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Great Expectations Audiobook

Great Expectations

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Publisher's Summary

In this, perhaps Dickens' most profound and personal novel, we are invited to share in the sentimental education of Pip, the poor boy from the village forge who risks losing himself in snobbery and selfishness when he mysteriously inherits a fortune. The story moves from the bleak Kentish marshes of Pip's childhood to a thrilling climax that mingles tragedy and triumph.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

Public Domain © and (P)1996 Naxos AudioBooks Ltd.

What the Critics Say

"We take great joy in recording our conviction that Great Expectations is a masterpiece." (The Atlantic Monthly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (212 )
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4.6 (180 )
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4.8 (182 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Bonny 07-04-15
    Bonny 07-04-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Complex characters and beautiful narration"

    I started and abandoned another audiobook of Great Expectations a while back. While I found the narration excellent, the beginning of the book, with Pip's terrorizing by the convict and then the abuse by his sister, was just too bleak and intense, and I gave it up. However, I am running out of Dickens, and decided to try Anton Lesser's recording. I am familiar with his acting work on Wolf Hall and Endeavour but had never listened to his narration. It is exquisite. His portrayal of Pip is straightforward, gentle, almost minimalist, very moving, and his voicing of the other characters is varied and marvelous. It was utterly engrossing.

    Great Expectations does not contain the comic relief that Dickens used in so many novels. There is so much horror and sadness: Mrs. Joe, the convicts, Orlick, Miss Havisham, but there is also love and tenderness: Joe Gargery, Wemmick and his Aged Parent, Biddy. It's a rich and beautifully-written story, and well worth your time.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine 06-24-15
    Katherine 06-24-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love the narration, disliked the book"

    I just love Anton Lesser as a narrator. He is an amazing reader, with an incredible knack for creating rich characters with just his voice.

    On the other hand, I've never cared for Dickens, and his popularity has always been puzzling. This seemed like a good opportunity to see if Mr. Lesser could open the door of Dicken's magic.

    As always, Mr. Lesser made magic with his voice. These characters will remain with me as rich individuals. But I still don't understand Dickens' popularity, because the story was not engaging in the least - at least, not for me. Instead, I was simply annoyed by the passive and discontented Pip, who is never happy no matter what life gives him.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    keahi las vegas, NV, United States 04-25-12
    keahi las vegas, NV, United States 04-25-12
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    "Dickens paints wonderful imagery with his words."
    What made the experience of listening to Great Expectations the most enjoyable?

    Anton Lesser is a master of voices and characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Pip's life lessons parallel many of our own youthful misguidance that only straightens itself out as he actually lives life.


    Have you listened to any of Anton Lesser’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    no


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie Sequim, WA, United States 04-22-12
    Bonnie Sequim, WA, United States 04-22-12 Member Since 2013
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    "A superb narration for this classic."
    What did you love best about Great Expectations?

    Dickens has always provided characters that are memorable; the narration here has managed to truly bring them to life.


    Which character – as performed by Anton Lesser – was your favorite?

    I can't choose a favorite character in this performance--Mr. Lesser caught them all so very well indeed.


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

    I was moved as Pip realized just how much his mysterious benefactor had suffered unduly, and as we watch him fully change his attitudes and turn around his expectations both of other and of himself.


    Any additional comments?

    A rendition I most firmly recommend by a superb narrator.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen 04-08-16
    Karen 04-08-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautifully performed"

    Anton Lesser reads this late novel by Dickens beautifully. He excels in his range of voices and accents. Warmly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin Rochester, Australia 03-02-13
    Martin Rochester, Australia 03-02-13 Listener Since 2008
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    "A Worthy Favourite"

    There's nothing much that Anton Lesser can't do -- from Hamlet to Homer, his performances are always superlative. So he's the ideal narrator for Dickens' best novel, the wide range of vivid characters drawing out all the actor's virtuosity. Three minutes in, the convict appears out of nowhere, the listener is gripped by the neck, and this eerie and enthralling story begins to unfold in lifelike colour.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue Koopman Livermore, CA USA 07-11-12
    Sue Koopman Livermore, CA USA 07-11-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Anton Lesser's narration is amazing"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Great Expectations to be better than the print version?

    Yes... the narration is that good.


    What about Anton Lesser’s performance did you like?

    His talent for various voices and accents makes the story come alive.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessie 10-12-17
    Jessie 10-12-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "good"

    the narration was wonderful in spite of the story not exactly in my taste but well worth the read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Lanctot 10-11-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Read it to get through it"

    I dreaded having to listen to it. The performance was amazing, but the book hasn’t aged well. If you want a picture of 19th century England this book is for you. If you want a good entertaining book, stay clear.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam C STEILACOOM, WA USA 09-25-17
    Pam C STEILACOOM, WA USA 09-25-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Best Audible Book Yet"

    Take one of the greatest novels written in the English language and combine it with the voice talent of the incomparable Anton Lesser, and you have an audiobook for the ages. I will listen to this one over and over again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Val Waite
    6/2/11
    Overall
    "Dickens brought to life."

    The last time I encountered Dickens was at school (some 40 odd years ago) when our English teacher read Oliver Twist to us and made it come alive. In order to relive this experience I downloaded Great Expectations and was not disappointed. Anton Lesser is an inspired choice as narrator...along with Dickens descriptive talent he made this a magical experience and I want to move on to more of the same.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Derek Thorburn
    9/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best Reading Ever"
    Where does Great Expectations rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Definitely in my top five.


    What about Anton Lesser’s performance did you like?

    The beginning where Magwitch leaps out at Pip - he yells.


    Any additional comments?

    For anyone who wants to start on Dickens, I recommend you choose this book. It's a sudden beginning and you've just got to read until you reach the end. You feel for Pip right the way through, especially in his love for Estella.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Roderic
    Victoria Park, Australia
    1/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dickens and Lesser are a Perfect Combination"
    Where does Great Expectations rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Equal top with other Dickens/Lesser collaborations and some Virginia Woolf / Juliet Stevenson works.


    Which character – as performed by Anton Lesser – was your favourite?

    Wemmick, or rather the home and story of Wemmick and the Aged P, is a wonderfully endearing construct.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. T. Whittaker
    London, England
    7/3/12
    Overall
    "Great Expectations Fulfilled"

    Anton Lesser is brilliant at creating the characters Dickens portrays in this wonderful story – he never falters in bring the imagination to life, making me laugh out loud or shed a tear whilst listening to him on the bus - I will listen to this story over and over again. My great expectation was fulfilled. Thank you Mr Lesser.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • PMQ
    8/11/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    A classic Dickens' novel; the narration by Mr Lesser is especially good (as are all his narrations) with a very good range of voices for the different characters. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Anonymous
    8/1/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow story"

    Though a thought-provoking and morally valuable tale, full of rich language and at times entertaining, the story is a little slow. The ending is almost worth it! Nonetheless, a superb vocal performance

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • L. Douet
    Berkshire, UK
    12/20/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply perfect"

    Having listened to quite a bit of modern fiction recently, I am astonished at the quality of the story, characterisation and language in this wonderful reading.
    Anton Lesser is simply perfect. His voice as Pip could almost *be* that of John Mills playing Pip in the excellent (and most memorable) David Lean film. Throughout, his ability to bring to life every character, with perfect diction, emotion and timing added so much to the book.
    I enthusiastically recommend this to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bob
    Sheffield
    12/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Expectations met"
    If you could sum up Great Expectations in three words, what would they be?

    Touching, human, exhilarating


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

    The opening scene in the churchyard when Pip meets Magwich sets the scene where the dark side of life meets the innocent. Also the scene on the Thames where Pip tries to get his benefactor to the safety of the ship.


    What about Anton Lesser’s performance did you like?

    Anton Lesser is a superb performer who brings vitality and life to any reading. He brings it all to life and makes it real.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Typical Dickens in that it takes you on an emotional ride. All emotions shown and felt on a deeply personal level.


    Any additional comments?

    An excellent introduction to Dickens with his most accessible novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ian Maxwell
    8/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "magnificent"

    Anton Lesser's virtuoso performance brings this magnificent novel to life in a way which would have made Dickens proud.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paula Brown
    3/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great read"

    really enjoyed this although struggled with some of the oldie worldie dislogue. great narration - excellent characterisation and accents

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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