Get a free audiobook

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's 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

What listeners say about Our Mutual Friend

Average Customer Ratings

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No reviews are available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2018-04-21

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steve M
  • 2020-06-30

Spectacular Performance

I read the majority of this book on the page but listened to the audio on a couple of drives. Maybe four or five hours total? Meera Syal's reading was spectacular. She brought the characters to life in ways that stayed with me when I was reading on my own and had an uncanny instinct for timing and pacing when reading the narration. It's so easy to make cartoons of some of Dickens's characters (minor especially) but she gave every one of them depth and humanity. I would rank her at Juliet Stevenson level, the highest praise I can think to give. As for the novel itself, it is Dickens's last completed novel. The plot gets a little pointlessly complicated, but it didn't detract at all from the power, the humor, the expansiveness of his view of people. This feels like a mature work of art by an author at peak control of his astonishing talents. No other writer I've read creates such a completely absorbing, immersive, vivid experience for their readers. It's like taking a long voyage to another time and place. (A blessing since our own time place aren't so great right now.)

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Hope
  • 2019-08-18

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 96Lily
  • 2020-12-06

Top notch narration

One of the best narrators I’ve heard. She fully portrayed every character with a unique voice, personality, and timbre, and brought the story vividly to life!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-08-30

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!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David Hinden
  • 2021-01-01

The Best of Dickens and the Best of Audible!

Meera Syal’s narration of this work, complete with a unique voice for each character, is the best performance I’ve heard on Audible and what a story! As Dickens writes in an afterword, there are two major plot twists in this novel (John Rockville is the heir John Hanford and the Boffins were in on the secret all along), one of which is deliberately telegraphed to the reader very early on and the other of which is completely disguised until the very end of the novel. The final plot twist is worthy of the finale of Dallas. And along the way, we see Dickens at his most masterful in creating unforgettable characters and dialogue, skewering society, advocating for the poor and writing some of the finest landscape/riverscape descriptions I have ever had the pleasure to read. This is one of those books the reader savors. I found myself worrying that some particularly wonderful passages were not bound to be bound to my memory. If pressed for what I liked best, I would have to say the characters and the dialogue: Ms. Jenny Wren, the dressmaker of children’s dolls, the Veneerings, Podsnaps and Miss Tiffen, dinner hosts and guests from hell, Betty Hidgins, a poor woman destined to die on the road, Mrs.Wilfer, who wants nothing more than to rise above her station, Mr. Venus the taxidermist and the unparalleled band of villains—Bradley Headstone, the stalking, murderous schoolmaster, the Lammles, the fortune hunters mutually deceived into marriage, Rodger Ridinghood a river rogue, and Fascinating Fledgby, the indolent “gentleman” looking for a scam and hiding his money-lending business behind the Jew, Mr. Riah, and Charley Hexam, a poor boy with brains and ambition. These characters are all much more interesting with richer lives, stories, dialogue, than the main characters driving the plot. With Dickens, the plot is just the structure around which the best parts of the novel are strung. This could be the best Dickens I’ve ever read although Great Expectations will always hold a special place for me. I see that it often ranks among Dickens’ most beloved works, the other one that is frequently mentioned being Bleak House. It’s been at least thirty years since I last visited Bleak House and this experience tells me it’s time for a revisit.