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Great Expectations

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  499,768 Ratings  ·  12,152 Reviews
'you are to understand, Mr. Pip, that the name of the person who is your liberal benefactor remains a profound secret...'

Young Pip lives with his sister and her husband the blacksmith, with few prospects for advancement until a mysterious benefaction takes him from the Kent marshes to London. Pip is haunted by figures from his past - the escaped convict Magwitch, the time
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Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 482 pages
Published June 12th 2008 by Oxford University Press (first published 1860)
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Jennifer Cipri Good question! I think what made it wrong was how he came to have those expectations: He felt worthless being poor and many of the adults in his life…moreGood question! I think what made it wrong was how he came to have those expectations: He felt worthless being poor and many of the adults in his life treated him as if he were subhuman. They ingrained a sense of self-loathing in him.

I almost cried when he tried to rip his own hair out after Estella made him cry. It's one of the saddest scenes I've ever read in my life! :(

Dickens was really genius in showing how suppression and poverty have such a crushing effect on the spirit and how the true reality of happiness lies nowhere near material gains but in goodness, forgiveness and love. (less)
Nichelle Rohrbach I haven't read the abridged version so I can't say what all you're missing out on by just reading that but, I assume you're probably missing out on a…moreI haven't read the abridged version so I can't say what all you're missing out on by just reading that but, I assume you're probably missing out on a lot. The original is very long but, to me, it's completely worth it. Much of the really awesomeness of Dickens' (and any good classic/gothic writer) comes in the 700th page or so. That's just my opinion. But it's hard for me to imagine that anyone could successfully summarize the 500 pages of brilliance into a quarter the length.

The overall plot is very complex and drawn out over a long period of time. It took me a couple of months to read the book but that helped me understand how much time was passing in the book. The length of the book adds to the development of the characters. I read this book when I was about 15 and even though I live in a completely different world from Pip's character, it was one of the first times that I really related to a character and felt as though I knew him or as though I could have been him. That might sound weird but what I really mean is that there is a lot of worth in this book and I would definitely recommend reading the original. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Michael Kneeland
My students (and some of my friends) can't ever figure out why I love this novel so much. I explain how the characters are thoroughly original and yet timeless, how the symbolism is rich and tasty, and how the narrative itself is juicy and chock-full of complexity, but they just shake their heads at me in utter amazement and say, "What's wrong with you, dude?"

What's wrong, indeed.

I give them ten or fifteen years. Perhaps they'll have to read it again in college, or maybe they'll just try reading
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Emily May
Dec 09, 2010 Emily May rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, favourites
“There was a long hard time when I kept far from me the remembrance of what I had thrown away when I was quite ignorant of its worth.”

I first read Great Expectations when I was thirteen years old. It was the first of Dickens' works that I'd read on my own volition, the only other being Oliver Twist, which we'd studied parts of in school. You know, I missed out on a lot when I was thirteen; by this, I mean that I didn't always understand the deeper meaning lying beneath the surface of my favo
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Stephen
Great Expectations…were formed...were met…and were thoroughly exceeded! Over-London-by-Rail-1 v2

The votes have been tallied, all doubts have been answered and it is official and in the books ...I am a full-fledged, foaming fanboy of Sir Dickens and sporting a massive man-crush for literature’s master story-teller*.

*Quick Aside: My good friend Richard who despises “Chuckles the Dick” is no doubt having a conniption as he reads this…deep breaths, Richard, deep breaths.

After love, love, loving A Tale of Two Cities, I wen
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Jeffrey Keeten
May 03, 2014 Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: victorian
”I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes. I saw that the dress had been put upon the rounded figure of a young woman, and that the figure upon which it now hung loose had shrunk to skin and bone.”

 photo MissHavisham_zps3f113031.jpg
How do you do Miss Havisham? She makes many lists of the twenty greatest characters from Dicken’s novels.

I hadn’t ever met Miss Havisham officially, although I knew of her. I have he
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Bookdragon Sean
"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."

That is such a quote. If there was ever a novel that shows us the dangers of false perceptions then it’s Great Expectations . Pip is such a fool; he constantly misjudges those around him, and he constantly misjudges his own worth. This has lead him down a road of misery because the person who he
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Kalliope


LITERARY EXPECTATIONS


It is said that Satisfaction is equal to Reality minus Expectations.

I reckon then that my rating should be around Eight Stars since Reality would be Five Stars and as my Expectations were on the negative axis—with an absolute value of about three--, it has resulted in a positive eight. The Great Eight, I should anoint this book, then.

How and when were my expectations formed? If I depart on search of my forgotten memories, I think it all started with those black & white
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Chicklet
Aug 19, 2007 Chicklet rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: classics
Boring, dull, lifeless, and flat. This is so drawn out and boring I kept having to remind myself what the plot was.
Best to get someone else to sum up the story rather than undergo the torture of reading it.
Matt
Jan 04, 2009 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-novels
Admittedly, I can be a bit dismissive of the classics. By which I mean that many of my reviews resemble a drive-by shooting. This annoys some people, if measured by the responses I’m still getting to my torching of Moby Dick.

Even though I should expect some blowback, I still get a little defensive. I mean, no one wants to be called a “horrendous” person just because he or she didn’t like an overlong, self-indulgent, self-important “epic” about a douche-y peg leg and a stupid whale.

I’m no phili
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Renato Magalhães Rocha
Excuse me for this infamous pun - which I'm sure has been wearily used since the book was first published -, but I had great expectations about it. Not only had I never read anything by Charles Dickens - who seems to be one of those polarizing authors that continues to inspire, decade after decade, a love/hate relationship with his readers -, but also because Great Expectations is regarded as one of his most important works. For someone as anxious as myself - I should really look into that - it ...more
Samadrita
A Tale of Two Cities will forever occupy a special place in my heart because even though adulthood sensibilities often cause childhood adoration to vanish in entirety, no one forgets a precocious reading of that first classic which reduces one to a sobbing, sniffling mess. But my memories of a first reading of this are hazy at best - the absence of guillotines lopping off heads and swoon-worthy heroes who make larger than life sacrifices could explain my much younger self's lack of appreciation. ...more
Praveen
Feb 12, 2017 Praveen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great expectation was my first book of Dickens. Years ago when I read it, I could not possibly understand its importance from the perspective of social injustice and class conflict of that time. I remembered that initial self-introduction of a young boy, where he talked about his family names and discussed why he preferred himself to be called as Pip and not Philip.

I still had a fresh picture of how one day suddenly Pip encountered that fearful man, who was soaked in water, and smothered in mud,
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Lyn
Jul 31, 2011 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens' 1860 first person narration centers on the formation and social development of the inimical English character Pip.

Set in and around London in the early 1800s, Dickens uses vivid imagery and his usual genius at characterization to build a story that has become one of English languages greatest and most recognized stories.

As always in a Dickens’ novel, his brilliant cast of intriguing characters takes center stage as the reader comes to know a parade of liter
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James
5 stars to Charles Dickens's Great Expectations. So many good choices in the world of Charles Dickens, but ultimately, even though I love me some ghosts of Scrooge, Great Expectations wins out.

Most of us probably were "forced" to read this book in junior high or high school. I am one of those people; however, I was an English major in college and read it again for one of my courses. It's one of those books that gets better as you get older and stronger each time you read it. If you only read it
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Nayra.Hassan
هل سنكون سعداء عندما تتحقق امالنا العريضة؟؟سؤال مرعب قد يدور في أذهان المتفلسفين منا..

طلاب مدارس اللغات يعلمون ان هناك 4تعاونوا على تعذيبهم..شكسبير.. والأختين برونتي ..و تشارلز ديكنز..
و لكن تظل لامال عريضة مكانا في عقلى و قلبي ..فمن خلالها تعرفت على أسلوب النقد البريطاني المنظم..وأيضا تعرفت على جزء كبير من حياة تشارلز ديكنز. .. فهو مثل البطل فيليب بيريب. .عرف الفقر طويلا في طفولته بسبب سجن والده

مع فيليب عرفت مشاعر اليتم والفقر بدون مبالغة
و لم يحرمنا من الأكشن. .فنجد بيب يقابل مجرما هاربا..و يساع
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Lisa
It is almost hard to believe that Dickens stays the same when you read him on several occasions in your life. Somehow, the words and their meanings seem completely different. Obviously, it is my life experience that has changed, not the story. I find that to be one of Dickens' major achievements: the storytelling excellence that captures a teenager's need for complicated plots as well as the cynical grown-up's wish for reflection on human behaviour.

Great Expectations has both, and I found myself
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Laurel Hicks
I see more in this book each time I read it. Class distinctions, friendships, character development, sin, repentance, forgiveness, redemption--all are explored and charted in this thirteenth novel of Dickens.

My favorite characters are Joe Gargery, the gentle and loving blacksmith; the faithful Herbert Pocket; and the helpful Mr. Wemmick and his Aged P.

I've been seeing a recurring theme in several of Dickens' novels--a degrading reliance on hopes of the future to the detriment of the duties and
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MJ Nicholls
It is frustrating being slapped around the head by classics that leave you trouserless in a lukewarm puddle. Because the failure, as Mr. Gass points out, is never with the book. You are to blame, always. I am to blame for not embracing Great Expectations with the same open-armed ever-lovingness with which I embraced Little Dorrit and David Copperfield and so on down the line. My reasons, thus: the second act loses the momentum and powerful perspective established in Part One, as Pip becomes a pr ...more
sweet jane
"You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since – on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The st ...more
Councillor
The success is not mine, the failure is not mine, but the two together make me.

Many people consider „Great Expectations“ to be Charles Dickens‘ masterpiece, his greatest work with the most impressive cast of characters. And while I cannot comment on its quality in comparison to other well-known Dickens novels like „A Tale of Two Cities“ or „David Copperfield“, it certainly managed to live up to my expectations and even more: to make me feel part of Pip Pirrip’s life, of his relations to Miss H
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TheSkepticalReader
Probably my second favorite Dickens so far.

What is remarkable about reading this novel is that while it begins with a lot of archetypical characteristics of a Dickensian novel, mostly all of the characters defied what I expected of them. Not only are they entertaining and expertly written, but also incredibly realistic. Miss Havisham, Pip, Estella, and more start off in their tiny little boxes of stereotypes but grow into layered characters with more complexity then I would’ve imagined.

I also ha
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Raya  Ka'abneh
Feb 15, 2014 Raya Ka'abneh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"I must be taken as I have been made. The success is not mine, the failure is not mine, but the two together make me."



تعرّفت على روايات تشارلز ديكنز في سن مبكّر نسبياً، فهي أولى الأعمال التي أدخلتني إلى كلاسيكيات الأدب الإنجليزي خاصةً والعالمي عامةً. كنت أستعير رواياته من مكتبة المدرسة وأضعها في مكتبتي الصغيرة في المنزل، وأبقى أنظر إليها لحين انتهاء فترة الامتحانات لألتهمها في عطلة الشتاء. كانت أجواء الشتاء ترتبط بذهني بأوليفر تويست وديفيد كوبرفليد وپيب بيريب وشوارع لندن الضيّقة ومجتمعها المُخم
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Tiza
Feb 19, 2008 Tiza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Whew, it took me an incredibly long time to finish this book. Actually, this book kind of fell somewhere between 3 and 4 stars but I rounded it up because I liked it better than David Copperfield. While it's true that this book can be somewhat tiresome and contrived at parts, Dickens' dry humour, beautifully haunting descriptions and unforgettable characters made it a really fun read for me. One approach that best be adopted in reading Great Expectations (and Dickens' novels in general) is not t ...more
Empress of Books
Check out this gorgeous copy of Great Expectations that my dad bought me for Christmas!
Debbie
Jan 11, 2008 Debbie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of wordy prose
It's the book that turned me off of Dickens. I still shudder when I think of being forced to read it in high school. The descriptions just go on forever...make it stop!

Pip, an orphan, meets an escaped convict and treats him kindly. This simple action will change Pip's life forever. Pip falls in love with Estella, a cold-hearted girl, who, thanks to bitter Miss Havisham, has been well-trained as a heartbreaker. She is wealthy and looks down on Pip, a poor boy with no expectations.

When a mysterio
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Jan-Maat
My favourite Dickens partly because of the degree of disillusionment partly because it seems to me to be particularly aware of stories and the great expectations of readers here Dickens is particularly sadistic will Miss Haversham's peculiar overreaction ever be explained, will we get to see Estella, a primed mine in the middle of a busy shipping lane(view spoiler) explode? Is normal life in the North Kent Marshes ever possible except by esc ...more
Luís C.
The rather dreamlike aspect that the castle of Miss Havisham and its created inhabitants disturbed me without taking me by surprise.
There is also something of the moralizing fable in this novel. Pip is an orphan taken by her sister, who raises it "by hand" whatever that phrase may mean. For the child she seems to say with a heavy hand. He is summoned to the neighboring castle to distract the lady from the place, an original who suspended his life on the day of his wedding that did not take place
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Shobhit Sharad
A long tale about getting friend-zoned.
Joe Valdez
My first book of the new year and my first incursion deep into the Dickensverse is Charles Dickens' thirteenth novel Great Expectations. First serialized in the weekly publication All the Year Round in 1860-1861, the experience of reading this tale progressed a bit like Dickens' protagonist, beginning with wonder and anticipation, getting bogged down by the cruel mean world and finally just making me want to run home, to an author who wasn't paid per word.

Great Expectations begins big. On Christ
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Brendon Schrodinger
Apr 24, 2014 Brendon Schrodinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
To me Great Expectations was like an iceberg in that I knew, through some osmosis effect of years of cultural references, the plot of the first 20% of this book. It's been referenced and rehashed so many times that Miss Havisham can be visualised by most people and they all know her as a crazy old lady in a wedding dress who owns a big house. Everyone knows that Pip meets a convict out on the marshes also. But what of the latter part of the story? Is it just my exposure but the remaining 80% of ...more
C.
Aug 18, 2008 C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone having trouble getting into Victorian literature
I have a confession to make. It's shameful and disgraceful and I barely want to own up to it. But I just can't hide it no more! *sob*

I thought Dickens was boring.

And worst of all, I based this assumption on... nothing. I'd read not a single word of his prose. I don't think I'd even watched a TV adaptation of one of his books. I have no idea where I got it from, but its pernicious influence prevented me from even trying a Dickens novel until now, and even now I thought I'd had to force my way thr
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Old Books, New Re...: Great Expectations - Week 4 (January 2016) 24 37 Jun 15, 2017 09:30PM  
Old Books, New Re...: Great Expectations - Week 1 (January 2016) 21 61 Jun 11, 2017 07:24PM  
The Old Curiosity...: Discussing the Novel as a Whole 40 14 Jun 01, 2017 01:22AM  
The Old Curiosity...: GE, Chapter 57 25 11 May 26, 2017 07:46AM  
The Old Curiosity...: GE, Chapters 47 - 48 68 12 May 26, 2017 05:30AM  
The Old Curiosity...: GE, Chapters 34-35 40 14 May 26, 2017 05:23AM  
The Old Curiosity...: GE, Chapters 58 - 59 40 11 May 25, 2017 08:50PM  
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Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and sho ...more
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“I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.” 3606 likes
“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape.” 3165 likes
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