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Great Expectations | [Charles Dickens]

Great Expectations

One of the most revered works in English literature, Great Expectations traces the coming of age of a young orphan, Pip, from a boy of shallow aspirations into a man of maturity. From the chilling opening confrontation with an escaped convict to the grand but eerily disheveled estate of bitter old Miss Havisham, all is not what it seems in Dickens’ dark tale of false illusions and thwarted desire.
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Publisher's Summary

One of the most revered works in English literature, Great Expectations traces the coming of age of a young orphan, Pip, from a boy of shallow aspirations into a man of maturity. From the chilling opening confrontation with an escaped convict to the grand but eerily disheveled estate of bitter old Miss Havisham, all is not what it seems in Dickens’ dark tale of false illusions and thwarted desire.

Raised by a humble blacksmith, Pip is recruited by the wealthy Miss Havisham to be a companion to her ward, the cold but beautiful Estella. There, Pip learns to despise his rough origins as Estella torments him about his low prospects. When Pip is informed that an unknown benefactor expects to make him his heir, he sets off to London to realize his “great expectations.” But true gentleman stature, he will find, is a matter of character, not fortune.

Public Domain (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Observe how finely the narrative is kept in one key. It begins with a mournful impression—the foggy marshes spreading drearily by the seaward Thames—and throughout recurs this effect of cold and damp and dreariness; in that kind Dickens never did anything so good…No story in the first person was ever better told.” (George Gissing, English novelist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (293 )
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  •  
    Steven ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 08-18-13
    Steven ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 08-18-13 Member Since 2006

    Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.

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    "Great Performance of a classic!"

    I sometimes find high-brow victorian literature to be a little to slow and heavy, including Dickens, but 'Expectations' is a clear exception. I loved it. Simon Prebble's performance was captivating.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana New Haven, CT 06-13-13
    Dana New Haven, CT 06-13-13 Member Since 2012

    Professional appreciator.

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    "The narrator!!"

    This was my first time reading Great Expectations and I really liked the story. But I have to say the narrator, Simon Prebble, did such an amazing job with this story and these characters that I'm now going to look up his other audiobooks.

    I would definitely recommend giving this one a try.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 05-11-13
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 05-11-13

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

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    "A soft, muted Victorian Melodrama"

    There are many parts of Dickens' writing that I love and few pieces of his that fall short of complete adoration. 'Great Expectations' is one more of Dickens' absolute masterpieces. I love how with 100 pages left you can almost feel the universe shift as Dickens grabs the crazy, once loose strings of his moral narrative and begins to pull it all together.

    I think a significant part of the magic, for me, of 'Great Expectations' is found in the minor characters. Everyone from Uncle Pumblechook, Miss Havisham, & Mr Jaggers, to Mr. Wemmick and the Aged Parent (the Aged P.) could be the center of their own Dickens novel; each life is given a warmth (or where there lacks warmth, a round coldness) that keeps the novel propelled on.

    You can't have a Dickens novel without a little bit of melodrama and a bit of Victorian moralizing. However, with 'Great Expectations', Dickens does this with a soft touch. He isn't as confrontational about social ills as he is in 'Hard Times' or 'Oliver Twist' and he isn't as melodramatic as he was in 'Tale of Two Cities', but even so, I completely enjoyed this gentle, more muted Dickens.

    22 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Clay, MI, United States 02-14-14
    Julie Clay, MI, United States 02-14-14
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    "Greatly read!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Great Expectations to be better than the print version?

    Simon is a genius. He made each character come alive. Very well done!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Great Expectations?

    A memorable moment was when Pip discovered who Estella's birth mother and father were.


    What does Simon Prebble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    All the different tones of the characters. Wonderful drama!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    You know them, or DO YOU?


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisa Hong Kong, Hong Kong 07-09-13
    Elisa Hong Kong, Hong Kong 07-09-13 Member Since 2007

    I'll give everything a try

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    "One of my Fav. Classics!!"
    Any additional comments?

    First up, this is a must read. If you are debating if you should read this, you don't need to debate longer. This is a brilliant one.

    Dickens is one of the best story tellers I've ever read. The characterization is fantastic, especially because it captures human nature so well. What happens when you sudden turn from a kid with nothing much to a gentleman? Well, I won't spoil the story for you. The first person narrative is especially effective for this one, because we constantly get what PPip is thinking and as he is misled as to the situation around him and the changing character of himself, so are we the reader. I loved the technique to. You get a character who you think is gone for ever and then what does Dickens do? He brings him back suddenly, and it turns out he is crucial to the story. Anyway, I will stop talking now, but seriously, this is a must read. Maybe you can learn something about yourself in the process too... like me. So sit back and enjoy it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pita North Shore City, New Zealand 09-12-12
    Pita North Shore City, New Zealand 09-12-12
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    "Loved it. A fantastic introduction to Dicken's"

    Enthralling, intelligent, riveting, engaging, while still quaint and amusing, and sill amazingly relevant. This is thought to be Dickens' most readable book and with Simon Prebble performing it certainly is. I recently heard an English actress claim that Dickens' must be read aloud and she used Great Expectations as an example. Having listened to this I would have to agree with her and Prebble's performance is impeccable. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Today Matters Missouri 10-04-12
    Today Matters Missouri 10-04-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Great Story Teller"

    I enjoyed listening to this story. The narrator was good and of course Dickens tells stories well. I felt like I was back in time.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew FAIR OAKS, CA, United States 10-16-14
    Andrew FAIR OAKS, CA, United States 10-16-14 Member Since 2009

    I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.

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    "Expectations Where Not Met"
    Any additional comments?

    I went into this book with, well, great expectations, after recently reading a Tale of Two cities, an awesome book by the way. And I must say this did not live up to what I was expecting, part of it was that I'm just not that interested in people who coming into a great expectation. The characters where very interesting though, it was just the subject of story that could not hold my attention.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Somerset, Kentucky, United States 07-10-14
    Joseph Somerset, Kentucky, United States 07-10-14 Member Since 2011

    Tell us about yourself! Lifelong reader and passionate pursuer of knowledge. I love Audible because I never have to stop reading.

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    "The Best Dickens"

    Dickens best, about unrequited love, deep friendship, and the importance of integrity. Irony abounds, as it always does. Enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    kates Ireland 06-16-14
    kates Ireland 06-16-14
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    "Dickens is worth revisiting!"
    Where does Great Expectations rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I was pleasantly surprised by the excellent quality of the narration! Readers tone and voice were a listening pleasure. I am familiar with Dickens since childhood. (A good many years ago.). Being able to read on my kindle and then take up with the audio on my bus and rail trips was a delight.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Pip naturally! Following his life in the English setting of the 19 century and again discovering the ageless quality of his character in today's era.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    Pip.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Oh no! It is too long. But Dickens originally wrote it as a serial. It was very easy to take up after a break and again become enthralled with the characters, language and events.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you for whispersync. I hope more books will soon be available in this manner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • GenKan
    11/8/14
    Overall
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    "A tragic and lovely story about growing up"
    What did you like best about this story?

    How supportive the blacksmith was to Pip, he did everything and a little more just like any great father would.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I dont think that would work since you would need 4-5 different actors to play some of the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    A great story about a boy growing up, realizing that if you are given everything the drive to improve is easily lost. About love, heartbreak and friendship

    Overall a great book and a great story

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • anon
    10/17/14
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    "really enjoyable classic"
    If you could sum up Great Expectations in three words, what would they be?

    entertaining, brilliantly narrated


    Any additional comments?

    I've never read this book, as I thought it would be long and boring, but I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook and found it funny, brilliantly observed and expertly narrated. Would highly recommend

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Barbara
    8/8/14
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    "Difficult to stop listening to it"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Great Expectations to be better than the print version?

    Cannot remember if I've read the book, but the narrator enhanced the enjoyment.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Joe, because he was a really nice, dependable chap.


    What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

    Excellent!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    More than one. Caused tears when finished listening to the whole book.


    Any additional comments?

    Narrator got into the soul of each character.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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