A terrifying encounter with an escaped convict in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decaying Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor - these form a series of events that change the orphaned Pip's life forever, and he eagerly abandons his humble origins to begin a new life as a gentleman.
(P)2008 Audio Connoisseur
If you haven't tried any of Charlton Griffin's productions for Audio Connoisseur, released through Audible, treat yourself to his reading of this classic Dickens novel. The many characters of the novel are brought to life masterfully.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
That it was Charles Dickens should have been enough but, add to that a narration by Charlton Griffin and we have a masterpiece of a masterpiece. Sounds like hyperbole but how else to describe a book so well written and so well, well what? Surely not merely narrated. Not even only acted. It was like Charlton Griffin got into the mind of Dickens and transfers that experience to us. This is such a wonderful book and to have it presented to us here by Mr. Griffin is not something to be missed. Everything is so well tied up in the end with a pretty little knot but not before we are entertained with surprise after surprise. And the use of the English language... OMG, like few ever have before him nor I doubt few ever will again.
This is a great Dickens novel. Dicken's use of the English language is awe inspiring. I love his sense humor and ability to tell a riveting story. As usual, there are some great characters and many twists and turns in Great Expectations. The reader is excellent and the story is engrossing. It starts with the Graveyard scene, which gave me the shivers! Pip is the main character. The man who helped bring Pip "up by hand" is one of Dicken's most endearing characters. The lawyer character is amazing. What a story! Originally Dicken's novels were generally released in installments and the readers had to wait in suspense for the next publication. Each chapter leaves you hanging. The original readers must have anxiously awaited for a week or a month for the next installment. I am glad we are able to read or listen to Dicken's novels in their entirety. The suspense would have done me in!
I have always been a huge Dickens fan, but the problem with Dickens and a lot of classic literature is it is so hard to find a well done audiobook. There are always scores of available audiobooks, and it's so hard to pick a good one based on the 30 second clip provided by Audible (which, btw, is still a huge help!). I have often been stuck listening to 40 hours of a dry, monotone narrator who has nearly ruined a classic for me. I listened to the Help in the summer and LOVE it, so when I noticed that Charles Griffin also won a 2010 Audie, I though I would trust the Audie awards once again and listen to his rendition of Great Expectations. I was not disappointed! Griffith has a fantastic narrative voice and uses just the right amount of drama in his telling of the story. It reminded me of being a little kid again and having my dad read some of the oldest and greatest classics to me before bed. I would highly recommend this version of Great Expectations.
Never underestimate the power of Dickens to enthrall. This is such a classic, and it was read so well. This listen got me through a month of washing dishes in the preschool where I work.
If it is possible to improve upon Dickens' work via narration, Griffins has managed to achieve that most difficult of feats. Each character is uniquely brought to life via his tempo, tone, and inflection. The book is brought to life in a rare manner indeed.
I spend an average of about 10 hours a week listening to audiobooks and this one is in a class by itself.
Masterful characterization, a brooding, melancholy setting and a heavy, foreboding mood permeate this classic. And for all the words that Dickens had to use to get to his point, I am grateful.
Magwitch's death and the full character change that Pip goes through because of it. I also loved Pip's scenes with Joe.
I loved listening to Charlton Griffin narrate this story. He is quite possibly a vocal genius! Each character was given a distinct voice and inflection, even the ladies sounded like ladies! Sometimes while listening to him in the car, I forget that I'm not listening to a dramatization but to, essentially, a one-man band. No wonder he won an Audie for this performance.
What can be said about a classic by Mr. Dickens that has not already been said? For me, I would merely add these two thoughts: 1) Charlton Griffin performs amazingly as the narrator (easily one of the best on Audible if not thee best) and 2) finally another audio book producer has come along who understands the importance of incidental music placed within an audio book.
This last point is a huge one with me. In the past, most audio books of any quality DID have some music within them, if only brief interludes between chapters. Of more recent times, the music has disappeared, and thus the overall entertainment experience has degraded. I have made this point to Audible and received genuine lack of concern on their part. After all, why should they care, when their money is coming in any way?! But...they should care. It's about the art; the overall art of the audio book experience. Music is the icing on the audio book. Without it, it's just someone reading a book.
Great Expectations does not have cars blowing up or blood flowing everywhere, and so if you are looking for that kind of a book, you will be disappointed. But Great Expectations is a well-written book by an author who, while on earth, had a firm control of the written language and an audio book read by a narrator who is clearly one of the best.
The book was a good listen. It does have it's ups and downs and you have to sludge through them. Mr. Griffin did a good job and I would like to listen to more of his work.
"Perfect reader for Dickens"
Carlton Griffin might be a little over-the-top for almost anything else, but he suits the bombastic theatricality of Dickens right down to the ground. He does an especially wonderful Magwich and Jaggers, and although is narrative voice might get a little melodramatic, it's like what I'd imagine a real period reading would have been like! This is my favorite Dickens, too, so this is one my favorites from Audible all around.
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