Great Expectations

Great Expectations

Book - 2019
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HARPERCOLL
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics.

Publisher: London :, William Collins, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, 2019
ISBN: 9780008329389
0008329389
Characteristics: viii, 432 pages ; 20 cm

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I had to read this in high school and found it tedious and pointless. Then, when I was in grad school, I was working in the lab running samples, which involved sitting and waiting for the machine to run for 7-1/2 minutes before I changed the sample. Someone had dropped a copy of GE in the hall outside my lab, where it lay for three days. Desperate for something to occupy my mind, I picked it up and started to read. I was amazed at how much better it had become in that time! The movie is also fine. Check them both out!

w
wyenotgo
Feb 21, 2019

I would consider Great Expectations to be the ultimate coming-of-age story in literature. At each stage in Pip’s young life, he becomes more complete, his childish fears and fantasies gradually replaced by the concerns and conflicts and aspirations of a youth burgeoning into young manhood. And yet the spirit of the little boy, flummoxed by the irrational treatment he receives from various adults, remains constant as he struggles to maintain his equilibrium and understand who he is and what is to become of him.
I recall seeing it as a Victorian morality story when I first read it oh so many years ago. What I had forgotten and what especially delights me on reading it now is Dickens’ droll humor and his razor-sharp depictions of characters and their foibles. His protagonist’s character develops gradually, as we get to understand the various aspects of Pip’s persona; but when he introduces a minor character, we are instantly treated to a 30 second piece of theater, complete with sounds, lights, costume and acting cues. We can practically smell the breath that emits from them. And it’s done with seemingly effortless ironic humor.
"A man who has been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars, who limped, and shivered, and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin."
Even his minor characters are seldom one-dimensional; they lead complex lives, even though we only get to peek into them briefly. A wonderful example of this is his account of the two totally separate lives led by the clerk Wemmick and the marvelous transformation that he undergoes during his journey from his “castle” to his humdrum working life. As always in Dickens, many of the characters are archetypes of their time and place, early 19th century England; to a degree, the characters are an integral part of the setting, icons that define the society they inhabit.
Conditioned are we as readers have become to fast-paced narratives, it’s remarkable that a novel written over 150 years ago can be so absolutely delightful and absorbing.

m
mreta
Feb 04, 2019

Permanently on my bookshelf, loved it ever since I first read it in 9th grade. I read it at least once a year. Sometimes I also read it just for the parts with Miss Havisham, such an interesting character to think about.

r
red_goose_54
Aug 09, 2017

This book has a great plot, but the length of it is very boring, You can connect to it very well but it just has too much words that could be avoided in my opinion.

8
8408408
Jun 30, 2017

Great story, with an interesting twist 3/4 of the way through.

r
re_discover
May 24, 2017

Great Expectations was one of the books I studied in high school; however, I never finished reading it! Re-reading it again as an adult, I found that it just doesn't resonate with me. Although Great Expectations is know as a coming of age story, I do not believe Pip ever really took responsibility for his actions.

b
ba_library
Feb 11, 2017

I love Dickens - I know some people can't connect to his stories (he has a few that even I cannot get through!) Great Expectations is truly a classic! Young Pip is raised by his irritable sister and her kindly, loving blacksmith husband near the marshes in England. Pip encounters a convict, escaped form the hulks (prison ships), who demands some food and a file to get the cuffs off his feet. Pip later encounters the local crazy lady, Miss Havisham who recruits him to play with her adopted daughter, Estella. The story gets complex and the characters evolve into unforgettable representations - the woman who was dumped on her wedding day, the beautiful girl who was raised to be heartless, the young boy who aspires to be a gentleman but finally realizes the good, honest people who raised him had more value and worth than a "gentleman" title. True beauty hurts and destroys, course criminal conduct generates benevolence and trust. I recently watched a newer DVD and it couldn't quite capture Estella. I borrowed the early version directed by David Lean - great! Really captures the bleak, gloomy countryside and the bleakness of some of the characters. The book is even better, in the preface the writer says it is Dickens only book without a hero. The story is about human weakness, I might add human frailty. I think the Aged P would give it a good salute.

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elizali
Oct 03, 2016

The characters in this book are crafted so lovingly. But if I'm being perfectly honest, I was not that interested in scenes without Miss Havisham or Estella. Havisham is so macabre that I could read a book solely on her daily happenings. Joe is the most solid dude and great comedic relief. Obviously a classic, but glad I picked it up.

BklynRakishaK Aug 02, 2016

Though this novel moves at quite a glacial pace up until the beginning of the second half, once the main story is introduced, the plot becomes a complicated, deceitful maze of unexpected twists and malicious villains. Our hero, Pip, strives to achieve the status of a "real gentleman" throughout, but becoming a gentleman, in Dickens' eyes, requires a lot more than breeding, wealth, and fine clothing.

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Jul 27, 2016

Roughly 156 years later, Great expectations by Charles Dickens still manages to find a young audience to flip through its pages. While at first some might be fooled by the slow and some might say boring first couple of chapters, the book starts to flourish as the scrambled plot with its twists and turns keeps the reader engaged. The book is full of action and each page saturated with information and detail. While the action might not be the super powers and giant explosions you would find in a more recent novel, it is still full of action and adventure. The drama in this book is enough to spin your feelings, because you get hooked on the characters and must know what happens to them and why. Honestly, I would recommend this book to someone who likes action book with lots of drama and detail.
- @Alicat15 of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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red_bee_1890
Nov 10, 2018

red_bee_1890 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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tkuku0407
Dec 13, 2017

tkuku0407 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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TSUKUANYANG
Apr 16, 2014

TSUKUANYANG thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 99

blue_deer_226 Jun 04, 2013

blue_deer_226 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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Laura_X Feb 22, 2019

Spring is the time of the year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade

k
kathinkg
Jun 22, 2016

That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.

v
vickiz
Jan 12, 2009

"Mother by adoption," retorted Estella, never departing from the easy grace of her attitude, never raising her voice as the other did, never yielding either to anger or tenderness, "Mother by adoption, I have said that I owe everything to you. All I possess is freely yours. All that you have given me, is at your command to have again. Beyond that, I have nothing. And if you ask me to give you what you never gave me, my gratitude and duty cannot do impossibilities."

h
Hadley
Dec 06, 2007

MY father's family name being Pirrip, and my christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.

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