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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations (1861)

by Charles Dickens, Charles Dickens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
23,72727045 (3.91)2 / 1254
  1. 121
    Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: Mister Pip explores the reading and interpretation of Great Expectations in a late 20th century South Sea island culture in the midst of a civil war.
  2. 100
    Bleak House by Charles Dickens (Booksloth)
  3. 101
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (Maiasaura)
  4. 60
    The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde (Bcteagirl)
    Bcteagirl: Thursday Next is a Literary Detective who helps to keep people from changing plots in books, keep book characters from escaping etc. When she goes in for training, who should she be apprenticed to but Miss Havisham who is more than happy to get out of her dreary rooms once and a while. What larks!… (more)
  5. 50
    Adam Bede by George Eliot (Bcteagirl)
    Bcteagirl: If you enjoyed the 'good hard working pastoral theme' of his uncle and their 'Larks' you may enjoy Adam Bede which has many of the same themes.
  6. 31
    Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (Johanna11)
    Johanna11: Both books write about people with expectations for their future, both are very well written at the end of the nineteenth century.
  7. 20
    Jack Maggs by Peter Carey (suzanney)
  8. 20
    Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens (Booksloth)
  9. 21
    The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: Great Expectations and Bonfire of the Vanities can be successfully tied together in that both the authors explore the themes of ostentation, ambition and morality
  10. 21
    Drood by Dan Simmons (caittilynn)
  11. 10
    The princess Casamassima by Henry James (suniru)
  12. 22
    An Unofficial Rose by Iris Murdoch (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: In der Einleitung zu "an unofficial rose" von Anthony D. Nuttall wird Dickens als Vergleich herangezogen: "An Unofficial Rose is indeed a surprisingly Dickensian novel, crowded, superabundant."
  13. 45
    Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (krizia_lazaro)
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English (260)  Spanish (4)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (269)
Showing 1-5 of 260 (next | show all)
I had meant to read this for a really long time, but never got around to it until I read it with my former students in a summer book club. [b:A Tale of Two Cities|1953|A Tale of Two Cities|Charles Dickens|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1344922523s/1953.jpg|2956372] was my only other Dickens read, and that's one of my favorite books of all time. I liked this one less, but it was still good. In what I'm beginning to suspect is Dickensian fashion, the rest of the book is varying levels of entertaining or, at times, underwhelming, but the ending--definitely the last fifty pages or so--was spectacular.

I had the odd experience of reading this while interning at a literary agency, leading me to read much more critically than I usually would when I'm just reading for pleasure. There were times when I wasn't sure where Dickens was going with the plot, but overall I loved Pip's voice. And the ending was beautiful. This is, essentially, a retelling of the parable of the prodigal son, and it's absolutely redemptive and beautiful, just like the ending of [b:A Tale of Two Cities|1953|A Tale of Two Cities|Charles Dickens|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1344922523s/1953.jpg|2956372], which is my favorite ending of all time.

I didn't always like Pip--he is, after all, like the prodigal son, who goes away and scorns those who loved him best--but there were other characters that made up for him. Herbert, Joe, and Biddy; but even Estella and Miss Havisham and Wemmick. There were a range of interesting characters.

My mind wasn't blown the same way as it was with [b:A Tale of Two Cities|1953|A Tale of Two Cities|Charles Dickens|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1344922523s/1953.jpg|2956372], but I can still see why this is a classic. Hoping to work through some more Dickens books, too! [b:David Copperfield|58696|David Copperfield|Charles Dickens|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1309281852s/58696.jpg|4711940] would probably be next. ( )
  elephantine | Nov 27, 2015 |
Estou devastada porque terminei a leitura. É MA-RA-VI-LHO-SO! Os personagens são uma riqueza e completamente atemporais. O capítulo LVII, quase me rasga o coração. Lindo, escrita gostosa e apaixonante com seus mistérios e surpresas. ( )
  MarthaNunes | Nov 2, 2015 |
Pip is brought up by his abusive sister and her gentle husband. Then Pip finds out a mysterious benefactor is going to pay for his education and provide him with an income when he reaches adulthood. He leaves the good parts of his childhood behind as well as the bad but hankers for the beautiful Estella, who has been brought up by the jilted Miss Havisham to be emotionally abusive in revenge on the male sex.

It's Dickens. He knows how to make you laugh and cry. Even when you know how it's all going to end you keep turning the pages. ( )
1 vote Robertgreaves | Sep 25, 2015 |
Fortunately, I never read this book as an adolescent - nor had it assigned in any class. It's probably been "ruined" for many people by its reputation as a "classic". Probably "GE" should not be read by anyone under forty. Children - stay away!

Actually, I thought significant passages of the book read as if they are part of a piece of contemporary post-modernist fiction by DeLillo or Ian McEwan. A clear case could - and should - be made that this is a book which should be read for its tone - and for its narrative strategy - and not for its plot, however Victorian and "creaky" it may be.

It also helps to appreciate GE if you know something of the life of Charles Dickens. Not the mythical life, the real life as portrayed by modern biographers like Peter Ackroyd or Claire Tomalin. I think that "Young Pip" is Dickens as he wished he was, not as he actually was. There's a lot of wish-fulfillment in this book, which I don't want to go into because I don't want to affect the experience of those who haven't yet had the opportunity of plunging into this most riverine, marshy, and foggy of texts. ( )
  yooperprof | Sep 6, 2015 |
Summary: Young Phillip Pirrip ("Pip" to everyone) was orphaned at a young age, and brought up by his older sister and her husband, Joe Gargery, the local blacksmith. When Pip is young, he begins to attend upon the eccentric Miss Havisham - an old woman who lives in a decaying mansion and is constantly attired in a wedding dress. There Pip meets the beautiful but cold Estella, with whom he falls hopelessly in love, but who scorns him and his low position. When Pip finds out that an anonymous benefactor has left him a large sum of money, with the expectation that he become a gentleman, Pip hopes that his improved circumstances may change Estella's mind… but he eventually learns that his expectations are not all they are cracked up to be, and that there are secrets about his past that may yet come back to haunt him.

Review: Prior to this book, my only experience with Dickens was A Christmas Carol. Great Expectations may or may not have been the best place to start - on the whole, I enjoyed it, even though I didn't really care for most of the characters. But my primary reaction to a lot of it was that I absolutely could tell that Dickens was publishing this serially, and was getting paid by the word. Because ye gods, this was long, much longer than it needed to be, and wandered off into some really unneccesary tangents. To give some frame of reference: The audiobook is more than 18 hours long, and the Expectations of the title don't manifest themselves until at least 5 or 6 hours in, leaving the first third of the book feeling like a lot of pointless rambling with no clear plot or direction (it's not pointless - a lot of it ties back in later - but I didn't know that at the time.) There were also portions that I thought could have been trimmed from the later portions of the book as well. There were a number of secondary characters whose lives I didn't really care about, but had to hear about in excruciating detail anyways. Even in the life of our principle, do I really need a half-hour diversion on his record-keeping practices? No I do not.

That said, I did mostly enjoy this book. It was funnier (albeit darkly funny) than I was expecting, although it seemed that a lot of the humor came at the expense of the most likeable characters. (Particularly Joe - the scene when he comes to see Pip in London and is totally out of his depth is written to be quite funny, but I also found it to simultaneously be quite sad, because Joe is nothing if not good-hearted, and it felt bad to be laughing at him). I certainly liked Joe a lot better than I liked Pip. Once he receives his expectations, he goes from being a normal little boy to being an immature, overly self-important jerk. And I get that that's kind of the point, but it makes it hard for me to feel too bad for him when it all starts to fall apart. And the "love" story with Estella never really grabbed me - I don't like stories where the guy falls in "love" with a woman just because she's beautiful, and because she spurns him, when she's clearly horrible to him. Estella doesn't have any redeeming qualities other than her beauty, so Pip spending his entire life pining over his "love" for her felt hollow. And again, I get that that's probably part of the point, but again, it made it difficult for me to sympathize with our protagonist. So, overall, I'm glad I read this book, partly to fill that gap in my cultural background, but also because it was an enjoyable read with a number of strikingly vivid scenes. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: I can see why it's considered a classic, but I don't think it's ultimately destined to become a personal favorite. Worth giving it a shot if you haven't before, though. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Aug 31, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (298 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dickens, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dickens, Charlesmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ardizzone, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bickford-Smith, CoralieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calder, AngusEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calder, AngusEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cardwell, MargaretEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterton, Gilbert KeithIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flint, KateIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayens, KennethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Irving, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jarvis, MartinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, RadhikaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jung-Grell, UlrikeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lang, AndrewIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Law, GrahamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lesser, AntonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leyris, PierreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, CharlotteEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muller, FrankNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page, FrederickIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
PAILTHORPE, F WIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pailthorpe, F.W.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pailthorpe, Frederic W.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinching, DavidAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinnington, AdrianEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rhys, ErnestEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Searle, RonaldIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shaw, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slater, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snyder, Zilpha KeatleyForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, MarcusIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Symons, JulianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Threapleton, Mary M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trapiello, AndrésIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trotter, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallve, ManuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weintraub, StanleyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, AngusAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winterich, John T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Chauncy Hare Townshend
First words
My father's family name being Pirrip, and my christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.
Neither were my notions of the theological positions to which my Catechism bound me, at all accurate; for, I have a lively remembrance that I supposed my declaration that I was to "walk in the same all the days of my life," laid me under an obligation always to go through the village from our house in one particular direction, and never to vary it by turning down by the wheelwright's or up by the mill.
...a money-box was kept on the kitchen mantel-shelf, in to which it was publicly made known that all my earnings were dropped. I have an impression that they were to be contributed eventually towards the liquidation of the National Debt, but I know I had no hope of any personal participation in the treasure.
Mr. Wopsle's great-aunt kept an evening school in the village; that is to say, she was a ridiculous old woman of limited means and unlimited infirmity, who used to go to sleep from six to seven every evening, in the society of youth who paid two pence per week each, for the improving opportunity of seeing her do it.
I had little objection to his being seen by Herbert or his father, for both of whom I had a respect; but I had the sharpest sensitiveness as to his being seen by Drummle, whom I held in contempt. So, throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise.  (Chapter XXVII)
"Oh! I have a heart to be stabbed in or shot in, I have no doubt," said Estella, "and of course if it ceased to beat I should cease to be. But you know what I mean. I have no softness there, no--sympathy--sentiment--nonsense."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for Great Expectations. It should not be combined with any adaptation, abridgement, etc. If this is your book but it is an abridged or adapted version, consider changing the isbn to match your version so that it can be combined with the correct abridgement or adaptation.
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One of the finest novels by iconic British author Charles Dickens, this Victorian tale follows the good-natured orphan Pip as he makes his way through life. As a boy, Pip crosses paths with a convict named Magwitch, a man who will heavily influence Pip’s adulthood. Meanwhile, the earnest young man falls for the beautiful Estella, the adoptive daughter of the affluent and eccentric Miss Havisham. Widely considered to be Dickens's last great book, the story is steeped in romance and features the writer's familiar themes of crime, punishment, and societal struggle. 384
Haiku summary
Characters stick in
my memory: Estella,
Joe, Miss H. And yours?

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0141439564, Paperback)

An absorbing mystery as well as a morality tale, the story of Pip, a poor village lad, and his expectations of wealth is Dickens at his most deliciously readable. The cast of characters includes kindly Joe Gargery, the loyal convict Abel Magwitch and the haunting Miss Havisham. If you have heartstrings, count on them being tugged.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:50 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

Great Expectations is at once a superbly constructed novel of spellbinding mastery and a profound examination of moral values. Here, some of Dickens's most memorable characters come to play their part in a story whose title itself reflects the deep irony that shaped Dickens's searching reappraisal of the Victorian middle class.… (more)

» see all 49 descriptions

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48 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

9 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439564, 0141023538, 0451531183, 014104036X, 0141330139, 0143106279, 0141198893, 0141392592, 0143123793

Coffeetown Press

An edition of this book was published by Coffeetown Press.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 190783253X, 1907832513

Recorded Books

2 editions of this book were published by Recorded Books.

Editions: 1449875327, 1449875335

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