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Great Expectations (Everyman's Library) Hardcover – March 10, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library (March 10, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679405798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679405795
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Great Expectations may be called a novel without a hero . . . In [it] Dickens was really trying to be a quiet, a detached, and even a cynical observer of human life . . . And the final and startling triumph of Dickens is this: that even to this moderate and modern story he gives an incomparable energy which is not moderate and which is not modern. He is trying to be reasonable; but in spite of himself he is inspired.” –G. K. Chesterton

Great Expectations [is] generally regarded as Dickens’s artistic masterpiece, and a novel profoundly serious in its psychological and sociological import . . . Dickens tell[s] a universal story of human passions, mutual exploitation, selfishness, self-delusion, and selflessness . . . [It] is the subtlest and most profound, as well as the most triumphantly achieved, of all his great novels.” –From the Introduction by Michael Slater

From the Inside Flap

Introduction by Michael Slater

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Trust you me, I won't be wasting my life away like Ms. Havisham though.
Peter Lemongellow
To be sure, GREAT EXPECTATIONS contains some splendid scenes and some great characters ("Trabb's boy" in particular).
R. M. Peterson
Great Expectations isn't a classic for its language, plotting, style or wit.
Erica

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 27, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Great Expectations is one of the most absorbing novels I have ever read. It is also the best. The plot is complex and exciting, sometimes very funny and sometimes almost unbearably sad, with so many plot twists it is impossible to lose interest. The writing and descriptions are...well they're Dickens': always brilliant and powerful. And the characters in Great Expecations, Pip, Uncle Pumblechook, Miss Havisham, Mr. Jaggers, etc., are colorful and original, and complex and lively. Great Expectations has the suspense of any of today's thrillers (during the last fifty pages I could not put it down) and a wonderful message: that your social standing does not determine what kind of a person you are; aristocracy isn't all it's cracked up to be; what you really need in life are good friends and people that care about you. Great Expectations is a masterpiece of the first order. I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed it. It is most assuredly a book I will keep reading again and again throughout my life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cale on November 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful story that Everyman's Library has place in great binding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Peterson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
My title for this review speaks to two subjects. One is the story of the novel itself. The other is personal, and it is my idiosyncratic response to the novel on this the third time I have read it. The first two times were when I was about fourteen and then again in my twenties. I enjoyed it so much on that second reading that I resolved to read it every ten years or so. As with so many other resolutions, I failed to make good on it. So it was with great expectations that I finally opened GREAT EXPECTATIONS for the third time. Alas, it is not the novel I remember - no doubt in large part because I am not the reader who read it way back then.

This time around I found GREAT EXPECTATIONS to be a morality play of sorts. Pip, a young orphan lad from rustic background, is ashamed of his humble origins, but then (through a 19th-century version of deus ex machina) Pip is chosen by an anonymous benefactor who wishes to make a gentleman out of him and has the funds to do so. Pip suddenly has great expectations. He becomes convinced that he is among the elite, and now he scarcely has the time of day for the blacksmith Joe Gargery who raised him or the sweet, smart Biddy, an orphan lass who had moved in with Joe to care for his invalid wife. The rest of the novel is dedicated to the lesson that money and high social class do not make for either character or happiness.

The morality play struck me as rather hackneyed, perhaps because so many other tales from the 19th Century plowed the same ground. To be sure, GREAT EXPECTATIONS contains some splendid scenes and some great characters ("Trabb's boy" in particular). It evidences an uncommon understanding of human nature. It has its moments of incisive satire, and it is funnier than what I recall of Dickens.
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Format: Hardcover
I, too, languished through this in High School. I, too, vowed never to pick up Dickens again. Then something happened. This is not bragging: it just happened. I grew up. Any intelligence I had mellowed into understanding, a very different faculty. Saddened, changed, I picked up Dickens again. And at last, I understood. Great Expectations isn't a classic for its language, plotting, style or wit. Like all Dickens' work, it is faulted in these areas. It's a classic because of Dicken's passion, which along with Bleak House pours onto the page and if you are at the right time of life, into your heart. So to all the reviewers here who find him problematic, wait a bit. Read a little about the nightmare world he lived in, the choked waterways slimey and poisonous with oil, feces and dye...the dangerous, airless shacks stacked up on each other, the rotten food...when it could be had at all. If you can, too, research a little into the social mores of the day, because what Dickens says about Victorian manners is quite true: virtue was often toggled to wealth in an absurd attempt to justify those unworthies clawing their way to the top of the "Beehive". Try Dickens again later, when you have grown old. He's a ripping good yarn, but you must forgive him...he sees people as tiny valiant miracles amidst a roiling world of injustice, farcical posturing, physical danger, ignorance and want, and he needs to tell you about it. He often jokes about it, because the society he was writing for was very touchy and required its medicine to be sugar coated. It is only after you've put a Dickens book down that the images--minus the wit--pour over you and like the smoke curling through a Dickens novel it occurs to you you cannot breathe...
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By A Customer on December 2, 1998
Format: Hardcover
"Great Expectations" as well as other Dickens novels like "Oliver Twist" were written with a purpose. Dickens was so against some of the evils of his time that he had to do something to speak out against them. And he did. He represents in the lives of his characters the thousands of children forced into inhumane working conditions. And that is just one of wrongs he set out to correct. Carefully read, Dickens provides countless details of English life with its evils and triumphs. I have read several of his novels and always find them inspiring as well as educational.
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