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Great Expectations

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  586,634 ratings  ·  14,329 reviews
Pip doesn't expect much from life...

A poor orphan boy raised by a cruel sister, Pip does not have much in the way of great expectations. Between his terrifying experience in a graveyard with a convict named Magwitch and his humiliating visits with the eccentric Miss Havisham 's beautiful but manipulative niece, Estella, the young lad seems destined to endure a life of mise
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Paperback, 432 pages
Published 2010 by Harper Press (first published August 1861)
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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 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)
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3.77  · 
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 ·  586,634 ratings  ·  14,329 reviews


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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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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 of 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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Jeffrey Keeten
May 03, 2014 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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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
"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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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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Matt
Jan 04, 2009 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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Chicklet
Aug 19, 2007 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.
Henry Avila
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: yes
Recommended to Henry by: nobody
A young, amiable boy Philip Pirrip with the unlikely nickname of Pip, lives with his older, by twenty years, brutal, ( no motherly love, that's for sure ) unbalanced married sister, Georgiana, his only relative which is very unfortunate, strangely the only friend he has is Joe, his brother-in -law . She, the sister, beats him regularly for no apparent reason, so the boy understandably likes to roam the neighborhood for relief, thinking about pleasant things, the dreams of escape...anything is be ...more
Kai
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
“You are in every line I have ever read.”

Why couldn't every line in this book be this good? I took me nearly three whole months to finish it. Not because it was bad, but because it dragged and dragged and there are far more intriguing books out there than Great Expectations.

The good stuff:
An exciting cast of characters, most of them very weird, extravagant and almost to completely ridiculous. By far my favourites are Joe - because he's such a goodhearted person - and Miss Havisham - because I to
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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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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 mysel
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Lyn
Jul 31, 2011 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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Bionic Jean
Great Expectations. What a superb title this is; wonderful, in the best and truest sense of the word. It is upbeat, exciting, and full of intrigue. It quickens our pulse and gives us a little thrilling frisson. Who is it, who has these “Great Expectations”? We want to meet them. We want to share their anticipations and their pleasure. We are hooked into the story by these first two words.

Perhaps most significant of all is that it is a short, memorable title. Great Expectations is one of Charles
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Ahmad Sharabiani
876. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
The novel was first published as a serial in Dickens's weekly periodical All the Year Round, from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. In October 1861, Chapman and Hall published the novel in three volumes.
On Christmas Eve, around 1812, Pip, an orphan who is about seven years old, encounters an escaped convict in the village churchyard, while visiting the graves of his parents and siblings. Pip now lives with his abusive elder sister and her kind husband Joe G
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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 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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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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James
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is very difficult to know where to start with this review of Charles Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations’ – a novel that has been for many years and almost undoubtedly always will be one of my very favourite novels.

Perhaps one day when I can find the time and the inspiration, I will write a lengthy, well thought out, elegantly constructed and truly insightful in depth review – perhaps managing to convey and capture a modicum of the brilliance of ‘Great Expectations’ and the literary genius of autho
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Glenn Sumi
How Great Expectations changed my own expectations



Great Expectations changed my life.

Up until Grade 11, I was simply an okay student. I had skipped a grade a few years earlier, and I was doing fine, but I didn’t stand out. And no wonder. I barely remember doing any homework. I didn’t feel particularly challenged by anything; like most adolescents, I was probably more interested in watching TV or appearing cool and trying to fit in than I was with marks or learning.

But something happened in Gra
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Werner
Feb 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All fans of 19th-century fiction
Shelves: books-i-own, classics
I've actually read this quintessentially Victorian novel twice. The first time was as required reading in junior high school, where I liked it from the get-go; the second time was as an adult, back in 1997. It remains one of my favorites (among the ones I've actually read) of the novels of Dickens, a writer whose work I was first introduced to as a grade school kid, and have long counted as a favorite author. Written serially in 1860-61, it's a mature Dickens work (his second-to-last completed n ...more
Matthew
Note: this 2 stars is a 25 year ago high school required reading memory. I may do a reread of this some day so the two star is subject to change.
Kimber Silver
Oh, the beauty and the agony tears at me as I think about this stunning story.

The characters are vivid and the settings so well written that I was transported to the graveyard alongside young Pip and his convict, fear streaking through me as it was for that small boy torn by a near-impossible decision. And I’m there with Pip and kind-hearted Joe in the forge. I can feel the fire on my skin and taste hot metal on the back of my tongue. In my mind, I hear the crackling of the decades-old crinoline
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Carol
I'm a somewhat green Dickens fan (having only read A Christmas Carol), but loved this 150th Anniversary Edition of Great Expectations! As in A Christmas Carol, this tale often portrays an eerie atmosphere with creepy characters.....like the mysterious escaped convict Abel Magwitch who threatens Pip's young life in the graveyard, the jealous and revengeful Old Orlick with his evil ways, and the embittered and decaying Mrs. Havisham who pines for lost love and leads Pip astray.

In this coming-of-ag

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Phrynne
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-books
It has been a very long time since I last read this book but it was still every bit as good as I remembered. I was very interested too to find out which parts of it I still remembered well and which parts I had totally forgotten!

Great Expectations is certainly one of Dickens’ best books. He always wrote great characters, good stories and wonderful observations of everyday life. In this book he brings all that plus humour, danger and some spooky stuff too. Who could forget the scene where little
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Ankit Garg
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just like he did in A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens emphasizes the importance of friends and family and the need to stay in touch with one's roots in the classic novel Great Expectations.

The story brilliantly depicts the evil side of money, how it changes a person. It is an extraordinary depiction of love, loyalty, and forgiveness, of false perceptions, and the derived sadness. The plot is slow at the beginning, but it picks up pace as the pages turn, only to keep the reader hooked to it.

As i
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Ron
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic for certain, and only my second Dickens to date. The most surprising thing I found? Dicken's amazing humor! This is especially true in the first third, or so, in the story of Pip. But it may be the themes of this book that I remember most, and the growth of Pip. What does it take to make one happy? Is it wealth, or is it love and friendship? Those are the few things I thought about most often here.

Yeah, the writing is vintage. But, I found it mostly relatable, even a nice change of pac
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Justin
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was the best of times. It was the worst...

Wait a minute...

Ahem...

I’m easily persuaded, I guess. When I’m out there in the world just bout there doin’ my world stuff, you know, readin’ books, listening to podcasts, and just living my life, I like to take advice from people, especially when it comes to what books to read. So when a guy I trust on a podcast I enjoy says that Dickens is second to Shakespeare as the greatest author of all time, my ears perk up. My ears perk up, and my head drops d
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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
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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Charles John Huffam Dickens was a writer and social critic who 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 short stories enjoy lasting popularity.

Dicke
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“I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.” 4482 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.” 3546 likes
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