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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations (1861)

by Charles Dickens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
28,73733560 (3.9)3 / 1659
  1. 120
    Bleak House by Charles Dickens (Booksloth)
  2. 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.
  3. 122
    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. 42
    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
  7. 42
    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.
  8. 20
    Jack Maggs by Peter Carey (suzanney)
  9. 20
    Page 1: Great Expectations - Seventy Graphic Solutions by Lucienne Roberts (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Dozens of ways of seeing and reading the first page of Dickens' book.
  10. 20
    Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens (Booksloth)
  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. 66
    Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (krizia_lazaro)
  14. 22
    Drood by Dan Simmons (caittilynn)
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Orphans (12)
Romans (16)

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English (321)  Spanish (5)  Italian (3)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  All languages (334)
Showing 1-5 of 321 (next | show all)
Classic tale of Pip and how his life is brightened and ultimately damaged by his association with Miss Haversham and her ward Estella. Damning view of class prejudice. ( )
  AccyP | Apr 10, 2019 |
This was in many ways as rich and absorbing a reading experience as I could want, but even though my experience with Dickens' work is limited, I couldn't help but play favorites. Pip is every bit as bland as Esther of 'Bleak House', if anything, his admitted selfish behavior makes him a more realistic character, but the "mysteries" of 'Great Expectations' and the sideline dramas of the supporting characters never sucked me in the way they did in 'Bleak House'. In both novels they were, mostly, fairly obvious, but the movement from character to character kept events fresh.

Not that this wasn't a fast read--Dickens apparently cut the novel down while writing it so that it could appear in his own publication and raise circulation figures. It's still a whopper of a novel, but its brief for its type because of that.

I loved the descriptions of the marshes, the decay of Satis House, everything about Miss Havisham and Wemmick, and the revised ending, but again the atmosphere wasn't enough to save me from the dreariness of reading everything as accounted by Pip.

And, literature fans let me tell you. Once you've read this find the seldom-aired 'South Park' episode "Pip".

( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
This could be listed with the subtitle of "The Misadventures of Pip." It's interesting, though not something that caught me to focus on it.

If I'm understanding this correctly, Joe was abused by an alcoholic father and as such married an abusive woman to take the place of the abusive father. This is not openly displayed in the text, per se, but it is discussed by the narrator on a few occasions.

This felt like a book written and published in stages, so the various parts feel a little stilted when pushed together. Though to bring the file up again did connect them some. Also the whole deal with the dying of Ms. Havernsham is kinda creepy.

Something I did have to keep correcting myself in my mind was that the use of certain words has changed mightily since this was written. When someone asks is he an intimate, this isn't referring to a date, but to a close friend, for instance.

I noted that unless he's given them no first name, Dickens has a habit of referring to characters by their title and first name. Mr. and Mrs. Joe. Mr. and Ms. Cecelia. It's a touch unnerving.

I've gotten just about past the half way point. My loan expires tomorrow. I'm not looking to renew. The story isn't real compelling to me, and the "Great Expectations" are two fold: what Pip expects of himself and what others expect of Pip. This is definitely a long winded fictional biography. I'm not into biographies most times. Might be why this isn't my type of book. ( )
  gilroy | Feb 8, 2019 |
I'm quite impressed with this book, read for a F2F book group. By this point in Dickens' writing career, he is less intrigued with cartoonish, humorous caricatures of people and more involved in the depth of their personalities. Joe, the simple but loving blacksmith who is unhappily married to Pip's sister, Estelle, and Miss Havisham have all finally received reasons and intrigue and a backstory to explain themselves.

The basic story is a tale of an orphaned boy who lives with his b*tch of a sister and her husband near the marshes of Kent. He stumbles upon an escaped fugitive one night who terrifies him and colors his childhood for many years. Time passes, schooling might start (or not), and Pip meets the odd Miss Havisham who lives on abandoned home and brewery with her ward, Estelle. Pip spends almost as much time there as at school, and events at home include his sister and her alliance with narrow-minded townsfolk.

As Pip grows older, his heart remains compassionate towards Joe, towards Estelle, and towards the strange Herbert, despite Pip's abuse at his sister's hands. She is beaten during a robbery and left without an ability to speak, while Pip is sent off to London to claim his inheritance. What gives this book its depth is that Pip has "great expectations" about where his new-found fortune originates, how much more richly he can live, and yet nothing becomes as it seems. Herbert and he become fast friends; Herbert knows the backstory for Miss Havisham; Pip's personal lawyer, Mr. Wemmick is a different person at home and at the office; and finally Pip's personal benefactor becomes a central character.

Definitely one of Dickens' best writings, and worth the time put into it. ( )
  threadnsong | Jan 27, 2019 |
Speechless...! ( )
  iSatyajeet | Nov 21, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 321 (next | show all)
The idea of an innocent boy establishing unconsciously an immense influence over the mind of a hunted felon … haunted Dickens’s imagination until he gathered round it a whole new world of characters and incidents
added by danielx | editThe Atlantic, EP Whipple (Jan 11, 1877)

» Add other authors (94 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dickens, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ardizzone, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bickford-Smith, CoralieIllustratorsecondary 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
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, 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
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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Affectionately Inscribed
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."
Last words
(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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Book description
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
In what may be Dickens's best novel, humble, orphaned Pip is apprenticed to the dirty work of the forge but dares to dream of becoming a gentleman — and one day, under sudden and enigmatic circumstances, he finds himself in possession of "great expectations." In this gripping tale of crime and guilt, revenge and reward, the compelling characters include Magwitch, the fearful and fearsome convict; Estella, whose beauty is excelled only by her haughtiness; and the embittered Miss Havisham, an eccentric jilted bride
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 12 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 90 descriptions

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Average: (3.9)
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Penguin Australia

8 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

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

Coffeetown Press

An edition of this book was published by Coffeetown Press.

» Publisher information page

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 190783253X, 1907832513

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Recorded Books

2 editions of this book were published by Recorded Books.

Editions: 1449875327, 1449875335

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