Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (Classic #11)

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (Classic #12)

Shelved: Classic
Published: 1861
Rating: ★★
Challenge: Classics Challenge – #11
Buy: Hive
More: Goodreads

This is my 11th post for the 2015 Classics Challenge, but you can now join the 2016 challenge!

“I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.”

Great Expectations is Dickens’ funny, frightening and tender portrayal of the orphan Pip’s journey of self-discovery. Showing how a young man’s life is transformed by a mysterious series of events – an encounter with an escaped prisoner; a visit to a black-hearted old woman and a beautiful girl; a fortune from a secret donor – Dickens’ late novel is a masterpiece of psychological and moral truth, and Pip among his greatest creations.

WHEN I Discovered This Classic
Great Expectations is another one of those classic novels that I feel I’ve always know about. But I didn’t really feel the need to read the book until I watched the 2011 BBC miniseries and really enjoyed it. I adored the story and vowed to pick up the novel soon(ish)!

WHY I Chose to Read It
I haven’t read Dickens since I studied A Christmas Carol in school and Great Expectations had been on my list since the 2012 Classics Challenge – it was about time!

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (Classic #12)WHAT Makes It A Classic
It’s one of the most beloved and most famous novels of all time. It’s also Dickens’ most well-known. I didn’t know much about the character Pip, but even before watching the adaptation I was aware of one of its most iconic characters: Miss Havisham – the mysterious older lady in the ruined wedding dress who invites Pip into her mansion.

WHAT I Thought of This Classic
I’ve always been a bit apprehensive about starting Great Expectations, which is why it’s taken me so long to pick it up. I had never see anyone describe Dickens as a ‘quick read’ – and now I know why!

As you may know, I started the classics challenges because I used to be (and still am) quite intimated by classics. I either found them dry and boring or was too nervous to even pick them up in the first place! Even though I didn’t find Great Expectations difficult to read, as I might have thought, I struggled with the writing style. Dickens is known for his descriptive prose whereas I much preferred the dialogue between the characters, especially Pip, Estella and Miss Havisham.

I had great expectations for this classic novel… and unfortunately they were not met. But this won’t stop me from picking up another Dickens and I’ll certainly be returning to the TV adaptations, which work best for me – I enjoy the characters and the story!

WILL It Stay A Classic
I’m sure it will stay a classic as Dickens’ work is still as popular as ever today!

WHO I’d Recommend It To
I’d struggle to recommend it, sadly, especially to those new to classics, but it might be one for those who have very recently watched the adaptation.

13 thoughts on “Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (Classic #11)

  1. I read this a few years ago (it took me a few years to read!). I really struggled until I realised that it had been written as a serial in a newspaper. Once I read it like that rather than continuously, chapter following chapter, I found it much more enjoyable. One of the original ‘soap operas’.

  2. I can remember watching the BBC series of this a few years ago and enjoying it (mainly because of Douglas Booth), but even the thought of reading it makes me want to run away. There’s just something about Dickens that feels so daunting! I don’t think his writing is for me right now…

  3. If it helps, I loved A Tale of Two Cities. It was very readable.

  4. My boyfriend isn’t a big reader but he has been enjoying Dickens. I think you just have to give plenty of time to it and not expect to whizz through. He’s enjoyed A Tale of Two Cities and Hard Times. He puts me to shame with classics as he reads a lot of classic sci-fi that keep menaing to get to and I’m always distracted my new shiny things. Great Expectations is the only full length Dickens I’ve read though and I love the story.

  5. I’m glad this didn’t stop you from considering Dickens again. Another one of his books, and read slowly, may do the trick 😉

  6. Stacey, it’s almost a sweet dish not to be devoured in haste but with blissfulness on the gate. And maybe, that’s why Charles Dickens is my all time personal favorite writer as both of us have suffered poverty a and unemployment. Thanks, Stacey for making me recall this work which I revisited in July 2015

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