Great Expectations
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Great Expectations

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  325,281 ratings  ·  8,649 reviews
Great Expectations is a fundamentally serious, at times funny and throughout a deeply thought-provoking study of human, moral and social values which are brilliantly considered as Pip's 'great expectations' lead him through a revealing voyage of self-discovery in his quest to become a 'gentleman'. Misuse of money, pain, rejection, violence, guilt and misfortune are all pre...more
Hardcover, 410 pages
Published 1994 by Wordsworth Editions, Ltd. (first published 1861)
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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...more
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...more
Aug 20, 2007 Chicklet rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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...more
Jeffrey Keeten
”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...more
I think this book may have made it official for me: I'm just not much of a Dickens fan.

My first introduction to Dickens was A Tale of Two Cities, which we were required to read in HS. It was also my first introduction to Cliff's Notes. :)

I tried Dickens again with Oliver Twist last year. It was abridged. I still could barely get through it, and ended up skipping ahead to the end -- something I almost never do.

It's not that Dickens' storylines aren't interesting to me, because they are. His cha...more
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
Jan 21, 2008 Debbie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
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...more
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
Is there a way to give negative stars?

Let's see, hmmmm, boy is poor. Boy falls in love with well-to-do girl. Boy reforms well. Girl is manipulated to dump boy in a predictable fashion. Lot's of words in between. Boy is chopped up by a meat cleaver and his cadaver is launched into space by hot aire balloon. Space chimps reconstruct boy and send him back to Earth. He lands on miss Havisham. Her toes curl up like a wicked witch... admit it this review is already better than the book.

Why is Charles...more
Jason Pettus
Credited by many as the inventor of the modern novel, there are actually a number of books by Dickens I've read and enjoyed over the years; this one, however, is the latest I've re-read, which is why I'm doing a review of it and not the others. A master storyteller of the Victorian Age, someone imminently readable today as well (unlike so many of those 'olden' authors), Dickens had a magical ability to scoop up every detail of his time's zeitgeist, and spit it back out in a series of thrilling c...more
K.D. Absolutely
Jul 21, 2014 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2012)
When I was a lot younger, I tried reading several works by Charles Dickens (1812-1870) but I was only able to finish one: David Copperfield (4 stars) and then during my first December as a Goodreads member, I read and finished the whole The Christmas Books (4 stars) that includes his, I think, most famous work, A Christmas Carol (4 stars).

With the many other books, especially those that are easier to read, competing for my attention, classics can always be put aside. However, the literary landsc...more
Jan 20, 2009 C. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Even if you haven't read this or seen any of the many movie or tv adaptations, you would know something of the story. This is the one about Pip, an escaped convict, a beautiful but cruel girl called Estella, and the corpse-like Miss Havisham. It's about a little boy called Pip who was raised by his much older sister, Mrs Joe, and her husband, Joe, the village blacksmith. Joe is a role model and father figure as well as Pip's best friend, while Mrs Joe is sharp-tongued and aggressive - between he...more
+++SPOILERS! - but this is Great Expectations - surely you'll have seen at least one of the 17 film versions, even if you weren't forced to read it at school? ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways

When I was a child, and read as a child, I read thee as a fairy tale. The forlorn orphan boy who knows in his heart that wicked dark forces have deposited him in the wrong house and doomed him to drudgery that he does not deserve; a wicked stepmother beats...more
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'Great Expectations' was a strange read, and I'm not sure if I enjoyed it or not. The writing I loved - the narrative is full of sinister comedy, witty dialogue and striking imagery and observations from the word go, and the majority of characters (from the ridiculous to terrifying) are hard not to adore and leave undoubtedly impressioned marks. The pacing, however was extremely unbalanced. Normally, the middle part of a novel would be expected to be the most exciting, yet in this case it was so...more
Recensione per i frivoli.

Orbene, chi pensate potrebbe essere Dickens, se vivesse ai nostri tempi?
Probabilmente un mix tra il regista di Beautiful, e il regista di una qualunque telenovela sudamericana.

I personaggi ci sono tutti. C’è quel paio di nuclei familiari attorno al quale la vicenda si muove, la contrapposizione tra il Bene e il Male, e l’effetto cliff-hanging, che ti tiene incollato alla vicenda grazie a rivelazioni spettacolari, (in cui si scopre che il figlio di Pilar, in realtà era...more
I hadn't read this in at least 30 years, and I decided to try an experiment: I'd read it as it's very first readers did--in 36 weekly installments. I looked up on the interweb where the breaks were, and marked them in my copy. (I'll admit I cheated towards the end as the story picked up speed--but I still always quit at a break.) It was fascinating to watch how Dickens would maintain interest in each installment, either by adding a new character or a new location, or adding a new difficulty, and...more
Click here for Charles Dickens Disclaimer

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is a wonderful story with many characters rich in diversity and complexity. From our lowly poor Pip who comes into money, to the quintessential tease, Estella, to the jilted bride Miss Havisham, and many others. Romance, love, betrayal, murder, and suspense are just a few of the aspects of this story, but are not even needed to draw you in. Dickens has created here a tapestry of a multitude of storylines, all touchin...more
It's hard to review a classic. People have been reviewing Great Expectations for 150 years. I found out not all the original reviews were positive but sometimes time is in your favor when it comes to reviews.

The only other Dickens novel I have read is A Christmas Carol. I have read that book a million times. I have started, but not finished, other books by Dickens. I was hesitant to start this and I wondered if I could finish it. For some reason, Dickens has always intimidated me and I'm not sur...more
Lynne King
I was browsing through this book again last night as I read it years ago and rated it four stars. But obviously tastes do change with time, with different needs and wants, and I think that I failed to see what a masterpiece it is, thus the change in my rating.

I also have my Folio hardback which is exquisite in itself.

It's odd that one can read another book by a completely different author and be given the need to compare it with Dickens, our master story teller.
Chiara Pagliochini
Presi la sua mano nella mia, e ci allontanammo da quelle rovine

Caro signor Charles,
noi ci siamo appena conosciuti. L’ho incontrata ieri sera, si ricorda? Ci hanno presentati, ci siamo stretti la mano. Lei ha fatto una battuta spiritosa e subito l’abbiamo vista prendere in mano la conversazione e animare la serata.
Come con tutte le persone che si conoscono da poco, io non ho poi capito se lei mi piaccia - se mi sia simpatico. Certo, è stato disinvolto e ha detto tante di quelle belle frasi. Ma...more
I guess my favourite book as a kid would have to be Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. I didn't read many children's books. I went through a handful of Seuss, I remember reading Go Dog. Go a few times, and there was a book that retold Disney Tales with minimal pictures that I must have read quite a bit because I remember my copy showing signs of much wear when I was older, but I didn't spend much time on elementary reading.

I jumped quickly to Encyclopedia Brown, The Hardy Boys and Roald Dahl's...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
In the 2008 edition of the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Charles Dickens had ten entries. In the 2010 edition only four remained. This was one of them. And this was my first Dickens novel.

From the Introduction by John Irving I learned the following about Dickens:

1. He was born to a poor family and had a traumatic childhood (a favorite theme in his novels--including this one) because of poverty;

2. He wrote his first novel, the Pickwick Papers, in his mid-20s. It made him famous and brou...more
I don't think I could ever read this book again brilliant as it was. I struggled to work out a rating for this book finally settling for five stars based on the overall quality of the book. While I felt the book dragged at the start I personally worked through the opening to eventually fly through the middle and end of the book.

Great Expectations was a tale of retribution and a tale of love; a story of repentance and forgiveness; a journey between the incongruous elements of light and dark; a ha...more
Douglas Feil
This is the perfect novel, and certainly one of the greatest coming of age stories ever written. Great Expectations has everything - complex characterization, intricate plot, and poetic prose. I think it is important to take into consideration the time and format (serialized over the span of a year). It's also difficult to compare it to the modern novel, as much of the flowery prose and plot resolutions would be considered mawkish by today's standard. I really tried to read this without holding...more
Simona Bartolotta
"...le nebbie della sera si alzarono ora, e in tutta l'ampia distesa di placida luce che mi mostrarono, non vidi nessuna parvenza di un'altra separazione da lei."

Mio Dio, che immensità. La completezza, l'interezza delle opere di Dickens è incommensurabile. E' un autore a trecentosessanta gradi; nei suoi libri c'è tutto: amicizia, amore, odio, rabbia, per poi andare alle sfumature, dalla gratitudine all' ingratitudine, e poi rimorso, tenerezza, umorismo, simpatia, pentimento. E speranza, of cours...more
Mar 19, 2009 Anne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anne by: me
I finished! it's really good, a lot more humorous than I expected. I loved the story, and many of the characters are unforgettable, like Miss Havisham and Aged P. and Wemmick. And it confirms my philosophy of life, which I can't put into words, but Dickens has.
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Victorians!: Great Expectations: chs. 1 - 10 39 53 5 hours, 30 min ago  
miss Havisham, realistic or unrealistic? 32 279 21 hours, 29 min ago  
Joyce's Reading Log: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens 1 2 Jul 17, 2014 09:40PM  
Victorians!: Great Expectations: chs. 11 - 19 1 18 Jul 14, 2014 11:39PM  
Victorians!: Great Expectations: chs. 20 - 29 1 4 Jul 14, 2014 11:38PM  
Victorians!: Great Expectations: chs. 30 - 39 1 6 Jul 14, 2014 11:37PM  
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A prolific 19th Century author of short stories, plays, novellas, novels, fiction and non-fiction; during his lifetime Dickens became known the world over for his remarkable characters, his mastery of prose in the telling of their lives, and his depictions of the social classes, morals and values of his times. Some considered him the spokesman for the poor, for he definitely brought much awarenes...more
More about Charles Dickens...
A Tale of Two Cities A Christmas Carol Oliver Twist David Copperfield Bleak House

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“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.” 1964 likes
“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before--more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.” 1535 likes
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