that Fagin's huge nose and greedy demeanour presented an anti-Semitic stereotype, even though Lean never identifies Fagin as Jewish; for this reason, the film wasn't shown in the US until three years after its British release.) Likewise, young Anthony Newley is artfully dodgy as Fagin's loyal accomplice, the Artful Dodger. Guinness's performance would later provide strong inspiration for Ron Moody's equally splendid portrayal of Fagin in the Oscar-winning Oliver! and while that 1968 musical remains wonderfully entertaining, it is Lean's film that hews closest to Dickens' vision. The authentic recreation of 19th-century London is marvellous to behold; Guy Green's cinematography is so shadowy and stylised that it almost qualifies as Dickensian film noir. Lean is surprisingly blunt in conveying Dickens's theme of cruelty but his film never loses sight of the warmth and humanity that Oliver embodies. --Jeff Shannon
Advantages: The original story is always the best. Short, easy, cheap. Disadvantages: funny looks when it's not December, A-Z doesn't include everything.
...***Please note: this review is for the Collins Classic edition of Dickens? A Christmas Carol, however, Ciao have asked me to post it under another version as there are already a lot of different versions on here. Sorry!
What the Dickens?
I have had a pile of books up to my knee for about the last year while I worked my way through a rather large set of books that I couldn?t put down...
Advantages: Excellent story, lots of ups and downs Disadvantages: Sometimes the coincental meetings sound a bit far fetched
...David Copperfield was a book that I was supposed to have studied for o level in school. I hated it I only read about 5 pages and I just could not stand it. After 26 years I decided to try again and I could not believe how wonderful it was. I think you have to be an adult or at least to have experienced some sort of life to appreciate Charles Dickens.
The story is written as...
...G.C.S.E. English Literature has a great deal to answer for. The classics we were forced to read for our exams in secondary school were often too boring, heavy going and weighted with long-winded descriptions. The endurance test we underwent has sadly put many of us reading classics and reading in general. It never crossed my mind that at the age of 27 it was shocking that I?d never read a single...