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Great Expectations Paperback – March 23, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1613820766 ISBN-10: 1613820763
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Review

No story in the first person was ever better told. --From the Trade Paperback edition

About the Author

<DIV>Charles Dickens was the foremost English novelist of the Victorian era and is known for such novels as The Adventures of Oliver TwistA Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, and A Tale of Two Cities. F.W. Pailthorpe provided illustrations for the original edition of Great Expectations.</DIV>
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 406 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown (January 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613820763
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613820766
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,265,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

One of the grand masters of Victorian literature, Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors' prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and "slave" factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years' formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney's clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
***This review may contain spoilers***

Like practically every other American student, I encountered Dickens's "Great Expectations" (hereafter GE) in an abridged version in junior high, then the complete text when I was much older. In my opinion, GE is a glorious (not glorified) soap opera chronicling the wildly fluctuating vicissitudes of Philip Pirrip's (Pip's) eventful life, from an orphaned, tormented child apprenticed to genial blacksmith Joe to, by a turn of ironic fate, a wealthy "gentleman" of leisure. As been often noted, Dickens created worlds, if not universes, in his novels, and GE is certainly no exception. In this review, I will try to avoid detailing the plot, which is already well-known. Instead, I will comment upon Dickens's use of backstory and flashback to flesh out most of the major characters in the novel.

Even the most colorful, flamboyant characters in GE are not one-dimensional or stereotypically good or evil. We learn how Miss Havisham's marital jilting by Arthur compelled her to become a spectral recluse in her gloomy estate. We learn how Miss Havisham's misanthropic upbringing caused her frosty ward Estella (whose name suggests a blazing but distant star) to become an inaccessible man-hater. We learn how Magwitch, Pip's surprising benefactor, became a convict through cynical ad hominem prosecution in the barbaric English court system, was transported to the penal colony that was Australia, and how he acquired the money through hardship just to help the orphan Pip, who showed him mercy at the graveyard, and why he risked arrest in London to see his gentleman. We learn that Estella's mother, servant to Mr.
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Format: Paperback
Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with reviewers when they give great classics, like this one, low ratings. I guess it's just a case of "too each his own". I'm sure there are some books that I would think were terrible that others rave about. Having said that, I loved this book. I don't know why it took me so long to read it. I've been reading a lot of classics lately - mainly classics that my son is reading or will have to read for homeschool this year. For some reason I thought this book was on his list, but later, after I was in the middle of the novel, realized it wasn't. No matter. I'm very glad that I read it. I was surprised by how involved I became with the characters and the book when I was reading it. I couldn't put it down. I thought a book by Charles Dickens was going to be dry and boring. How wrong I was. I actually found myself grieving with the characters. I would be happy with them and angry with them when they did something that was, in my opinion, wrong or ill-advised At one point I actually found myself having a down day but couldn't put my finger on it until I realized I was at a point in the book where Pip was depressed. Some of the language and unusual expressions that are used in the book can be difficult, but, if you are a fairly well read person, you should be able to do fine. Great book!
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Format: Paperback
This being the first novel by Dickens, i didn't know whether i would like it or not. I was pleasantly surprised at how much i did like it. Usually the books that they force you to read i don't enjoy. Although this was never forced on me during high school, i know it is a popular book on high school curriculum. I found that i loved it and has become one of my favorites. I really liked the storyline and thought the characters were enjoyable. I will definitely have to pick up more of Dickens' works.

SPOILER: a lot of people didn't like the new ending that Dickens wrote, saying it is too happy and that the original depressing ending was superior. I actually didn't like the original ending and didn't find the newer one to be too joyous. I read the new ending as Pip being doomed to always love Estella, making it more depressing than the original. Anyway, that was my take.
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