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Our Mutual Friend

The Dickens Collection: An Audible Exclusive Series
Length: 34 hrs and 57 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (88 ratings)

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Summary

This definitive performance of Our Mutual Friend - Dickens' final completed novel - features expert narration by Meera Syal and an exclusive introduction written and read by Lucinda Hawksley, great-great-great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens. Hawksley is a biographer, author and lecturer whose wealth of knowledge on Dickens is both research-led and personal. She introduces us to the themes in Our Mutual Friend and tells us how they connect to the life of Dickens himself.

Full of both satire and social analysis, Our Mutual Friend looks at what could happen in Victorian England when a fortune passes to a working-class couple. The audiobook will enchant the listener with its larger-than-life characters, its poignant depiction of social injustice and the singular seed of hope with which Dickens hints at the possibility of a better tomorrow.

About the author

Having experienced the incarceration of his father, Charles Dickens had to abandon his studies at a young age and set to work in a factory so as to support himself. Despite his short-lived education, Dickens went on to write 15 novels, various articles, novellas and short stories. He lectured and led campaigns for children's rights and education and arguably became the ultimate self-made man.

About the narrator

Comedian, writer and actor Meera Syal rose to prominence as one of the creators of comedy sketch show Goodness Gracious Me and cemented herself as a household name in the UK portraying Sanjeev's grandmother, Ummi, in The Kumars at No. 42.

Multitalented Syal has penned novels, scripts and screenplays as well as lending her vocals to various songs and albums. Here she uses her voice to tell our Dickensian story with all the mastery you would expect from this talented performer.

Public Domain (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

Behind the scenes with Meera Syal

The British comedian and narrator of Our Mutual Friend shares her thoughts on Dickens' final completed novel.
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What members say

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Disappointing

I loved this book - the story is fantastic - but the narration nearly undid it for me. Shame as I like Meera Syal as an actor

3 people found this helpful

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Dickens at his very best !

Wonderfly narrated. Charles Dickens epic classic is beautifully delivered. A great tale that touches on the expectations of society and the perils trappings and evils of money

3 people found this helpful

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Not the narrator for me

Prefer David Timson by far, sorry. I really wanted to like Meera Syal but I didn't understand why some of the London characters didn't have London voices and it started to grate after a while. Also I felt the pace of the narration was a bit slow. Great story and characters, as always.

7 people found this helpful

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Dreadful overacting

Had to give up on this book as I couldn’t bear listening to it anymore - dreadful overacting with the characters being given ridiculous voices, it’s like a parody.

1 person found this helpful

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Audible have let Meera Syal down

Meera Syal is brilliant, so why have Audible directed this reading so badly? Compared to her interesting, lively, natural voice (see video clip on the book's webpage), this recording is slow, lacking in life, and sounds like it's being read for junior school children. Other Meera Syal audiobooks have been excellent, and I've listened to other versions of OMF many times - so anticipating this combination of narrator and book had me really excited - but I've ended up really disappointed, and after two tries, of nearly 3 hours each, I've finally, reluctantly - and sadly - thrown in the towel. I blame Audible for not sorting this out, and for letting down a brilliant narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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masterpiece of writing

loved the story and the characters. A great social comment. listened a second time too.

3 people found this helpful

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Confused

I found this book really confusing and although I enjoyed the story and followed the plots I could not marry them together. This may of been explained earlier but forgot it by Time I had got to the expplanatilon. Also I foresaw the outcome but it turned out not quite as I expected.

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Our mutual friend

Long complex story of good and evil, right and wrong greed and generosity brilliantly told by Meera Syal

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Awful, awful narration

I can’t believe how highly others have rated this. It’s one of my favourite Dickens books but Meera Syal is a dreadful narrator. That she was narrating was actually one of the selling points for me because I generally really like her, but her style of reading is totally at odds with classic literature and would be more suited to children’s stories. She stresses all of the wrong words in sentences and the whole style really jars with the book. I’m so disappointed. I was really looking forward to listening to this having not read it for years. I couldn’t get past the first chapter.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Meera Syal is an excellent narrator!

It took me a little while to get used to the language of the book, but once it got going I found myself enjoying it immensely. Meera Syal is so good at doing all the different voices of the characters (of which there are many); that you could tell who was speaking throughout. I'd love to see her narrating more books on audible, as she is such a delight to listen to!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 21-04-18

Fantastic

Charles Dickens has always been one of my favourite authors. This production is wonderfully done and reminded me why l love this story. Thank you Ms Syal.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-08-19

Intricate and captivating story and reading!

I love Dickens’ complex character development in this story, which, simultaneously has the effect of making you love his noblest characters and even develop a fond affection and amusement for the most detestable, laughing aloud at times at the eccentricities and traits of them all. The characterization is well-captured in both voice and intonation of this reader, who has clearly well-acquainted herself with the passages to portray the intricate scenes and interactions as closely as possible to those conceptualized by the author. A must-read/listen!

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  • Hope
  • 18-08-19

Wonderful Narrator

Our Mutual Friend is a complex novel that requires one to pay close attention in order to keep characters and their relationships straight. The performance of the story aided my comprehension of the story greatly.