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Great Expectations [Paperback]

Charles Dickens
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (390 customer reviews)
RRP: £6.99
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Book Description

8 Dec 2011

Great Expectations will form the centrepiece of the Dickens season this Christmas.

Part thriller, part mystery, with a powerful love story at its heart, Sarah Phelps's (Oliver Twist, EastEnders) three-part adaptation embraces all of these qualities, delivering a vibrant, visceral, story. The stellar cast includes Gillian Anderson, David Suchet and Ray Winstone, and it will be broadcast on BBC1 in a prime-time slot in December this year.

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Great Expectations + Zofloya: or The Moor (Oxford World's Classics) + The Fire Next Time: My Dungeon Shook; Down at the Cross (Twentieth Century Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books (8 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849904286
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849904285
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (390 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 531,353 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.

Product Description


The Puffin Classics series is a perfect marriage of the old and the new. Enjoy some of the best books from the past and find out why and how they inspired some of the best writers of the present (Julia Eccleshare Lovereading4kids) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A major new adaptation, forming part of the BBC's celebration of Dickens and the bicentenary of his birth in 2012.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive 20 Jan 2006
By A Customer
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sources of Goodness 7 May 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Great Expectations succeeds beyond almost all novels of its time in exploring the roots of character and moral behavior. Charles Dickens makes the case for there being the potential for good in everyone. Evil and sin follow from a combination of being self-absorbed and selfish. What is remarkable about the way these themes are handled is that they are clearly based on an assessment of human psychology, long before that field was established.
The book is also remarkable for its many indelibly memorable and complex characters. Miss Havisham, Pip, Magwitch, Mr. Jaggers, and Estella are characters you will think about again and again in years to come.
The book also surrounds you with a powerful sense of place. Although the England described here is long gone, it becomes as immediate as a nightmare or a dream that you have just awakened from.
For a book about moral questions, Great Expectations also abounds in action. The scenes involving Pip and Magwitch are especially notable for way action expresses character and thought.
Great Expectations also reeks of irony, something that is seldom noticed in more modern novels. Overstatements are created to draw the irony out into the open, where it is unmistakable. Yet the overstatements attract, rather than repel. The overstatements are like the theatrical make up which makes actors and actresses look strange in the dressing room, but more real on the stage when seen from the audience.
At the same time, the plot is deliciously complex in establishing and solving mysteries before that genre had been born. As you read Great Expectations, raise your expectations to assume that you will receive answers to any dangling details. By reading the book this way, you will appreciate the craft that Mr. Dickens employed much more.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sad as a Thames twilight 27 Feb 2003
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably his best 13 Aug 2003
There are many things to dislike about Dickens. He has a tendency to go for novels of overblown length (one review on this website of his shortest novel ‘Hard Times’ seems to think that bigger means better, which I am inclined to disagree with). His characters (especially the women) are either innocent virtue or wholly malevolent. And then of course there’s the lachrymose sentimentality…
With ‘Great Expectations’ all this gets reined in. It tells the story of Pip, apprenticed to kindly blacksmith Joe Gargery, who is provided with an unexpected opportunity to become a gentleman. He shuns his working class roots and goes off to fulfil his ambitions in London, the primary motivation presumably being his desire to impress the beautiful but cold-hearted Estella.
From this premise, Dickens weaves a simple but hugely effective yarn that contains an important moral lesson. In true Dickens style it is exercised in a preachy manner; but considering the time Dickens wrote it in, it was the only way to get across his radical social criticism. ‘Great Expectations’ has all the positive aspects of the ‘later’ Dickens novels, whilst managing to dispense with the usual criticisms applied to his writings. It is tightly and deftly plotted, but doesn’t take time to flourish into something gripping (hello ‘Bleak House’). There are complex characters too – such as Pip, who is subject to a voyage of self-discovery, and Jaggers, who isn’t as sinister as he seems. Even some of the female characters are interesting, like Biddy, who is sweet-tempered and pious, but not afraid to stand up for herself either.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great expectations
A book that will grab you and encourage you to read it fervently a good read from the hand of dickens !
Published 4 days ago by robert youngson
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read
Reading it again it has everything a book could have adventure, fear, excitement if you have never read a Charles Dickens book try this one it will really stir your emotions .
Published 7 days ago by bookworm
4.0 out of 5 stars Had me in tears
Very slow to start off but had me in tears by the end, I would definitely recommend. Though it's not a short read!
Published 9 days ago by Elizabeth Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
If you enjoy Charles Dickens (as I do) how can you not appreciate this book. Fascinating.
Published 10 days ago by Lynda Buckley
4.0 out of 5 stars a very good read
A bit of a change from a lot of modern book,s and a twist here and there enjoyed the book.
Published 11 days ago by Marie
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
What's not to like.
Published 11 days ago by paul dawtry
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Difficult to add anything to what anyone has already said about this masterpiece. Go read.
Published 12 days ago by Scotianightpoetry
5.0 out of 5 stars classic dickens
Best of his bibliography by far. Sustainable characters & masterful imagery. Really evokes Victorian London. Cliched I know but on point !
Published 13 days ago by benlcarey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent read
Published 16 days ago by KEN JONES
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great service as usual and great book. Already read it but wanted it on my Kindle.
Published 17 days ago by Mrs Carol Paterson
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