Classics for Beginners discussion

Great Expectations
This topic is about Great Expectations
Old Monthly Group Reads > Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Comments (showing 1-50 of 118) (118 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3

message 1: by Nicolle, Founder (new) - added it

Nicolle | 1107 comments Mod

message 2: by Nicolle, Founder (last edited Apr 01, 2012 12:56PM) (new) - added it

Nicolle | 1107 comments Mod
Just to let people know that this is free as an ebook on goodreads and on things like kindle.

Here is a link:

Kwesi 章英狮 (kwesifriends) | 138 comments Hi guys, did anyone here watch Great Expectations tv series by BBC?

message 4: by ☯Emily , moderator (last edited Apr 02, 2012 04:19AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

☯Emily  | 319 comments Mod
Yes, I watched the first episode last night. First part was really scary, but beautifully done. This episode will be on-line for a while, so if anyone wants to see it, they can.

message 5: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (TessaBookConcierge) Kwesi 章英狮 wrote: "Hi guys, did anyone here watch Great Expectations tv series by BBC?"

I did see the Masterpiece Theater presentation via PBS television ( in the USA) last night. It was part one of a two-part show. Not sure if it's the same as the BBC produced tv series you refer to. This one stars Gilian Anderson as Miss Havesham. Very good, and I'll definitely tune in this coming Sunday for the finale.

message 6: by Nilgun (last edited Apr 03, 2012 02:23AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nilgun (Hassiz) | 11 comments there is so many tv movies abaut it but anyone isn't like the book!

Sandie | 13 comments @ Book Concierge- That is the recent BBC series, but I thought it was three episodes not two.

There is also going to be a new movie adaptation made this year staring Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham.

message 8: by ☯Emily , moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

☯Emily  | 319 comments Mod
Really? I love Helena Bonham Carter.

Sandie | 13 comments yep :) here is the information on it off imdb:

Goosegirl | 19 comments I havent read this since english class about 7 or 8 years ago...

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 531 comments Mod
It is my goal to read this with you all this month. I just need to get three more review books read!

Melissa I'm looking forward to diving into this one! I just gotta get my act together and finish Sherlock Holmes. hehe

message 13: by Aqueda (new) - added it

Aqueda Veronica (Aqueda_Veronica) | 6 comments I've got a nice Penguin Popular Classics copy awaiting on my bookshelf AND on my Kindle App :) As soon as I finish "Picture of Dorian Gray" I will be with you guys!

message 14: by Lee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee (Blfresh) | 1 comments Just saw that this was a group read! I started Great Expectations at the beginning of April. The last time I read this was 43 years ago. Whew! It's way better than I remember it!

message 15: by June (new)

June Seghni (zeineb) I loved the David Lean movie... the beginning was so atmospheric.. see

Laura (lcjensen) I had to work to read this one. With the older English as well as often written with an accent, I often had to read sections a couple of times to make sure I understood what was going on. Aside from that, I really enjoyed the story.

message 17: by Mike (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mike (xolotl-ltolox) | 205 comments I thought the first half of chapter 2 was some of the best, most surreal comedy I've ever read, culminating with the bread-and-butter down the pants. The absurdity of Mrs. Joe is great.

message 18: by Mike (last edited Apr 06, 2012 09:11PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mike (xolotl-ltolox) | 205 comments I'm sorry I called you absurd, Mrs. Joe, seeing you there now on the floor bereft, as it were, of the animating principle. By which, I meantersay, departed unto the heavenly kitchen that awaits all devoted domestics. I have a suspicion as to who and what sent you on your way.

Joe is awesome and hopefully abides.

Or not. Hosannas and such for Mrs. Joe.

Veljko (_VxF_) | 63 comments How true... I have not read the book before and I am very pleasantly surprised by how funny it is so far. Chapter 2 had me laugh out loud, especially his description of his sister (for example, how he suspects she married 'by hand')!

message 20: by Mike (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mike (xolotl-ltolox) | 205 comments Apparently Mrs. Joe did everything by hand. Badump-bump.

Every time I think I don't like Dickens he charms me and wows me with his ability to tell a compelling story. He interweaves humor and drama in a way not quite like anyone else. I do sometimes think, though, that he's better at creating secondary characters than protagonists.

I'm assuming Pip will lose his snobbery, no doubt in a touching way.

Janice (Janaz28) | 45 comments I really enjoyed the book. It was my first Dickens and I must say I like his style of writing although I don´t always know all the words and had to reread passages but that might be because I am not a native speaker.
There were some surprising twists I din´t expect. I am impressed by how everything fit together perfectly: every event from beginning to end had its purpose.

Caroline Roberts Apart from the novella 'A Christmas Carol', this is the first Dickens book I've read. I had assumed it would be a bit of a chore but actually I loved it. I too was surprised by just how funny it was, it did make me laugh out loud on several occasions, I love the bit where Joe shows his love and solidarity for Pip by spooning gravy on to Pip's plate every time he is castigated by the awful Mrs Joe and Pumblechook - until Pip's plate is practically overflowing! I was also welling up on several occasions particularly at the depiction of Pip's relationships with Joe and Magwich. I envy Dickens original readers who didn't know where the plot would take them, I like most people have seen modern adaptations of all the best known Dickens novels so the plots don't hold many surprises, but on the other hand it was the recent Christmas BBC production, recently shown on PBS in the States, (loved it but definitely thought Gillian Anderson with her botoxed brow was too young to play Miss Haversham!) that sent me back to the source novel so mustn't complain!

Travelling Sunny (Sunny_In_Wonderland) | 233 comments I haven't started yet, but plan to catch up to everyone soon. I tend to read only one story at a time, and I'm involved in a book with another group right now. But, I'm a fast reader, so I shouldn't be more than a few more days. I haven't read Great Expectations since high school, which sadly was more than 7 or 8 years ago. But, I remember this being the only Dickens story I ever liked, so I'm looking forward to re-experiencing it.

message 24: by ☯Emily , moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

☯Emily  | 319 comments Mod
Just finished watching the PBS show. Loved it.

message 25: by Jodi (new) - added it

Jodi | 1 comments Love that the unGodly aberration in the first chapter asks Pip to "Say Lord strike you dead if you dont!"

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 413 comments I loved this novel on the whole. The characters are so vivid and brilliant. A pity I read it a few months ago or else I would have read it for the group read.

message 27: by Molly (new) - added it

Molly (mojos19) | 6 comments This book is going really well for me. I hope that everyone else is enjoying!

Travelling Sunny (Sunny_In_Wonderland) | 233 comments I've only just started today. I'm through chapter one, which was entertaining due to the scary man leaning poor PIP further and further down with each threat. But, I'm having a tough time nevertheless getting hooked. Forging ahead...

message 29: by Mike (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mike (xolotl-ltolox) | 205 comments Sunny, I had a hard time taking the first chapter seriously but it gets much, much better, filled with great characters. My favorites, apart from Joe, are Wemmick and the Aged.

Travelling Sunny (Sunny_In_Wonderland) | 233 comments I just read chapter 2. What is WRONG with me? This is supposed to be a great story. I remember really liking the story in high school. Could it be that I need a teacher to explain it all to me? Could it be that my tastes have changed that drastically in the last 20 years?

message 31: by Mike (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mike (xolotl-ltolox) | 205 comments Could be you need to be brought up by hand, Sunny. Or you just don't like the book; certainly nothing wrong with that.

Travelling Sunny (Sunny_In_Wonderland) | 233 comments See? Right there... "by hand" -- I'm not even sure what that means. When I say something's done by hand, it's like "from scratch." Home made. What's Dickens even talking about with "by hand?"

message 33: by Mike (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mike (xolotl-ltolox) | 205 comments I'm not very knowledgeable about Dickens at all, but I think "by hand" is what you take it to be, although it has other connotations in the book due to Mrs. Joe's propensity for terrorizing Pip and Joe. Pip was raised by hand, with the energy necessary to create something from scratch--Mrs. Joe, supposedly, sacrificed herself to raise Pip, something Pip is reminded of constantly. Sort of a refrain of the book, Pip is always the creation of someone else.

message 34: by June (new)

June Seghni (zeineb) I found another explanation of 'by hand' in an academic paper ( page have to have an account to read it).
in short it posits that the term 'by hand ' actually means bottle fed as opposed to suckled.. (sorry I can't copy and paste as the site disables copying..)

message 35: by June (new)

June Seghni (zeineb) don't know if this is accessible everywhere but may be of interest to someone
a discussion on BBC world Book Club

message 36: by Mike (last edited Apr 11, 2012 06:51PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mike (xolotl-ltolox) | 205 comments Thanks, June. That's interesting, and rather cruel. It would remind Pip of his orphanage (edit: orphaning, I meantersay) and dependence on the good graces of his sister.

Veljko (_VxF_) | 63 comments It's meant to be a play on words, of sorts... when the people are complimenting his sister for raising him 'by hand' they mean she did all the work herself... but Pip implies that she hit him - and he suspects that is why Joe married her, or so he jokes. It's a funny!!!

message 38: by Travelling Sunny (last edited Apr 12, 2012 05:28AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Travelling Sunny (Sunny_In_Wonderland) | 233 comments Veljko wrote: "It's meant to be a play on words, of sorts... when the people are complimenting his sister for raising him 'by hand' they mean she did all the work herself... but Pip implies that she hit him - and..."

Oh. OOOOOOOHHH! Heh. It all makes sense now. So, I shouldn't be disturbed that Joe is being terrorized by his crazy wife. Is that it? It's supposed to be ridiculous? Because, if that's the case, and I don't need to take it quite so seriously, then I think I'm starting to get it. I'll push through a few more chapters and see what shakes out...

Caroline Roberts Michael wrote: "Sunny, I had a hard time taking the first chapter seriously but it gets much, much better, filled with great characters. My favorites, apart from Joe, are Wemmick and the Aged."

I loved them too, my mother has come to be affectionately referred to as the 'Aged P.' by my sister and I since reading this book!

message 40: by Mike (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mike (xolotl-ltolox) | 205 comments Caroline, Dickens is great, based on the little I've read of him, at combining dignity and humor. If I called my mother Aged P., though, I'd have to duck and run like hell.

Sunny, I'm not sure it's meant to be solely ridiculous, so much as a way of relieving the reader from too heavy a burden. I can imagine many modern writers turning Pip's childhood into a depressing sinkhole for the sake of realism.

midnightfaerie | 102 comments "depressing sinkhole for the sake of realism..." i love it! lol! i also know some that would do this too...*sigh* and Dickens is so meant to be enjoyed!

message 42: by Riya (new) - rated it 3 stars

Riya (riyaishere) | 29 comments I am having a problem getting into this book, granted I'm only on chapter 4 . . . I really hope that something exciting happens soon.

Travelling Sunny (Sunny_In_Wonderland) | 233 comments Mariya wrote: "I am having a problem getting into this book, granted I'm only on chapter 4 . . . I really hope that something exciting happens soon."

I hear you, Mariya. I haven't picked it up again since the end of the 2nd chapter for the same reason. Someone in another group mentioned to me that although she agreed this was a worthwhile read, she didn't particularly have fun reading it. It was one of those books she felt like she "should" read. But, I'm going to pick it up again tomorrow during my work breaks and see where I can get with it...

Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) | 413 comments It's not really a book where exciting things happen. But it's a very good book with such interesting characters. Like Miss Havisham for instance and that convict and Pip and Estella....

Travelling Sunny (Sunny_In_Wonderland) | 233 comments Smile. I'm interested now. Pip is beginning to remind me of my youngest son whenever he was guilty (or just THOUGHT he was guilty) of some horrific household crime. Here are a few quotes from Chapter 4 that caused me to snicker...

"I opened the door to the company - making believe that it was a habit of ours to open that door..."

"("You listen to this," said my sister to me, in a severe parenthesis.)"

"Joe gave me some more gravy."

Courtny | 5 comments This has been a great read so far. Absolutely wonderful characters! I love Pip and Joe. The first part of the novel has everything you can ask for humor, mystery, suspense, heart-ache, cruelty, love, and fighting (something for everyone).

message 47: by Gina (new) - added it

Gina Has anyone read Hard Times? Read that one a few years ago ... looking forward to getting into this one too! So far so good!

message 48: by ☯Emily , moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

☯Emily  | 319 comments Mod
I read Hard Times a few years ago. I thought it was one of Dickens better novels. Then read Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell, which is about the same topic as Hard Times. You should try to read that book sometime, if you haven't.

Travelling Sunny (Sunny_In_Wonderland) | 233 comments Forgive me if I'm asking too many questions. I'm new to the group, and I'm hoping "Classics for Beginners" means it's acceptable to be dunce-like as I read these.

I've just finished Part 1, Chapter 8. What is the significance of (view spoiler)

Travelling Sunny (Sunny_In_Wonderland) | 233 comments I'm still very curious as to what folks think about what happened in Part 1, Chapter 8 (above.)

Also, I just finished Part 1, Chapter 15. The story is clipping along much easier for me now. There's something to be said about Pip's shame at his station in life manifesting itself only after he's exposed to the wealthier folks. It's like today's modern media - how many times have we seen an advertisement for something that creates a need in us that wasn't there before? "Oh! I HAVE to get that!"

And, thirdly (is that a word?)I think I've missed something in the story. WHY did Havisham give Joe money? I thought Pip was going to be apprenticed regardless. And, why in the world is Pumblechook all puffed up about himself over the deal? I didn't realize he had anything to do with it, other than just bringing a "boy" over at Havisham's request...

« previous 1 3
back to top

unread topics | mark unread