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Great Expectations (Puffin Classics) Paperback – 5 May 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Classics; Re-issue edition (5 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141330139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141330136
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 13.2 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 587,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles Dickens was born in 1812 near Portsmouth where his father was a clerk in the navy pay office. The family moved to London in 1823, but their fortunes were severely impaired. Dickens was sent to work in a blacking-warehouse when his father was imprisoned for debt. Both experiences deeply affected the future novelist. In 1833 he began contributing stories to newspapers and magazines, and in 1836 started the serial publication of Pickwick Papers. Thereafter, Dickens published his major novels over the course of the next twenty years, from Nicholas Nickleby to Little Dorrit. He also edited the journals Household Words and All the Year Round. Dickens died in June 1870.



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First Sentence
My father's family name being Pirrip, and my christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 85 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Jan 2006
Format: Paperback
I spent most of my 45 years since leaving school doing my best to avoid anything by Charles Dickens, quite why, I'm not sure. A recent illness and enforced idleness had me rummaging around some books I had come by and there was Great Expectations. I thought I'd try just the first chapter, but was hooked from the first page. This is one helluva book! The pace, the characterisation, the plot, the atmosphere, the everything are masterly. But it isn't all misery as there are frequent moments of irony and typically English gallows humour. Outstanding, but it'll make you cry.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Jen on 9 April 2007
Format: Paperback
I have a handful of books I can read over and again and this is top of the list, it may even be my desert island choice. The descriptive passages are wonderful and the characters are so richly painted. Pip and Joe is the best relationship - some funny moments, sad moments and some really heartbreaking moments. Every time I get to the part where Pip thinks he is too good for Joe and Joe irritates him it makes my skin crawl. Estella is a wonderful character, cruel, cold and twisted but not her fault and she ends up in a sad situation. Miss Havisham - a truly creepy lady, what an excellent creation. The story is fabulous with such a great ending - who would have thought? This book is absolutely fantastic. Brilliant characters, described so well that the most unimaginative reader will have vivid mental images of them all and you won't forgot them or this book. Ever.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By lowell duluth on 27 Feb 2003
Format: Paperback
Having just read G E for the first time, what strikes me is its infinite sadness and sense of melancholia. While there is much of Dickens`s customary wit and punning humour in the writing, the
impression is of a man in the grip of an atypical desire to express some deep pain, a sadness inconsolable, exemplified in the self-torturing central figure of Pip, growing up in a household dominated by a much elder sister/mother who is forever `on the Rampage` and a long-suffering, seemingly ineffectual uncle/father, Joe, who is nevertheless virtually the one constant source of hope in the novel - a thoroughly good, unlettered yet deeply human man (an almost Hardyesque figure; and it is in G E that Dickens perhaps foreshadows such works as Tess and The Mayor of Casterbridge) who is nevertheless far more dignified and, in his way, proud than he at first appears. He, Joe, refuses to outstay his welcome both times he visits Pip in London, not only from a sense of incongruity, but also a strong feeling of self-preservation,a gentle pride in his own realness - something Pip himself nearly loses.
Dickens`s final, tentatively hopeful chapter, Pip and Estella in the ruins of Miss Havisham`s garden, is suitably downbeat, refusing to allow the saddened reader too much sunlight, even as we are gladdened by the catharsis of self-knowledge so hard-won by Pip over the course of the previous 500 pages.
This is, like Wuthering Heights, The Mayor of Casterbridge or Jane Eyre, one of the timeless, lightning-struck landmarks of 19th century literature, if anything the most regretfully sombre of all of them.
A mature, autumnally beautiful book.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Mr John Ryan on 11 July 2004
Format: Audio CD
An excellent narration by Hugh Laurie who captures the emotions and feeling of the characters in this classic book so well.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By E. J. Bousseksou on 3 Feb 2002
Format: Paperback
Don't bother reading this if you are immature. When I tried to read it at the age of 15 with the desire of becoming 'intelligent', I lacked the insight to appreciate its humour. I thought it was 'boring' didn't get beyond the first 100 pages and would probably have given it 1 star at that age.
However, 11 years on, having exhausted all of Wilkie Collins' novels, I decided to give his friend a second chance. I'm so glad I did.
His dark sense of humour comes through the description and interaction of the characters. His dramatic timing is simply perfect and the props he uses sets the reader up for shocks and surprises. He shows us that most of us, like Pip, don't fall into the category of good and evil, but that we are flawed human beings, capable of doing good deeds or making terrible mistakes. The characters cover a vast spectrum, by degrees, from the purely innocent, to likable villains, down to cold-hearted individuals.
It's beautifully written, very atmospheric... from the misty marshes to the dusty, dirty claustrophobic London. I laughed. I was moved. I was intrigued. I read with wide-eyed surprise at the unfolding of events. And I defy anyone who reads this story to forget Miss.Havisham.
If you understand the English language and have a pulse you should enjoy this immensely.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jab on 21 Nov 2011
Format: Audio CD
I chose this for a long car journey with the family. Hugh Laurie reads very well, with great voices for the different characters, but he reads fast. Although I knew this version was abridged, I had no idea how much would be cut out - to the point where it was sometimes hard to follow the story. The fast pace and the abridged text made this a more breathless and pacy experience than I anticipated. However, we all enjoyed the story immensely. Next time I will take care to choose a longer version. This felt like a mere taster for someone who intends reading the book, or a reminder for those who know the book already.
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