Review: Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”

by writereaderly

charles dickens great expectationsWe all know the story. Pip rescues a convict, Magwitch, when still a young boy. He also falls in love with the beautiful and remote (read: bitchy) Estella. He comes into astonishing fortune from un undefined source, is made a gentleman, and collapses into respectable disrepute and recovery. Whatever. Some of the characters are excellently drawn – Wemmidge, the nasty sister Mrs Joe – and clearly lend themselves to the dramatic performances Dickens was so gifted at. Also, a moderately interesting take on class and dignity, which was surely only there for commercial reasons (I’m betting much of Dickens’ readership was the poor working class, and one can’t sneer at one’s readership). I really only finished it for the sake of The Eyre Affair, due sometime on Bookclub, as I wanted to know what this Miss Havisham character was all about. Otherwise, my God, 450pp of slowness: unrecommended.

Where it came from: Opshop
Time and manner of reading:
Oh-so-many small pieces of reads, with barely intermittet interest
Where it went: Any other opshop
Reminds me of/that: Oh, classics can be so disappointing – but the book was published 150+ years ago, and tastes have changed somewhat.
Who I’d recommend it to:
Also reading: Rabbit #4; How to Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; The Light between Oceans by M.L. Stedman; The Tale of Genji  by Lady Murasaki