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Great Expectations

Great Expectations (1861)

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36,12341360 (3.88)3 / 1782
The orphaned Pip is serving as a blacksmith's apprentice when an unknown benefactor supplies the means for him to be educated in London as a gentleman of "great expectations."
Title:Great Expectations
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Work Information

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (1861)

  1. 150
    Bleak House by Charles Dickens (Booksloth)
  2. 152
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (Maiasaura)
  3. 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.
  4. 70
    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. 30
    Jack Maggs by Peter Carey (suzanney, KayCliff)
  7. 52
    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
    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.
  9. 97
    Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (krizia_lazaro)
  10. 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
  11. 20
    Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens (Booksloth)
  12. 10
    The Princess Casamassima by Henry James (suniru)
  13. 00
    Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Also featuring Miss Havisham.
  14. 11
    Pip by Comedy Central (SnootyBaronet)
  15. 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."
  16. 23
    Drood by Dan Simmons (caittilynn)
  17. 01
    Hard Times by Charles Dickens (Anonymous user)
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» See also 1782 mentions

English (388)  Spanish (9)  Swedish (3)  Italian (2)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Czech (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (409)
Showing 1-5 of 388 (next | show all)
While many things happen, at its core this is the most straightforward plot that Dickens has mustered since the Curiosity Shop. Young Pip is destined for a lowly life as a blacksmith's apprentice, until he is introduced to Miss Havisham and her ward. Shortly afterward he comes into a bit of property and takes up the life of a gentleman, as if this were the story of Little Dorrit again. Dickens loves to repurpose ideas from former novels in new clothes, but there's some fun (eventual) twists to this one that make it unique.

It never does to have too great expectations before reading any novel, and mine were relatively low after Two Cities didn't live up to its billing. Plus I had spoilers this time, vague memories of when I ripped through this novel as a teen reading every third or fourth word after it felt like treacle. Thirty-some years later it has none of those problems and proves to be one of my favourites among all of Dickens' work, although I wonder how much my opinion is influenced by having enjoyed the dramatic irony. A couple of minor quirks stand out. I don't like how Orlick enters the story out of nowhere in Chapter 15 as if he'd been there all along, and I couldn't shake thoughts of Dickens' poor reputation as a father that drained the fun from his depicting the Pockets' hopeless parenting. The coincidences nearly choked me this time and the conclusion feels too prolonged. I also can't help wondering (perhaps am meant to wonder) if Pip's original destiny he was steered from wouldn't have been the happiest outcome.

This is a textbook study of the reckless ways one can get up to when coming into money without guidance; note to self, if I ever win the lottery. It's most true-to-life aspect is Pip's self-awareness, and yet he continues to do it, demonstrating how pernicious it can be. He has a similar challenge in the romance department, where again he knows his object is a poor choice but he's unable to direct the stirrings of his heart. Saying 'no' to yourself can be a difficult thing to do. Continually saying 'yes' to every temptation is the root of more evil than all the money and batting eyelashes in the world. ( )
  Cecrow | May 13, 2023 |
By 1860, Charles Dickens was a national celebrity and a sort of "elder statesman", now devoting much of his life to speeches, essays, social work, and generally not writing so many novels. Great Expectations is his 21st major work and 13th novel (of 15), and is - I would argue - his third masterpiece, following on from Bleak House and Little Dorrit, although in a very different way to either of them.

The psychological development of Pip Pirrip is perhaps unequalled in Dickens' canon, and it feels as if this is a breakthrough in terms of character. I've not yet read Our Mutual Friend, which I'm told takes this further, but it's certainly a good feeling. Estella herself is an interesting figure but ultimately more of a paper moth than a full human, although that is in some ways deliberate. More to the point, Great Expectations achieves its targets by applying characterisation to numerous supporting characters, such as Orlick and Magwitch, and in the rich history of Miss Havisham, a character who has so haunted Western culture ever since.

It is also perhaps the most challenging of Dickens' novels in its more complicated moral message. Pip's "Great Expectations" in many ways don't seem so bad: success! comfort! Dickens' arguments against them, along the lines of a younger generation coming of age and staying steadfast to moral development, seem admirable, although I can't help seeing him as a man growing older and more disconnected from the younger members of his society.

There's plenty of comedy sandwiched amongst the Gothic here, but what stands out most - as often with Dickens - is the beauty, from the ruined Satis house to the thriving metropolis and back to the rural marshes of Pip's youth. A truly poetic novel, that should cater to even the most Flaubertian of Dickens critics. (I hope!) ( )
1 vote therebelprince | May 1, 2023 |
What a ride. Although a bit slow in pacing at first, during the latter half it really starts pick up greatly. I was quite engrossed by the last third and could barely put the book down. Lots of lessons to ponder over. Lots of reflections. The prose can be a bit tough, and you may need to re-read certain passages (or not, merely registering the core idea and move on) but it is largely worth it. ( )
  Harris023 | Apr 23, 2023 |
I've read several Dickens novels before and enjoyed them thoroughly, but this one was a total slog from the start. I had real issues with all the characters, and especially with Pip. I found him so irritating and dislikable, a bit of a problem as he's the narrator! But I persisted and it paid off because halfway through the book the magic happened and I got totally into the story. I think my issues with the characters was mainly because they are really quite 'out there'. Dickens'writing... well, what can I say? Simply brilliant and so evocative. The story still resounds today especially in our materialistic age. It's quite a masterpiece but I can only give it 4 star because it was so long and it was so hard to get into. ( )
  jean-sol | Mar 2, 2023 |

My favorite book ever. I could read this a thousand times. ( )
  Nkzmom1112 | Jan 14, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 388 (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 (88 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Dickensprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ardizzone, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bickford-Smith, CoralieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calder, AngusEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cardwell, MargaretEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Charbonneau, EileenForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterton, Gilbert KeithIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flint, KateIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayens, KennethIntroductionsecondary 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
Lieck, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lloyd, HarryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meyer, MargitTranslatorsecondary 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
Sève, Peter deCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Searle, RonaldIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shaw, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slater, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Mark F.Narratorsecondary 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
Wilson, MeganCover designersecondary 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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The orphaned Pip is serving as a blacksmith's apprentice when an unknown benefactor supplies the means for him to be educated in London as a gentleman of "great expectations."

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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?

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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.

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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.

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Recorded Books

2 editions of this book were published by Recorded Books.

Editions: 1449875327, 1449875335


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