Books, classics, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

People have been reviewing Great Expectations for 150 years. It’s the essence of a classic to survive such a long time and still being read. It is also a writer’s name that adds to a classic’s character, but that is not always the case. However, with Charles Dickens it is the former case and readers have expectations. I do. Whenever I start reading a Dickens novel, I expect it to be long, and contain all the elements of a story telling. Certainly, Dickens is one of the masters of the art.

The story is of an orphan,Pip, who from the beginning of the novel is not an ideal protagonist who have to be heroes or emotionally and physically strong. The story in short is tale written in first person narrative is about a person and his “great expectations”. It is the tale of self-understanding and perception. As a young boy Pip, lives with his sister ad her husband, kind soul, of whom he is fond of in his childhood. One day his presence is at demand in front of a strange woman who lives in a grand house with her niece. This is the starting of Pip’s “Great Expectations”.

If you read this novel for the first time, but if it is not your Dickens first novel, you will be able to predict the plot and that will be a bit uninteresting. I did predict a few moves in my mind and they did not seem as shocking or astonishing as some do believe. The plot has a tendency to drive itself forward as most of the Dickens’ books do. The characters are firm, original, but they lacked an asset which I have found in any of the Dickens book I have read before Great Expectations. For example, the character of Miss Havisham did not impress me at all even though she was full of tricks.

The pace of the book depends on the timeline which was something new to me. It starts slow, and after certain observations manage to gain the flow as a reader has been familiarised with every other character. In my opinion, Great Expectations is not Charles Dickens best novel. But one should give it a try. You never know what might be interesting to you until you read it.

3 out of 5!

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18 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens”

  1. How can you review Great Expectations and not mention love??? Great Expectations is a dissection of love … in all its forms – cruel, consequential, all-consuming, painful, worshiping, sensational, adulating, obliged, gratifying and self fulfilling. Every love, crafted by a consummate wordsmith perfectly so a reader can feel each love, deep deep in one’s heart. xxx

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    1. Thanks, I base my reviews on few things and will continue to do so. I keep in my mind while reviewing, what a reader would think generally, and my experience with book.
      This certainly not Charles Dickens work I’d recommend to someone not familiar with Mr. Dickens himself, although that’s hardly the case. Mr. Dickens with his works like David Copperfield and others certainly raise a reader’s expectations.

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  2. Thanks for visiting my blog!
    I loved this book in h.s. It was my first Dickens read and I read it several times and then saw many on-screen treatments of it. I just adore creepy Miss H. I wonder if I would like the book as much as an adult, though.

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  3. What I remember most about Great Expectations is how Dickens revealed much of his characters through their names–especially Miss Havisham (Have a sham.) Anthony Trollope did the same thing with his characters (Mrs. Proudie). Great article.

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