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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragi-comic masterpiece
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...
Published on 31 Dec 2004 by Jane Aland

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3.0 out of 5 stars Great Expectations
As with all the Wordsworth editions I have purchased, they are fine for the money, but I regret not purchasing better editions with which to build up a library, containing notes and helpful information.
Published 9 months ago by Janet Perkins


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragi-comic masterpiece, 31 Dec 2004
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Great Expectations (Wordsworth Classics) (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.

A dark and compelling plot, larger-than-life characters and brilliant prose makes this an essential read.

(NB _ This Wordsworth edition also includes a helpful introduction, the original (inferior) ending, and notes on more obscure references within the text).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Expectations delivered!, 1 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Great Expectations (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
The only Dicken's book I've read before is Christmas Carol, such a long time ago I had forgotten how good he was at writing a picture. To me reading this book has been like watching a film it's so descriptive, all the smoky corners, misty marshes and the living, breathing City of London of the 19th century are right there on the page. All the characters, apart from their names, could be real people and they play their parts well - from a young Pip caught in a churchyard by an escaped villian from the hulks to Miss Havisham caught in her own wedding day nightmare. Beautifully written, a must for all Dicken's fans.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Dickens., 29 Dec 2011
This review is from: Great Expectations (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Having sat through one and a half episodes of the new adaptation of "Great Expectations", I felt that I ought to put in a word in defence of the actual novel in case those who haven't read it got the wrong impression of it from TV.

First of all, despite what the producers of the TV series seem to think, "Great Expectations" is funny. Pip's being attacked and threatened by the convict in Chapter One is hilarious, as is his fight at Satis House, as is his persecution by a local boy after he buys his posh clothes for London and as are any number of incidents throughout the novel. They are funny because Dickens was funny and wrote for an audience who expected him to be funny and because "Great Expectations" is written from Pip's point of view as a grown up of incidents which seemed upsetting or even traumatic at the time and seem comic to him later.

Even though the novel is hilarious at times, it also deals with love in its many forms in the most tender and surprising way. To go into detail would spoil the novel for some and I envy anyone coming to it without knowledge of its central secret but it's fair to say that Dickens' mastery of pace and manipulation of his readers' attention allows him to deliver a crushing emotional hammer blow during the novel which changes Pip's view of life convincingly and lets him sweep us on to the loomingly spectacular later chapters and two dramatic climaxes. Heroically unconditional love stalks the pages of this book, as it does in much of Dickens but there is little of the cloying sentimentality that accompanies it in other works of his. Neither would it be fair to claim that the novel is overlong or convoluted as some other Dickens is for me. There are moments that could be edited from the text without loss to the plot but they are rare and worth reading in their own right, as the reviewer who mentioned the visit to Wemmick's house has pointed out.

It goes without saying that the novel deploys any number of memorable characters:Miss Havisham, Joe Gargery, the aforementioned Wemmick and Pip himself,the boiling mess of ambition,decency,pomposity,guilt,stupidity and humanity, are a few which come to mind. For me, however, Jaggers is,with one unmentionable exception,the most rivetting creation of all - studied, threatening, dominant and knowing.

This is my favourite Dickens novel. I would not dispute that several others are its equal but they do not pull at my heartstrings in quite the same way.I doubt seeing them knocked about on TV would have annoyed me quite so much.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Good Turn Deserves Another, 23 Dec 2011
This review is from: Great Expectations (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
My first Dickens novel and it definitely won't be my last!

A wonderful novel

The style of language was a bit strange at first but became easy once I got used to it.

I got a little confused in places but that's probably just me.

My favourite character was Aged P "All right John, All right my boy!"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dont be put off., 25 Feb 2010
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C. Freedland (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Great Expectations (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this, as I have all Dickens that I've read so far. I had been put off by the many screen versions that I'd seen. Dont be put off. It's an excellent novel to start with if you have never read Dickens before. These inexpensive books are worth every penny.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An almost eternal resonance, 28 Jan 2009
By 
Aquinas "summa" (celestial heights, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Great Expectations (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I read this novel about a decade ago and it still resonates like the memory of a fine wine or a classic malt. The resonance stays imprinted on the memory long after the details of the plot have been almost forgotten.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Buy, 5 Jan 2012
This review is from: Great Expectations (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Without a doubt the greatest literature work of the 19th century and unmatched in quality. Dickens finest novel and a must read for anyone. The product was dispatched immediately after purchase and arrived well before expected delivery. The book was in perfect quality and well packaged.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 16 Dec 2009
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This review is from: Great Expectations (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
If you are thinking about reading this book then do not hesitate. It is a fast moving novel and very easy to follow with a very entertaining plot. A marvelous book, well worth a read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 July 2014
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This review is from: Great Expectations (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
thanks
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4.0 out of 5 stars I recommend it., 9 July 2014
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This review is from: Great Expectations (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
One of Dickens's most famous novels, it follows Pip (and Estella) from childhood to adulthood. Witty and inventive, I recommend it.
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Great Expectations (Wordsworth Classics)
Great Expectations (Wordsworth Classics) by Charles Dickens (Paperback - 5 May 1992)
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