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First starting its serialisation in late 1860 this story was praised by critics and has remained quite popular ever since. Ultimately a bildungsroman this tale is narrated in the first person by Philip Pirrip, or as he is most commonly known as, Pip. From an encounter in his childhood with an escaped convict, Magwitch it has to be noted that Pip’s formative years are quite full of incident. As Pip starts growing up it looks like his life of becoming a blacksmith, apprenticed to Joe his brother in law will suddenly not come about as he is taken to meet Miss Havisham and then learns of certain expectations.

For Pip it is obvious that his expectations will come from Miss Havisham, but is that really so? As he falls in love with Miss Havisham’s ward Estella what will the outcome be, especially considering who has brought her up and influenced her throughout her life? With a story such as this I think that most people are aware of the basic plot even if they have never read this due to the number of films and TV dramas based on this. Taking in expectations of wealth and how money can change people, we also have vengeance, love, crime and the story of how Pip grows to become a gentleman. There is quite some humour here despite the main plot of this tale and some rather wry caricatures. With Jaggers the lawyer, Miss Havisham and Compeyson, whose actions resound throughout this we have been given some of the most memorable characters that Dickens wrote.

Always a great read it is interesting how Dickens shows how a lot of these characters have lives that due to one event or another criss cross each other. Dickens did have some trouble writing this as he made revisions and only really at the last moment decided on the ending, as he had two already written out.
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First starting its serialisation in late 1860 this story was praised by critics and has remained quite popular ever since. Ultimately a bildungsroman this tale is narrated in the first person by Philip Pirrip, or as he is most commonly known as, Pip. From an encounter in his childhood with an escaped convict, Magwitch it has to be noted that Pip’s formative years are quite full of incident. As Pip starts growing up it looks like his life of becoming a blacksmith, apprenticed to Joe his brother in law will suddenly not come about as he is taken to meet Miss Havisham and then learns of certain expectations.

For Pip it is obvious that his expectations will come from Miss Havisham, but is that really so? As he falls in love with Miss Havisham’s ward Estella what will the outcome be, especially considering who has brought her up and influenced her throughout her life? With a story such as this I think that most people are aware of the basic plot even if they have never read this due to the number of films and TV dramas based on this. Taking in expectations of wealth and how money can change people, we also have vengeance, love, crime and the story of how Pip grows to become a gentleman. There is quite some humour here despite the main plot of this tale and some rather wry caricatures. With Jaggers the lawyer, Miss Havisham and Compeyson, whose actions resound throughout this we have been given some of the most memorable characters that Dickens wrote.

Always a great read it is interesting how Dickens shows how a lot of these characters have lives that due to one event or another criss cross each other. Dickens did have some trouble writing this as he made revisions and only really at the last moment decided on the ending, as he had two already written out.
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In Charles Dickens' 'Great Expectations' we meet the young Philip Pirrip (Pip) who lives on the Kent marshes with his much-older and domineering sister - who, fortunately for Pip, is married to the kindly Joe Gargery, a blacksmith, whose sympathy and kindness go some way to make up for the harshness Pip experiences from Mrs Gargery. When out on the marshes one bleak, late afternoon, Pip encounters an escaped convict, Abel Magwitch, who scares the terrified boy into helping him. When Pip does as he has been bidden, he unwittingly earns the heartfelt gratitude of Magwitch, despite the convict soon being recaptured. As time passes, Pip puts the unpleasant experience behind him, and when he is summoned to Satis House, the home of Miss Havisham, a rich, eccentric spinster, and becomes smitten with her beautiful, but unfeeling adopted daughter, Estella, he has more than enough to occupy his mind - especially as the lovely Estella only condescends to speak to him so that she can enjoy tormenting him. As time passes, Pip falls deeply in love with Estella and when he suddenly discovers that he has an unknown benefactor and he is to be educated to become a gentleman, Pip wonders whether his mystery benefactor is Miss Havisham and whether he is being groomed as a husband for Estella. But is it as simple as that? No, of course not, however I shall leave the remainder of the story for those who have yet to read it to learn for themselves, and there is a huge amount more to discover in this coming-of-age story, with its themes of ambition and desire and of social status and morals, than I have revealed in this review.

I first read this book many years ago and have wanted to reread it for some time - however, I find it difficult to justify taking the time out to reread novels when I have so many unread books on my shelves and I decided to download the audio version instead, opting for the BBC dramatised version which I planned to listen to while travelling. Of course, as this download is an abridgement, there are some aspects of the original version that have been omitted, but the main parts of the story are all present and this is a very good production in which the cast members (including Douglas Hodge, Geraldine McEwan and Jim Carter) play their parts with aplomb - there are also some short pieces of atmospheric music played at intervals during the story which adds to the listening experience. As I have mentioned before in reviews of mine for abridged versions, I do feel that if a book's worth reading then it's worth reading in its entirety, and if you do have the time I would recommend the unabridged version - however, if you have read it before and just want to revisit the story, or if you'd rather listen to a dramatisation, then this enjoyable BBC production is a very good one to opt for.

4 Stars.
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In case this review gets automatically cross posted on this site by Amazon I should point out that this review is for the British Classics edition. I think that most people are aware that when this was first serialised and published in book form there were no illustrations as Dickens was between illustrators. This particular edition we have here though is fully illustrated with lovely drawings which show up perfectly well on a standard kindle e-reader. If you have a tablet device that you are reading this on you will notice that you do have the facility to enlarge these pictures if you so desire.

First starting its serialisation in late 1860 this story was praised by critics and has remained quite popular ever since. Ultimately a bildungsroman this tale is narrated in the first person by Philip Pirrip, or as he is most commonly known as, Pip. From an encounter in his childhood with an escaped convict, Magwitch it has to be noted that Pip’s formative years are quite full of incident. As Pip starts growing up it looks like his life of becoming a blacksmith, apprenticed to Joe his brother in law will suddenly not come about as he is taken to meet Miss Havisham and then learns of certain expectations.

For Pip it is obvious that his expectations will come from Miss Havisham, but is that really so? As he falls in love with Miss Havisham’s ward Estella what will the outcome be, especially considering who has brought her up and influenced her throughout her life? With a story such as this I think that most people are aware of the basic plot even if they have never read this due to the number of films and TV dramas based on this. Taking in expectations of wealth and how money can change people, we also have vengeance, love, crime and the story of how Pip grows to become a gentleman. There is quite some humour here despite the main plot of this tale and some rather wry caricatures. With Jaggers the lawyer, Miss Havisham and Compeyson, whose actions resound throughout this we have been given some of the most memorable characters that Dickens wrote.

Always a great read it is interesting how Dickens shows how a lot of these characters have lives that due to one event or another criss cross each other. Dickens did have some trouble writing this as he made revisions and only really at the last moment decided on the ending, as he had two already written out.
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on 21 March 2017
I decided to read Great Expectations having seen a little bit of the 1946 film adaptation and thought what a great story. Having never read a Dickins novel before I thought at 55 years it was about time I did!
I have read a few novels by different authors from the 1800s and found that they read quite awkwardly, not so with this novel.
A great story, with the usual great Dickins characters. The film has large chunks of the story missing so it was still rewarding to read.
If you haven't tried reading an older classic author before I would recommend this book as a springboard Ito a different genre.
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on 1 March 2017
really nice to have it read with whispersync, somehow makes it easier to understand what the hell is going on, I found it much easier anyway to keep the plot and imagine the charecters than when struggling with Dickensian English whch sentences can run on and on for a whole page till the final point. lol. love the story too. much different that the movie more about his family life at the start which you barely get a glimpse of in the ...movie? or was it a tv drama series? cant recall. anyway. for free I think everyone on the planet should just read allt he free books they can especially classics. it is so nice to have them under your belt.
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on 12 October 2011
It took me a very long time to get around to reading Dickens, but then - about a year ago, in a moment of sheer folly I guess - I undertook to read (or reread in some cases) all major English novels since the beginning of the genre. And that, inevitably, brought me to Dickens before long. I have now virtually read every novel he has written (apart from A Tale of Two Cities (Oxford World's Classics) and Our Mutual Friend (Oxford World's Classics)). Some I have liked better than others, all have their merits, but none affected me as strongly as 'Great Expectations'.

Strangely enough, just why this should be so is somehow hard for me to pinpoint. Is it Pip? Perhaps so, to a degree. He is by no means a flawless character (compared to Little Dorrit for instance, or Florence Dombey) and clearly has his faults, but perhaps it's precisely that which makes him so eminently human and likeable. Who among us would not, at the very least, be tempted to ignore poor friends from the past if riches suddenly came our way? But I sympathized as readily with Joe, who with his simple and straightforward principles becomes the very emblem of steadfastness and compassion. And I identified completely with Magwitch: he may be a criminal, but above all he is a father, and being one myself I could immediately relate to his feelings and actions, sacrificing everything for the sake of his beloved child. He may not be acquitted by a court of law, but he fully redeems his sins of the past in the eyes of Pip. And I've not even mentioned Estella and Miss Havisham, surely they too are amongst the most unforgettable characters Dickens created.

'Great Expectations' is of a timeless relevance and beauty. I will definitely reread it myself in years to come, I'm sure it only gets better each time around.
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VINE VOICEon 30 October 2011
I am so glad I did NOT read this as a child or teenager. Extracts of the first section on Pip's childhood, could be used for school study but, in my very humble opinion, this novel is best savoured with maturity. One of those stunning extracts has to be Joe's description of bringing home the orphan with his new wife. When Joe movingly says, 'I mind about you, Pip', I was crying like a baby!

After completing two of Dickens' novels I am already convinced that the man is a genius. Five whole days of holiday reading were spent reading this on kindle. Sheer bliss!

This really brings home the value of kindle when considering such a massive tome. No weight issues on the flight, no reams of erudite gubbins and no forearms like Popeye.
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on 11 August 2012
I have just finished reading this book and I decided to write a review for it so hear we go. This book is just amazing - there are literally no words to describe how good the book it. The description is perfect and there is so much detail that you actually feel like you are there in the marshes! I don't really know what to say in this review really apart from that the book is just a classic example of great Literiture! As well as that, the book is also very easy to read and I found it very easy to read even though I am only 11 years old; if you can read this review then you can read Great Expectations - you just need to keep going but the important thing is that you enjoy it. If you don't, then what's the point in reading the book? It jumps straight into the action on the first page when Pip meets 'Able Magwithch,' an escaped fugitive! The book follows the life of an orphan named Pip. He goes threw many exiting adventures and meets many strange characters like Miss Havesham (sorry about the spelling). So overall, the book is just a classic and I will always have it beside me on my bookshelf! Truely astonishing!

By 11 year old, The Demon.
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on 1 January 2012
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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