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Great Expectations

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

From the opening passage itself of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, the reader is drawn into the world of the hero, Pip, who is at that time, seven years old. The author creates an unforgettable atmosphere: the gloom of the graveyard, the melancholy of the orphan boy, the mists rising over the marshes and the terrifying appearance of an escaped convict in chains.

Told in first person (one of the only two books that Dickens used this form for, the other being David Copperfield) Great Expectations is a classic coming of age novel, in which we trace the growth and evolution of Pip or Philip Pirrip to give his full name. Pip has lost his parents very early in life and is being brought up by his much older sister and brother-in-law Joe Gargery. His sister is a dominating and shrewish woman, while Joe is an affectionate man. Joe's uncle Mr Pumblechook (another of Dickens' delightfully evocative names) asks Joe to send Pip to the stately mansion Statis House ostensibly to play with the owner Miss Havisham's adopted daughter Estella. This marks the beginning of a life-changing experience for Pip.

Miss Havisham is a wealthy eccentric whose twisted agenda is that of taking revenge on the man who jilted her at the altar. Pip is unwittingly drawn into her malevolent schemes. When Pip grows older, Miss Havisham's lawyer Mr Jaggers informs Pip that he has come into a large fortune from an unknown benefactor and that he must move to London and learn to become a “gentleman.” What follows is a strange and labyrinthine tale of Pip's journey into adulthood.

Dickens' wonderful gift for characterization peoples the book with a host of memorable characters and sub-plots. The novel also explores the fears and anxieties of childhood and traces Pip's moral and emotional development and his ambitions as he matures. Estella as the warped creation of a vengeful mind has her own route to traverse.

Great Expectations finds Charles Dickens at the peak of his creative powers. The Victorian preoccupation with wealth and social ambition, personal ambition, class distinctions, crime and punishment and how they looked at education and self improvement as a means to rise in society are all vividly portrayed here. There are some delightfully humorous passages throughout the book which add to its flavor and authenticity. As with most of Dickens' work, this is a book to be savored by young and old alike and preferably to be read aloud, as Dickens himself did in his wildly popular public readings.

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 30 reviews)

Reviewer: - October 27, 2020
Subject: Amazing book
Best thing I've listened to in a long time. The narrator is absolutely fantastic!
Reviewer: - April 30, 2020
Subject: Great Expectations
And EXCELLENT narration.
Reviewer: - January 12, 2019
Subject: Great Expectations
Excellent book and excellent second favorite Charles Dickens story David Copperfield being my first. Love Pip
Reviewer: - January 12, 2018
Subject: Great Expectations
Phenomenal narration! Thank you so much for bringing this classic to a new level.
Reviewer: - June 8, 2017
Subject: Review
A very good narration. 5 stars.
Reviewer: - September 14, 2016
Subject: Fantasic
Thank you Mark Smith for making my first Charles Dickens book a pleasure to listen to!
Reviewer: - February 3, 2016
Subject: great
loved it and the narration! kept falling away from being able to follow the storyline but i have PTSD and memory loss so thats probably all it is. great book!
Reviewer: - December 7, 2015
Subject: Nice
This helped me understand the story faster and more effectively! Thank you for this!
Reviewer: - September 23, 2015
Subject: WOW
your such a great reader very read its like your are the charaters #phenomenal!!!!
Reviewer: - July 6, 2015
Subject: Fantastic work
What a great job bringing this classic to life.
Reviewer: - January 16, 2015
Subject: inconstete
I love this author
Reviewer: - November 26, 2014
Subject: Review
What a wonderful book. And EXCELLENT narration. Mark is my favorite narrator. I wish he could read all the books! I highly recommend this book.
Reviewer: - October 30, 2014
The narrator does a phenomenal job with the material!
Reviewer: - August 20, 2014
Great book, very well read!
Reviewer: - October 22, 2013
The narrator is most impressive. I appreciate the effort he puts into giving distinctive voice to each character!
Reviewer: - June 19, 2013
Great introduction to Dickens - would never have gotten through this book without the audio! Many thanks for the time spent narrating.
Reviewer: - June 14, 2013
Subject: Wonderful narration
I loved this book, and the narrator. Thanks for narrating it, and giving me the pleasure to here it.
Reviewer: - June 13, 2013
Subject: Great Expectations
Amazing reader, I was totally absorbed into this story. Wonderful and emotive reading.
Reviewer: - June 6, 2013
This site helps me endlessly with my English literature assignments. I'm so grateful for the energies and efforts that have gone into this service.
Reviewer: - May 23, 2013
Subject: Great Expectations
The narrator Mark Smith is the best I've ever known. He is truly a great professional with vivid voice and lovely live tones. Beyond all great expectations.
Reviewer: - May 23, 2013
Subject: Awesome!
I loved the narration!
Reviewer: - May 18, 2013
The narrator's tone and pitch sound nice to me, but I wish it was read in British English because it's England where the story happens.
Reviewer: - April 13, 2013
I truely enjoyed this book.
Reviewer: - March 25, 2013
Good story, wonderful narration!
Reviewer: - February 28, 2013
Love the efforts made by this site and love the narrators and of course love the collection. God blessed us with this site.
Reviewer: - February 28, 2013
Subject: Keen listener
Narrator's voice is like honey and I love honey.
Reviewer: - February 9, 2013
He (the reader) must be a professional. His voice is so beautiful.
Reviewer: - February 9, 2013
The narrator is wonderful. Thank you very much. I really enjoyed it.
Reviewer: - November 30, 2012
Awesome awesome awesome reader!! Great voices and soothing tones :)
Reviewer: - November 27, 2012
Very helpful when you get tired of reading.

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