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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Novels Ever Written
Why do I come here to "review" this? It isn't anyone's book club selection, no. But tonight I want to talk about this incomparably rich and wonderful book, and how as a fourteen year old kid I simply sank into it, taking it slowly week by week, glorying in its mysteries, its great grotesque portrait of Miss Havisham in her rotting bridal finery, its often...
Published on June 5 2004 by Anne Rice

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3.0 out of 5 stars Struggle for Contentment
Contentment in life is a struggle; in "Great Expectations," by Charles Dickens, a young boy is faced with disappointed expectations of ambition and desire for social self-improvement. Set in the mid-nineteenth century in Kent and London, England, social class is portrayed as utmost importance. For young orphaned Philip Pirrip-Pipp- life is a struggle of realization of...
Published on Oct. 16 2002 by haley g


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Novels Ever Written, June 5 2004
By 
Anne Rice (Palm Desert, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Great Expectations (Paperback)
Why do I come here to "review" this? It isn't anyone's book club selection, no. But tonight I want to talk about this incomparably rich and wonderful book, and how as a fourteen year old kid I simply sank into it, taking it slowly week by week, glorying in its mysteries, its great grotesque portrait of Miss Havisham in her rotting bridal finery, its often painful recounting of a young boy's awakening to a seductive world beyond the blacksmith's forge to which destiny has condemned him. This book was about me. It was about wanting to learn, wanting to transcend, wanting to achieve while anything and everything seems hopelessly beyond one's dreams. Of course life changes for Pip. And the world Pip enters was a world that dazzled me and only made my adolescent ambitions burn all the more hurtfully. I think this book is about all who've ever tried for more, ever reached for the gold ring -- and it's about some, of course, who've gotten it. It's also a wondrous piece of storytelling, a wondrous example of how in the first person ("I am, etc." ) a character can tell you more about himself than he himself knows. What a feat. And a very strange thing about this book, too, was the fact that Dickens said more about Pip and Pip's dreams than Dickens knew he was doing. Dickens himself didn't quite realize, I don't think, the full humanity of the character he created. Yet the character is there -- alive, captivating, engaging us throughout with full sympathy. Go for it. If you never read anything else by Charles Dickens, read and experience this book. Afterwards, David Copperfield will be a ride in the sunshine, I assure you. And both books will stand by you forever. For whom am I writing this? For myself perhaps just because Pip meant and still means so much. For some one perhaps who's unsure about this book and needs a push to dive into a classic. Oh, is this book ever worth the effort. -. Enough. Read it, know it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best, June 2 2005
This review is from: Great Expectations (Hardcover)
During the course of the year I try to read a few, "Important Novels" in order to get a fuller understanding of literature. Dicken's GREAT EXPECTATIONS has been on my list for nearly a year. I completely dreaded reading what I thought would be a long and drawn out story about something I could careless about. Well, I was wrong. Normally I go for a bestseller such THE MERMAID CHAIR or McCrae's CHILDREN'S CORNER, but went for this classic instead.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS is now #1 on my all-time favorites list. While, admittedly, it took me roughly 150 pages to get any enjoyment out of the novel- once I was in- I was hooked. Pip's journey through life is a very refreshing look at how distorted we let our lives become by focusing on the unimportant. Dicken's ability to slowly alter Pip's views on life, without changing his essential character/morales (Ex. How Pip looks to help his friend in his business pursuits). Some have called "Great Expecations" his masterpiece... but in my opinion, it may be the "Masterpiece" of English Literature.
I also wonder why this is required High School reading. While I loved this book at age 28, I think most 16 year-olds would find it unbearable. It seems like such a waist to ruin both the book and Dicken's name on minds that are not ready for such a reading task. Would also highly recommend two other books: LIFE OF PI and a book titled BARK OF THE DOGWOOD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful!, March 4 2010
By 
Pierre Gauthier (Montréal) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Great Expectations (Audio CD)
Listening to the audio version of this Dickens classic is thoroughly enjoyable. The narrator, who is also the main character, addresses you directly and colours the whole story with his own amiable personality. Indeed, one can imagine that the novel, published in instalments in that long bygone era before radio, television and other non-printed media, was conceived to be read out loud in the family parlour.

The characters are straightforward, captivating and likeable. Totally removed from any realistic complexity, they are all the more memorable: naïve, honest Pip; distant, cold, condescending Estella; devoted, loyal, simple-minded Joe; mysterious, ethereal Miss Havisham; etc.

The plot, convoluted, wholly implausible and a tad predictable, evokes harsher but so much simpler times. Though by no means a cliff-hanger, the work is suspenseful and the reader's interest is expertly sustained throughout.

Extremely well written, peppered with tongue in cheek humour, this archetypal novel is strongly recommended to any audience, particularly in audio form.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A novel to pine for!, Feb. 22 2004
By 
This review is from: Great Expectations (Paperback)
I was just 10 years old, when I first read an abridged version of this Dickens Classic. I must have read it many times since, and everytime I read it, I am filled with array of emotions, and a deep respect for the author. Pip, the hero, is a character that embodies hopes, disappointments and dreams of every boy. As he narrates his life, we grow with him, see many people come in and go out of his life, and we feel with him his emotions and predicaments. Life is full of surprises, unexpected twists and turns, and this novel is a great chronicle of the possibilities of fate. But most importantly, this is a story of pining... and a novel worth pining for.
Miss Havisham, the old lady, epitomizes eccentricity, while Estella in her cold abandon represents every heartbreaker. This story is about pining, about love, about friendship (especially Pip and Joe, and later Pip and Herbert), about relationships, and most importantly about what one feels and lives by. Like all Dickens novels, this is a very well written story, and is much more engrossing than any of its on screen versions. This is a story that must be read at leisure and it must be failing of the reader to try and compare it with some cheap paperback that one can scram through while watching a movie and munching chips and cola. Classics deserve respect, attention and concentration: dedicate yourself to one, and trust me you will discover a lot more. A lot more about the novel and a lot more about your own self.
We all have Great Expectations, and this one by Dickens beats them all!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Story, Feb. 10 2004
By 
Karla eder (Morris, Illinois USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Great Expectations (Paperback)
Charles Dickens develops the characters, the plot, and the conflicts in Great Expectations spectacularly. The characters Dickens develops throughout the story are human and easy to connect with. Pip is the most real to life character, because he exhibits the most human-like qualities. Pip is a very personable character that makes the reader feel sorrow and happiness along with him. As Pip looks to better himself and become a gentleman, he comes to realize a very important life lesson; money cannot buy happiness. As Pip goes through the story, he allows the reader to see and feel exactly what he feels and sees.
Estella is described as a beautiful young woman that captures Pip's heart. Estella has a very insensitive personality, and enjoys making Pip cry; something everyone has encountered in a person some time in his/her life.
Herbert is a young man with many dreams and aspirations. Herbert becomes Pip's best friend, and Pip realizes that this young man works very hard for what he believes in. This is the kind of friend that will push a person where they would not normally go by themselves.
Abel Magwitch is the convict that Pip encounters at the beginning of the story. Magwitch gives Pip a large amount of money to start his life as a gentleman. Magwitch is the kind of person that would give the clothes off of his back to anyone in need. Magwitch is also a very personable character because he is not all good or all evil. He exhibits both of these; he is a convict and he devotes his life's earnings to Pip.
Charles Dickens develops an outstanding plot as the novel unfolds. There are many life lessons throughout the novel. Pip realizes that all of the money in the world cannot buy happiness. Pip also finds out that true love is not just the woman he cannot obtain, because love has to be much more. The plot has many twists and turns throughout. There is always something new happening to Pip. It is almost like a soap opera, because there are so many people and events interacting with each other during the novel. When the plot becomes a little thin, Dickens begins to create suspense for the next big event about to occur. Dickens chooses to develop the plot through the character's actions. Not once did Dickens explain what was happening in the story, he let the characters take over, and within a few pages all questions were answered.
The novel has many conflicts that develop throughout the plot. Pip and Estella have a love-hate relationship going on. Pip loves Estella, but she could care less about him. Pip and Joe have a conflict, too. Pip wants to see much less of Joe now that he is a gentleman, but Joe just wants to see Pip, period. Pip thinks he is too good for Joe, even though he is still just the same human as he was before. Money changes people's outlook on life. Pip was once a benevolent, caring, young man, but once he fell into money, he changed dramatically in the way he acted towards others. These conflicts provide for some pretty interesting facets in the story. Charles Dickens develops the characters, the plot, and the conflicts excellently throughout the novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful and beautiful book, Dec 13 2003
By 
Bill R. Moore (New York, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Great Expectations (Paperback)
Charles Dickens's acknowledged masterpiece, Great Expectations, is rightly considered one of the greatest novels of all-time. It depth and breadth are staggering, as it follows its protagonist, Pip, from his early childhood through his later life. During the course of his life, we encounter a vast catalog of raw human emotions: love, hate, jealousy, hope, sadness, despair, anger, pity, empathy, sympathy -- and on and on. The story is treasured and revered for many reasons. One of its main strengths is its plot: after a somewhat slow introductory section, Dickens puts his story in fifth gear and delivers a fast-paced and exciting story that gallops along without ever losing interest or clarity. The incredibly complex plotline, full of separate stories and incidents that seem totally unrelated to each other, but are then all harnessed together as the book heads straight toward its denouement, is also full of constant plot twists, which continue up until, literally, the last paragraph. But, of course, as with all of Dickens's major works, it is the characters that make the book. Like Shakespeare, Dickens preferred to have the story develop through the characters, rather than having the characters be mere set pieces inside of an overriding story. And what great characters they are: the perennially paradoxical but essentially human Pip; the bitter and mysterious Miss Havisham; the beautiful and haughty Estella; the simple and saint-like Joe; the kind and benevolent Herbert; the very human convict, Magwitch -- and all of the other wonderful characters. Dickens excelled in creating well-rounded, very human characters who harbored very real and very complex emotions -- that is, human emotions. We identify with Pip as he winds through his life, because we have been there, too -- the disappointments, the surprises, the loves, the anger, the sadness. In whatever way his story may differ from our own, it is still essentially human, as is ours. For all of his complex and paradoxical emotions and sentiments, Pip is a recognizably human character -- and that is why we love him and this book. A masterpiece for the ages, which will endure for years yet to come, Great Expectations is a great book that can be loved by one and all, for, at its heart, is that grain of simple truth that says so much about what is human in all of us -- whether we have great expectations or not.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just not for High School Students, Dec 9 2003
This review is from: Great Expectations (Paperback)
the course of the year I try to read a few, "Important Novels" in order to get a fuller understanding of literature. Dicken's "Great Expectations" has been on my list for nearly a year. I completely dreaded reading what I thought would be a long and drawn out story about something I could careless about. Well, I was wrong.
"Great Expectations" is now #1 on my all-time favorites list. While, admittedly, it took me roughly 150 pages to get any enjoyment out of the novel- once I was in- I was hooked. Pip's journey through life is a very refreshing look at how distorted we let our lives become by focusing on the unimportant. Dicken's ability to slowly alter Pip's views on life, without changing his essential character/morales (Ex. How Pip looks to help his friend in his business pursuits). Some have called "Great Expecations" his masterpiece... but in my opinion, it may be the "Masterpiece" of English Literature.
I also wonder why this is required High School reading. While I loved this book at age 28, I think most 16 year-olds would find it unbearable. It seems like such a waist to ruin both the book and Dicken's name on minds that are not ready for such a reading task.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not for your typical High School Student, Dec 9 2003
This review is from: Great Expectations (Paperback)
During the course of the year I try to read a few, "Important Novels" in order to get a fuller understanding of literature. Dicken's "Great Expectations" has been on my list for nearly a year. I completely dreaded reading what I thought would be a long and drawn out story about something I could careless about. Well, I was wrong.
"Great Expectations" is now #1 on my all-time favorites list. While, admittedly, it took me roughly 150 pages to get any enjoyment out of the novel- once I was in- I was hooked. Pip's journey through life is a very refreshing look at how distorted we let our lives become by focusing on the unimportant. Dicken's ability to slowly alter Pip's views on life, without changing his essential character/morales (Ex. How Pip looks to help his friend in his business pursuits). Some have called "Great Expecations" his masterpiece... but in my opinion, it may be the "Masterpiece" of English Literature.

I also wonder why this is required High School reading. While I loved this book at age 28, I think most 16 year-olds would find it unbearable. It seems like such a waist to ruin both the book and Dicken's name on minds that are not ready for such a reading task.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great read, July 8 2003
I spent a whole term going over this book in freshmen English class. It is an overall good book, full of interpritations. There are many symbolisms and allusions. However, it is important to remember that this book was originally a serialization, as it came out every week in the paper. There are some parts when Dickens drawls on with his plans, events, ect. However, there are scenes that are very fast paced and action filled. The overall plot is a young, naive boy of about ten lives with his sister and her simple husband named Joe. However, Pip is given a secret benefactor and is thrust in the life of nobility. Pip is tangled in his probelems of leaving Joe behind and his encouters with the shallow (and I mean SHALLOW) Estella and the wicked Miss Havisham. Dickens is a master with characters and the languege, but he doesn't describe any everyday events. For example, Pip goes to study law, but thats all we know. In my opinion, it gives the characters this higher than life importance, and less real. But, if you take this book slowely, maybe a chapter a night (instead of the five I had to do), you will definately enjoy this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars No movie has gotten this story right, Feb. 22 2003
By 
Michael McDaid (Round Rock, Tx) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a story that only Dickens could tell, and no Hollywood screenwriter can capture the same. Dickens created characters that can not be placed in another time. Pip is a blacksmith apprentince and meets up with a man in a graveyard named Magwitch. He helps Magwitch out and then Magwitch takes the blame and gets sent to Australia to pay for Pip's crime. Pip is then invited to play at Miss Havisham's manor with her ward Estella. And Miss Havisham uses Estella to despise any man. Since Miss Havisham was betrayed by her husband to at the altar by not showing up, she feels it's her life's duty to make all men suffer. So Estella makes Pip feel horrible for his hands and only allows him to get close enough to toil with him. You feel so sorry for Pip and how he is tormented by Estella. All the while he gets money from an unannounced bennefactor that turns his life around. And he moves to London to become a gentlemen. A great story about friendship. Dickens created quite a story that nobody can quite capture the same.
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Great Expectations
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (Hardcover - Oct. 27 2009)
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