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Oprah picked Great Expectations for her Book Club in December 2010. You may read it for free here on our website.
First published between 1860-1861.
Great Expectations is a very old story, so interesting. From the cover you think "what's the point of reading this?" then when you look at the pages you think I will never finish this. Well for a matter of fact this story has words that will improve your literature skills to a very high level; it may have some high standard words but that is only to help improve your English. Great Expectations is about love, family, and rejection as Pip and Miss Havisham have both been rejected in certain ways. Pip is the main character, a boy around 13 years old, easy to fright, and goes through his life suffering lots of sadness. He is in love with a girl named Estella and wants her to find his love, but for him being shy and not showing himself to her, it makes it very hard for him.
Pip meets an escaped convict, Magwitch, and gives him food, in an encounter that is to haunt both their lives. When Pip receives riches from a mysterious benefactor he snobbishly abandons his friends for London society and his 'great expectations'. He grows through misfortune and suffering to maturity in the theme of Dicken's best-loved novels. Dickens blends gripping drama with penetrating satire to give a compelling story rich in comedy and pathos: he has also created two of his finest, most haunting characters in Pip ans Miss Havisham.--Submitted by Louis Kisitu
This is the story of Pip, an orphan boy adopted by a blacksmith’s family. Pip learns how to find happiness. He learns the meaning of friendship and the meaning of love and he becomes a better person for it.--Submitted by Anonymous
This novel is about a boy named Pip. He is an orphan who lives with his sister and his father-in-law Joe, his best friend. Joe is the local blacksmith who may not be the sharpest crayon in the box, but he is kind to Pip. The story begins at a graveyard and the reader sees Pip looking at the gravestones of his mother and father. Then suddenly a convict appears and tells Pip to steal food and a file to free him. The story only gets crazier from there. After Pip gets apprenticed to Joe, a mysterious benefactor comes and gives Pip the chance to become a gentleman, which he accepts in order to impress Estella, a noble young girl.--Submitted by Anonymous
Great Expectations is one of the most important novels of its time. It follows the life of young Pip, from his awakening to life. This first chapter is worth memorizing for you or to impress your friends. Great literature! It goes on to tell the story of a young working class lad in England, who inherits a fortune from an unknown source and becomes a gentleman. In this process, he meets the beautiful Estelle and falls in love. The fact that he feels unworthy and the truth about his benefactor loom large. It is the answers to these questions that leave us thinking about this novel, these characters and what it means to have status. The great author Dickens wrote this such a long ago, yet it rings true; though I wonder how many self-made men can call themselves gentlemen?--Yours Truly, Lisa Hobbs
Great Expectations is a dramatic novel; we are prepared for this by the drama of the opening chapter. Charles Dickens uses an advanced language that plants a clear insight of the setting, the character profiles, and the novels' historic aspects. Pip, the main character of this novel is orphaned from the start. The opening chapter shows this vulnerable child visiting his family; cold and alone standing in front of the seven graves of his mum, his dad, and his five brothers. Pip's situation is desperate, like his view on life, and challenged. This creates a dramatic entrance for Magwich, the escaped convict who threatens Pip with his life for the return of three unimportant items of food, water, and a file for his irons. By the end of this chapter Pip is left fleeing for his life in dramatic blur.--Submitted by Nikki Howick
This may be one of the most impressive books I have ever read. It tells the story of a young boy who becomes a man; it shows our Pip (his name) as he truly was. I mean, the author never justified his behaviour, not even when he was weak and offensive. Pip is not a hero, he is just human being. He is not a criminal either, you can say he didn't do anything extraordinary such as save the world nor invent the light bulb. In change, he grew in compassion and gratitude. With him we learn the "worst sides of the human nature"; he loses his fortune, but at the end he accomplishes his "Great Expectations".--Submitted by Anonymous
This was for me a study book for GCE exams in about 1960. I didn't like it. Ten years later and in my own time I read it again and again and loved it. I still do. I must read it again.--Submitted by Bernard Gajewski
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