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Audible Sample

Great Expectations Audio Download – Unabridged

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Product Description

One of the most revered works in English literature, Great Expectations traces the coming of age of a young orphan, Pip, from a boy of shallow aspirations into a man of maturity. From the chilling opening confrontation with an escaped convict to the grand but eerily disheveled estate of bitter old Miss Havisham, all is not what it seems in Dickens' dark tale of false illusions and thwarted desire.

Raised by a humble blacksmith, Pip is recruited by the wealthy Miss Havisham to be a companion to her ward, the cold but beautiful Estella. There, Pip learns to despise his rough origins as Estella torments him about his low prospects. When Pip is informed that an unknown benefactor expects to make him his heir, he sets off to London to realize his "great expectations." But true gentleman stature, he will find, is a matter of character, not fortune.

Public Domain (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 18 hours and 31 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Release Date: 26 Oct. 2011
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005ZTK7OU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Feb. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Charles Dickens's acknowledged masterpiece, Great Expectations, is rightly considered one of the greatest novels of all-time. It depth and breadth are staggering, as it follows its protagonist, Pip, from his early childhood through his later life. During the course of his life, we encounter a vast catalog of raw human emotions: love, hate, jealousy, hope, sadness, despair, anger, pity, empathy, sympathy -- and on and on. The story is treasured and revered for many reasons. One of its main strengths is its plot: after a somewhat slow introductory section, Dickens puts his story in fifth gear and delivers a fast-paced and exciting story that gallops along without ever losing interest or clarity. The incredibly complex plotline, full of separate stories and incidents that seem totally unrelated to each other, but are then all harnessed together as the book heads straight toward its denouement, is also full of constant plot twists, which continue up until, literally, the last paragraph. But, of course, as with all of Dickens's major works, it is the characters that make the book. Like Shakespeare, Dickens preferred to have the story develop through the characters, rather than having the characters be mere set pieces inside of an overriding story. And what great characters they are: the perennially paradoxical but essentially human Pip; the bitter and mysterious Miss Havisham; the beautiful and haughty Estella; the simple and saint-like Joe; the kind and benevolent Herbert; the very human convict, Magwitch -- and all of the other wonderful characters. Dickens excelled in creating well-rounded, very human characters who harbored very real and very complex emotions -- that is, human emotions.Read more ›
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80 of 86 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jane Aland VINE VOICE on 31 Dec. 2004
Format: Paperback
At it's heart Great Expectations is a very bleak novel, with Pip's mysterious inheritance leading to nothing but misery, and his hopeless unrequited love for Estella the cause of numerous woes, but Dickens simultaneously manages to turn this into a comic delight by the inclusion of a host of arch characters: the pompous local tradesman Pumblechook, who tries to claim credit for Pip's good fortune; lawyer Wemmick, who schizophrenically divides his entire personality between work and home, where he turns his house into a castle and comforts his 'Aged P'; Pips monstrous sister, who is so mean to him that it actually becomes amusing; the list goes on. Even the opening, with Pip being confronted by an escaped prisoner on the moors seems to be played for laughs, but as the narrative goes on and Pip's struggling to attain the status worthy of Estella backfires, the book becomes far more sombre, ending up with a moving and ambiguous downbeat ending.

The plotting is tight, hinging around a misconception by Pip regarding the nature of his mysterious benefactor, and though it stretches credulity with it's reliance on unlikely coincidences, and the constant back and forth between London and Pips rural home village become rather tiresome towards the end, the strength of the characters keep this novel alive. Every character of importance is vivid and compelling, from Pip's simple-minded but good-hearted father-figure Joe; the mean-spirited Miss Haversham, who sits amongst the rotted remains of her aborted wedding-day and plots against love itself; her cold and mysterious ward Estella, who has been nurtured into a loveless creature that Pip is sure he can save - it is through the characters that this book shines.
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