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Great Expectations (Everyman's Library Classics) [Hardcover]

Charles Dickens
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 Mar 1992 Everyman's Library Classics
An unknown benefactor provides Philip Pirrip with the chance to escape his poor upbringing. Aspiring to be a gentleman, and encouraged by his expectations of wealth, he abandons his friends and moves to London. His expectations prove to be unfounded however, and he must return home penniless.

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Great Expectations (Everyman's Library Classics) + Oliver Twist: Or the Parish Boy's Progress (Everyman's Library Classics) + Bleak House (Clothbound Classics)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 462 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman (19 Mar 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857150562
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857150568
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,683 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 the 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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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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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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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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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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 A great reread.
I haven't read this for over 20 years but I loved it for all the reasons I read any Dickens book. Superb characterization and scene setting descriptions allied with brilliant... Read more
Published 5 days ago by dave.i.jones
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
not as exciting as I'd hoped
Published 10 days ago by Corallyn Newman
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I did it again
Hadn't read the book for decades. Glad I did it again.
Published 28 days ago by Sheldon Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value fast service
As described. Good value fast service. Would recommend
Published 1 month ago by Billy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by mary
5.0 out of 5 stars a book to come back to as I have.
Charles Dickens has always been a favourite author of mine. His style of writing keeps me wanting to read more of his books.
Published 1 month ago by colinay
5.0 out of 5 stars Still as wonderful today
I decided I should read a classic novel for a change. Glad I did and enjoyed it immensely. A wonderful book.
Published 4 months ago by MARION EL-QASEM
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant as a child i love this book.could have been proof read better as some errors.but still favorite charactor miss haversham she is great.brilliant
Published 5 months ago by jane
3.0 out of 5 stars Preferred the film by David Lean
I know that's sacrilege to Dickens lovers but I always hated Dickens's writing even if I enjoyed most of his stories. Read more
Published 5 months ago by A. Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Definitely one of my all time favourite books. Glad i chose to read it and i plan to read some more Dickens novels.
Published 7 months ago by J
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