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Great Expectations [Paperback]

by Charles Dickens
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (705 customer reviews)

Price: $10.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Book Description

January 31, 2011 1936041944 978-1936041947
Great Expectations charts the progress of Pip from childhood through often painful experiences to adulthood, as he moves from the Kent marshes to busy, commercial London, encountering a variety of extraordinary characters ranging from Magwitch, the escaped convict, to Miss Havisham, locked up with her unhappy past and living with her ward, the arrogant, beautiful Estella. Pip must discover his true self, and his own set of values and priorities. Whether such values allow one to prosper in the complex world of early Victorian England is the major question posed by Great Expectations, one of Dickens's most fascinating, and disturbing, novels. This edition includes the original, discarded ending, Dickens's brief working notes, and the serial instalments and chapter divisions in different editions. It also uses the definitive Clarendon text.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—A young man's burning desire to fulfill his "great expectations" of fame and fortune is presented in Charles Dickens's classic tale of love, madness, forgiveness, and redemption. Simon Vance's masterful narration brings to life such diverse personalities as Miss Havisham, the old woman who was abandoned on her wedding day and is determined to wreak revenge through her beautiful adopted daughter Estella; Joe, Pip's lumbering and slow-witted, but emotionally wise and faithful friend; the mysterious Magwitch, a convict who turns out to be Pip's financial benefactor; and Pip, the boy who longs for a destiny greater than that of living out his days as a blacksmith's apprentice. The companion ebook features automatic start-up, keyword searching, PDF printable format, and table of contents. An exceptionally skilled rendering of this classic.—Cindy Lombardo, Cleveland Public Library, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 406 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown (January 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936041944
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936041947
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 8.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (705 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,135,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
257 of 273 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best novel EVER! March 26, 2004
Format:Paperback
Another reviewer claims that you have to be at least 21 years old to read this book. Although I don't think it should be "forced" on schoolchildren (they will only hate it) I read this novel when I was a child and I loved it. I have just re-read it now and I enjoy it all the more. This is my favorite novel by Dickens. It is from his later period and is criticized for being too dark - which, however, makes it more perfect for today's sensibilities. Stephen King cites this work as one of his favorites: he believes that it is this book that brought the gothic novel mainstream.
Was there ever a novelist who created more memorable characters than Dickens? Here, we meet perhaps his most intriguing - Miss Havisham. For anyone unfamiliar with the story, I will not spoil it by describing her. The story is similar to parable about the prodigal son - good Pip inexplicably comes into some money and goes off to the corrupting city.
AN IMPORTANT THING TO NOTE: Dickens wrote two ending for this book. His friends thought that the original ending was too downbeat and they asked him to come up with a different one. It is the upbeat ending that is the official ending of the novel. However, most critics agree that the original unpublished ending is better. Most modern editions feature the unpublished ending in an appendix. MAKE SURE YOU BUY A COPY THAT CONTAINS THE ORIGINAL ENDING!
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113 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, brooding, profound April 22, 2005
Format:Paperback
Great Expectations is one of Dickens's later novels, a work of his artistic maturity. The narrative is symbolic rather than realistic. Although, as in most of Dickens and in Victorian literature in general, the plot relies heavily on coincidence, it is acceptable here because the events are true to the internal, psychological, logic of the story.

After writing A Tale of Two Cities, which was unique among his novels in that it had none of his trademark humor, Dickens set out to make Great Expectations rich in comic elements. This despite, or perhaps because of, being in a depressed state of mind himself at the time. The conventional critical view is that he largely failed in this attempt, but I strongly disagree. The book is hilariously funny in parts and the main character, Pip, exhibits a characteristically British humour-in-adversity throughout his adventures. There is also the host of minor comic characters that we expect from Dickens. And he for once manages pathos without spilling over into bathos, so there are tears as well as laughter here, sometimes both at once.

If you have not yet read any Dickens, this is not a bad book with which to start, although for younger readers (teens) I would recommend Hard Times or A Tale of Two Cities as their first. Great Expectations demands a mature sensibility to appreciate its symbolism and psychological depth. Perhaps because it chiefly concerns the childhood and youth of the protagonist, it is often given to young people to read and is a set text in some High School classes. This is a pity because, in its dark complexity, it is more likely to turn youngsters off, rather than onto, Dickens.
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64 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Social commentary, mystery, romance and a great story... November 26, 2000
Format:Paperback
I've never read any Dickens of my own free will. I was forced to read "A Tale of Two Cities" in high school and I thought that was enough for me. However, one day, on a whim, I bought a copy of Great Expectations. I'm not sure what I expected, but I certainly didn't expect to love it as much as I did.
Dickens is not a writer to read at a swift pace. Indeed, this novel was written in weekly episodes from December 1860 to August 1861 and, as it was created to be a serial, each installment is full of varied characters, great descriptions and a lot of action which moves the plot along and leaves the reader yearning for more. Therefore, unlike some books which are easily forgotten if I put them down for a few days, Great Expectations seemed to stick around, absorbing my thoughts in a way that I looked forward to picking it up again. It took me more than a month to read and I savored every morsel.
Basically the story is of the self-development of Pip, an orphan boy being raised by his sister and her blacksmith husband in the marshlands of England in 1820.
Every one of the characters were so deeply developed that I felt I was personally acquainted with each one of them. There was Pip's roommate, Herbert Pocket, the lawyer, Mr. Jaggers, and his clerk, Mr. Wemmick. And then there was the wicked Orlick. The dialogues were wonderful. The characters often didn't actually say what they meant but spoke in a way that even though the words might be obtuse, there was no mistaking their meaning. I found myself smiling at all these verbal contortions.
Dickens' work is richly detailed and he explores the nuances of human behavior. I enjoyed wallowing in the long sentences and letting myself travel backwards in time to a different world.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Abridged copy November 10, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is not the full version, despite the length. There's no indication of this until you get inside the book.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Classic! July 30, 2000
Format:Paperback
I love this book! This is one of my all-time favorite books ever. I had to read it eons ago when I was in ninth grade, and now (14 years later) I am still enjoying it. Every few years I take this one down from my bookshelf to revisit. This is the story of Pip, a small orphaned boy living in poverty in the English countryside with his much older sister and her husband. Pip meets a convict in a graveyard one damp morning and helps him out in the form of some vittles and an iron file. Later in the story, Pip moves from poverty to being a "gentleman" due to the influence of a mysterious, anonymous benefactor. This book tells of his adventures and how Pip's expectations guide him through life. Towards the end of the story, Pip finds out that reality is sometimes very different from what we expect it to be. The characters are what really make this book stand out. Charles Dickens is a master of character development, and his descriptions of Miss Havisham, Wemmick, Joe, and the others is brilliant! The dialogue is great, with the words written the way a commoner would have spoken in England in the 1800's. Another thing I really liked was how all of the characters are inter-related to each other in ways that you may not discover until you get to the end of the novel.This novel will make you laugh and it might make you sad, but it is always entertaining. If you are in high school and reading this book for the first time for English class, keep at it! It may seem difficult at first if you are not used to Dickens, but this book is well worth it! It is truly a gem.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless classic
This is such a great story about adversity. I think alot of people should read this story especially in these hard times.
Published 2 days ago by Paul Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
There were some slower parts of the book but as a whole I thought it was a terrific book and definitely would recommend!
Published 4 days ago by shmajo82
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book for both old and young!
A true classic! It brought back so many memories of reading it in my childhood. It draws you in and takes you on a fantastic journey.
Published 7 days ago by Dennis Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Classic
I had read this book in high school 11 yrs ago. I decided it was high time to revisit it & read the book again. It was enjoyable to read then & it was enjoyable to read now. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Sarah Henry
4.0 out of 5 stars nice read
The story is captivating; there are many nuances to the plot and the characters are well developed. I expected nothing less
Published 13 days ago by dr dad
5.0 out of 5 stars CATCHING UP
I'm retired, and have never read Dickens, but will plan to read more. Thoroughly enjoyed the Adventure aspect of this book. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Drken
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
I've decided to try to add the classics somehow missed in my reading, and Dickens has been fun. His style and plots are familiar, often copied, but still fresh and revealing for... Read more
Published 20 days ago by David C
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
It is a great marterpiece of literaturo at a reasonable price
I would love to read it again best regards
Published 20 days ago by alfonso gomez
3.0 out of 5 stars book is long and not fun to read, and this is not the right copy used...
got this book for my boy's freshman LA class, thought I got a good deal because it had the right ISBN number and published by B & N, but then it wasn't the same B & N edition that... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Apple
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Published 2 months ago by Valerie Hawkes-Howat
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