Thursday, July 22, 2010

Book Review: Great Expectation by Charles Dickens

Book: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Genre: Classic Literature, Victorian
Published: 1860
How I Got the Book: required for class

Synopsis (from b& Great Expectations tells the story of Pip, a poor orphaned boy who wishes to transcend his humble upbringing. He finds himself unexpectedly given the opportunity to live a life of wealth and respectability but learns as his life advances that his money is tainted and the girl he loves cannot return his affections. He is forced by circumstance to learn to seek happiness in the very things he gave up in the pursuit of a place in city life. With its famous cast including Miss Havisham, Mrs. Joe Gargery and Jaggers, this is one of Dickens' most renowned novels.

My Thoughts: Of all the Victorian literature I read, this is the one that was hardest to read for me. It never once clicked. Dickens is know for his sense of humor...umm yeah I didn't get it. His characters were caricatures. I know for a fact he has been criticized about this before. I didn't find them funny or charming. Pip's life is thoroughly told and I enjoyed the perspective he had as an older narrator. He is justified in being a brat and learning his lesson even if it does come too late. A lot of the book I felt was bogged down by unnecessary scenes. After reading this I feel Charles Dickins is pretty overrated, the canon of literature is whacked out. I loved the move with Gwenyth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke...much better than this book. I wanted to like it but I just didn't.

Characters: Pip was a good character and I loved the crazy old Miss Havisham...but that's as far as it goes. I did wonder if Dickens ever actually MET a woman in his life...

Cover Art: Pretty ugly. It is a scene from the book but is off putting...on second thought that's a good thing.

Overall: ★


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