Synopses & Reviews
Pip, a poor orphan being raised by a cruel sister, does not have much in the way of great expectations between his terrifying experience in a graveyard with a convict named Magwitch and his humiliating visits with the eccentric Miss Havisham's beautiful but manipulative niece, Estella, who torments him until he is elevated to wealth by an anonymous benefactor. Full of unforgettable characters, Great Expectations is a tale of intrigue, unattainable love, and all of the happiness money can't buy. Great Expectations has the most wonderful and most perfectly worked-out plot for a novel in the English language, according to John Irving, and J. Hillis Miller declares, Great Expectations is the most unified and concentrated expression of Dickens's abiding sense of the world, and Pip might be called the archetypal Dickens hero.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"A story of the traumas of sex and class. My favourite moment is the one where Magwitch makes his stumbling way up the shadowy staircase towards an unnerved but unsuspecting Pip: the halting but inexorable rise of the repressed 'from the darkness beneath." —Sarah Waters, author, Fingersmith
"There is no one Dickens novel I could pick over all the others. Dickens is huge—like the sky. Pick any page of Dickens and its immediately recognizable as him, yet he might be doing social satire, or farce, or horror, or a psychological study of a murderer—or any combination of these." —Susanna Clarke, author, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
"I would always prefer to go get another Dickens off the shelf than pick up a new book by someone I've not read yet . . . I love the tradition of Dickens, where even the most minor walk-on characters are twitching and particular and alive." —Donna Tartt, author, The Little Friend
"Hes a marvellous writer . . . Hes very, very good." —William Trevor, author, Cheating at Canasta
Pips life as an ordinary country boy is destined to be unexceptional until a chain of mysterious events leads him away from his humble origins and up the social ladder. His efforts to become a London gentleman bring him into contact not just with the upper classes but also with dangerous criminals. His desire to improve himself is matched only by his longing for the icy-hearted Estella, but secrets from the past impede his progress and he has many hard lessons to learn.
"Psychologically the latter part of Great Expectations is about the best thing Dickens ever did." George Orwell Philip Pirripknown more commonly as Pipis an orphan. His visits to the mysterious Miss Havisham are his only escape from his childhood of poverty. But then an anonymous bequest changes his life for everuntil secrets from Pip's past emerge, threatening to destroy the genteel new life he has built for himself, and Pip soon discovers the merciless cruelty of love, and the harsh reality of his great expectations.
About the Author
CHARLES DICKENS was a brilliant and prolific writer, probably the most famous nineteenth-century English novelist. He was very successful during his lifetime and his books have never been out of print. The exciting plots and fantastic characters in his books have meant they have all been adapted (in some cases, many times over) for television or the big screen. Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812 in Portsmouth. He was one of eight children, and at first his family enjoyed a happy life in the countryside of Kent. But Dickens' father was not very good at managing his money, and when the family fell into financial difficulties they had to move to London. In Dickens' time people who could not pay their debts were sent to a kind of prison, and Dickens' father eventually ended up in one of these debtor's prisons, called the Marshalsea. Charles was forced to leave school and go to work in a 'blacking factory' where he pasted labels on to pots for many hours a day. Even though Charles was only twelve at this time, he understood that without education he would never escape the poverty that had so entrapped his family. Charles often used his childhood experiences in his books. Fortunately Charles was eventually sent back to school. He went to work as a lawyer's clerk, and then as a political reporter. In 1833 he began to publish short stories and essays in newspapers and magazines. His first book, The Pickwick Papers, was published in instalments in a monthly magazine, and was a roaring success. Even before this book was finished, Charles began writing another novel, Oliver Twist. Dickens died after a stroke on June 9, 1870, leaving his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.