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Great Expectations (A Stepping Stone Book) Paperback – November 19, 1996
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"No story in the first person was ever better told."
From the Inside Flap
Expect great adventures for seven-year-old Pip, a blacksmith's apprentice who dreams of a better life. Can a dangerous escaped convict, a wealthy old woman, and a secret guardian help him turn his rags to riches? With a rich cast of characters and more plot twists than the most tangled video game, this lively, easy-to-read adaptation of the Dickens classic is sure to capture the imaginations of young and reluctant readers.
Top customer reviews
GE is very, very Dickensian – it's peopled by a multitude of interesting folks: good guys who are very good, bad guys who are sort of a mixed bag, and a slew of intriguing characters, major and minor. In particular, the wildly inventive and bizarre Miss Havisham, all by herself, makes reading this book worthwhile.
The bottom line for me is that Great Expectations is a tale told in first person by Pip, and I really couldn’t quite bring myself to like him. I kept thinking he deserved all the bad things that happened to him, and none of the good things. The novel also appears to make a point that is a little disturbing, that one should be careful what one wishes for, because you might be better off accepting one’s lot in life. Clearly, in this case at least, fulfillment of great expectations does not lead to a better life.
While it’s sublimely well written, as one would expect from a Grand Master of the English language, Great Expectations is not my favorite Dickens. That remains a tie between David Copperfield and A Tale of Two Cities.
A part of my personal "Classics I Should Have Read But Didn't" series, I listened to most of Great Expectations as opposed to reading it, the Audible.com version read by Simon Prebble. As usual, Prebble's narration is superb.
The left-at-the-altar Miss Haversham is a memorable character in her goal to have her ward hate men as revenge for her spinster status. Dressed in her decades old wedding dress and the room and its content for the reception, Ms. Haversham is a misguided, however wealthy, person.
My ESL tutee will love this book and excite his desire for reading. He is in the first grade and reads at third grade level. When I met him three years ago, he was Spanish-speaking only. Many books that I read to him were read during the time he was home with his older brother and his mother. Both parents helped him learn English, although they solely speak Spanish in the home.
Since my limited Spanish is a rusty 40-year old level, I have been studying books from Amazon to keep my Spanish conversational and fresh with the mother.
Diego will love this Dickens' book.
I found the first part of the novel comparable to a read of Huckleberry Finn because of young Pip's innocence and strong heart. When it got to the second part, it reads much like a Victorian version of Catcher in the Rye, because teenage Pip (self-aware and hard on him with it) often finds himself ashamed, embarrassed, and unhappy in a room with anyone--his lesser and higher companions. The third portion becomes unlike anything but itself, and is introduced precisely at the time that the story threatens to fizzle out. I found the third portion of the book to be the most suspenseful and ironic, where the moral point is fully uncovered.
This book is not heavy with action, combat, or thrills, but with voice, irony, and layered interaction. This is the type of book that someone reads when they're looking to reflect on themselves for who they are and how they treat their old and new loyalties.