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Things Aren't Always What They Appear To Be.

  • Dec 7, 2003
GREAT EXPECTATIONS is often the novel used in high schools to introduce students to Dickens. Due to it's length and fairly long and uneventful middle phase, I'm not sure it's the best text to introduce people to Dickens. Still, it is a pretty good story and contains some of the most memorable characters in Dickens' fiction.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS is the story of Phillip Pirrip, otherwise known as Pip. Pip's parents die not long after he is born and he is raised "by hand" by his sister. His brother-in-law, Joe Gargery, is the town blacksmith and loves Pip. The two are best-of-friends. One night while looking at his parents' graves, Pip meets a convict and his life is forever changed by that meeting. As the novel progresses, Pip meets Miss Havisham (the wealthiest woman in town) and her beautiful ward, Estella. Pip immediately falls in love with Estella and is haunted by her all the days of his life. Eventually Pip is bond to Joe as his apprentice and sets to work in the blacksmith forge. Several years later, Pip's luck changes when he is informed by a lawyer from London, Mr. Jaggers, that he has become the recipient of "great expectations". The book then follows Pip's life as he enters this new stage in life and as he develops and becomes a "gentleman". Everything is brought full circle and just about everyone gets what they deserve by the time the novel ends.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS isn't the easiest of books to read. What many writers can do in a sentence often takes Dickens two pages to tell. Also, the book is divided into three phases and the second phase is rather boring (except at the end) and really does nothing more than to fill in a few plot gaps and illustrate to us how much of a prig Pip becomes. Nevertheless, GREAT EXPECTATIONS is still a good story containing some very vivid characters: Pip, Estella, Joe, Miss Havisham, Magwitch, Jaggers, and Wemmick. The characters in GREAT EXPECTATIONS are as memorable as anyone in DAVID COPPERFIELD, OLIVER TWIST, or A CHRISTMAS CAROL. The first phase of the book is quite interesting and sets up everything that later occurs in the novel. The third part of the novel is full of excitement and contains Pip's repentance and reformation. Overall, it's a great book and even though it was written over a hundred years ago, it has a lot to say about the society in which we live today.

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More Great Expectations (book) reviews
review by . August 23, 2008
It is astonishing to read literature this good, such that within the first few pages you know that no matter what the author does to the characters or how he concludes the story, and whether it suits my tastes in any specific direction, you realize that here is a work of lasting skill, value, and impact, truly a classic.    Now I came to this book with perhaps reduced expectations, not great ones, having only remembered reading The Christmas Carol by Dickens, a story so well …
review by . June 12, 2010
Generally when approaching a classic work of fiction, one feels compelled to enjoy it. That has always been the assumed case with Sir Charles Dickens. It didn't matter that so many of his stories were contrived for financial gain. All that mattered was that he was a man looking for something through the written word and his journey had led him through A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol, Bleak House and so on. For this matter, when I met myself thumbing Great Expectations, I fully intended …
review by . June 23, 2010
The story of Great Expectations written by Charles Dickens is one of my favorite books of all time. I remember the first time reading this in high school and I was intrigued by the story. It is a book that should definitely be read by each and all. It is a coming of age story which involves Phillip Pirrip and his quest to become a gentleman. His attempt to become a gentleman takes an interesting start in his young age. He encounters a convict and he helps him and this would have a profound effect …
review by . July 14, 2010
Warning: this review contains spoilers.       When I read this for school in 9th grade I was pretty solidly convinced that Charles Dickens was paid by the word.  I heard this was the case, and this book doesn't make it surprising.  One thing he does well is tying up loose ends.  Every character, however minor he or she may seem, ends up being important to Pip untangling the web of intrigue in the novel.  What's frustrating about this book is …
Quick Tip by . July 17, 2010
If you are new to the world of Dickens, DO NOT begin with this book. While insightful at points, every character is unlikeable and anger provoking.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
Dickens writing literally transported me to this timeframe and the lives of these characters. Great read!
Quick Tip by . July 11, 2010
This is a very nice story, and I really enjoyed it, but the plot sometimes moves a bit slow.
Quick Tip by . July 05, 2010
Pip and Miss Haversham, and the decaying wedding luncheon--unforgettable.
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
good story
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
Dickens' best novel
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About this book



ISBN-10: 0375757015 (pbk. : Modern lib ed.)
ISBN-13: 9780375757013 (pbk. : Modern lib ed.)
Author: Charles Dickens
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Modern Library
Date Published: February 13, 2001
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