Dominic's Reviews > Great Expectations

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
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Jul 07, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: classic-literature
Read from July 07 to 20, 2010

Regardless of what your opinion of Charles Dickens may be, there are undeniable reasons why Great Expectations should be read. It is, for one, an expertly plotted novel. I couldn't help but think of J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter novels as I read. Both are well-paced and urge the reader on; I guess that's why I find it surprising that so many people seem to consider GE a boring novel. Rowling seems to be indebted to GE.

It's hard to be bored by this novel when its characterization is simply masterful (another reason GE should be hailed as a must-read). Pip is the universal archetype of the human being searching for an identity. Miss Havisham is a masterwork of the imagination; she haunted me and Dickens' prose only amplifies my wonder. Joe, Herbert, Biddy, Magwitch, and Estella are all complex characters that beg to either be loved or hated.

Dickens delights readers with comic, suspenseful, horrific, and gentle moments. There is a bit of everything here. While I do believe the language and Dickens' approach (the novel was originally published in a serialized form) could alienate modern readers, Great Expectations is as entertaining, haunting, engaging, and relevant as the best Shakespearean drama.

One precaution I could give is to keep a character list; Dickens is known for his Altman-esque crew. And while Dickens is known to be "wordy," his prose is spectacular--and you'll give your brain muscles a really great workout.

But don't let anything discourage you. I guarantee you will never forget Pip, Ms. H, Estella and the rest once you are done; and you will be better for having known them.
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Reading Progress

07/17/2010 page 205
47.0% "Life has been crazy this week. I plan on spending a good 5-6 hours with this one this weekend to get back on schedule."
06/02/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Camille (new)

Camille Anyone compared to jk Rowling is worth reading...right?


Dominic You definitely need to read it someday!


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