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****Excellent***Good**Fair*Poor : AUDIOCASSETTES

December 08, 1987|CHARLES CHAMPLIN | Compiled by Terry Atkinson

"Our Mutual Friend" by Charles Dickens. Read by Paul Scofield. Dove. (Two cassettes; 2 hours 49 minutes.) The novel, serialized over a period of 19 months, runs in the complete works to two volumes, 857 close pages and more than 375,000 words, with a sprawling cast of characters nearly impossible to identify let alone develop on two cassettes. It is also one of Dickens' most preposterous works, involving a faked death and various dissimulations that even Dickens' enormous skills can barely make coherent. His jabs at Britain's new rich are jewels in the vast tapestry and the Paul Scofield reading is a brilliant, characterful effort in a largely lost cause. Information: (800) 345-9945. ** 1/2

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