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Great Expectations (Penguin Classics Series)
     

Great Expectations (Penguin Classics Series)

3.9 684
by Charles Dickens, Hugh Laurie (Read by)
 

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Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. Pip doesn't expect much from life...His sister makes it clear that her orphaned little brother is nothing but a burden on

Overview

Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. Pip doesn't expect much from life...His sister makes it clear that her orphaned little brother is nothing but a burden on her. But suddenly things begin to change. Pip's narrow existence is blown apart when he finds an escaped criminal, is summoned to visit a mysterious old woman and meets the icy beauty Estella. Most astoundingly of all, an anonymous person gives him money to begin a new life in London. Are these events as random as they seem? Or does Pip's fate hang on a series of coincidences he could never have expected?

Editorial Reviews

Saturday Review
Mr. Dickens may be reasonably proud of these volumes.... he has written a story that is new, original, powerful and very entertaining.... It is in his best vein, and although it is too slight, and bears many traces of hasty writing, it is quite worthy to stand beside Martin Chuzzlewit and David Copperfield.
—July 20, 1861
From the Publisher
"No story in the first person was ever better told."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143058168
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
06/16/2005
Series:
Penguin Classics Series
Edition description:
Abridged, 3 hours, 3 CDs
Pages:
3
Product dimensions:
5.33(w) x 5.74(h) x 0.58(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter I.

My father's family name being Pirrip, and my christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than
Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.

I give Pirrip as my father's family name, on the authority of his tombstone and my sister – Mrs. Joe Gargery, who married the blacksmith. As I never saw my father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them (for their days were long before the days of photographs), my first fancies regarding what they were like, were unreasonably derived from their tombstones. The shape of the letters on my father's, gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair. From the character and turn of the inscription, "Also Georgiana Wife of the Above,"
I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly. To five little stone lozenges, each about a foot and a half long, which were arranged in a neat row beside their grave, and were sacred to the memory of five little brothers of mine – who gave up trying to get a living exceedingly early in that universal struggle – I am indebted for a belief I religiously entertained that they had all been born on their backs with their hands in their trousers-pockets, and had never taken them out in this state of existence.

Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within as the river wound,
twenty miles of the sea. My first most vivid and broad impression of the identity of things, seems to me to have been gained on a memorable raw afternoon towards evening. At such a time I found out for certain, that this bleak place overgrown with nettles was the churchyard; and that Philip
Pirrip, late of this parish, and also Georgiana wife of the above, were dead and buried; and that Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and
Roger, infant children of the aforesaid, were also dead and buried; and that the dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard, intersected with dykes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it, was the marshes;
and that the low leaden line beyond was the river; and that the distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing, was the sea; and that the small bundle of shivers growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry, was
Pip.

"Hold your noise!" cried a terrible voice, as a man started up from among the graves at the side of the church porch. "Keep still, you little devil,
or I'll cut your throat!"

A fearful man, all in coarse grey, with a great iron on his leg. A man with no hat, and with broken shoes, and with an old rag tied round his head. A
man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped, and shivered, and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin.

"Oh! Don't cut my throat, sir," I pleaded in terror. "Pray don't do it,
sir."

"Tell us your name!" said the man. "Quick!"

"Pip, sir."

"Once more," said the man, staring at me. "Give it mouth!"

What People are Saying About This

George Gissing
Observe how finely the narrative is kept in one key. It begins with a mournful impession—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.
John Irving
Great Expectations is the first novel I read that made me wish I had written it; it is the novel that made me want to be a novelist—specifically, to move a reader as I was moved then. I believe that Great Expectations has the most wonderful and most perfectly worked-out plot for a novel in the English language; at the same time, it never deviates from its intention to move you to laugher and tears.

Meet the Author

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors’ prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and “slave” factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years’ formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney’s clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 7, 1812
Date of Death:
June 18, 1870
Place of Birth:
Portsmouth, England
Place of Death:
Gad's Hill, Kent, England
Education:
Home-schooling; attended Dame School at Chatham briefly and Wellington

Customer Reviews

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Great Expectations 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 684 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an eighth grader, I don't understand why some teens dislike this novel. Is it just because it's a bit longer than we are used to? For me, it is an outstanding classic. Pip faces problems that we still face today-our high expectations, our unsatisfying results. Admittedly, the novel is a bit long, but without the text it holds, we would never be able to truly grasp the theme Charles Dickens is trying to convey. Each detail, each scene, each chapter adds more to our understanding. I feel like I am there with Pip as the story progresses. The length of the book plays a key point in the novel, for it leads the reader through Pip's life, the good and the bad. Reading the book carefully allows the reader to really understand what Pip has been through, and how he compensates. This novel is a stunning classic, and will remain my favorite book.
littlered14 More than 1 year ago
Great Expectations was required reading material in high school back in the 1980's. And as a result has become one of my all time favorite classic works by Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens was such an excellent writer that he made the charaters come to life. This is one of those classics that you absolutely cannot put it down until you have finished it. As you start reading Great Expectations you feel like you are accompanying Pip on his journey through life. With the sounds, sights, and smells. Experienceing the ups and downs, that life has to offer. For instance lifes's humble beginnings, the twists and turns, and a very humgle ending.Starting life as he did Pip was not happy with his beginnings in life and always wanting more. From meeting unstable individuals in the prohibited marshes while playing, manners being tought from an old, rich, bitter woman, to the most unlikey of unnamed benifactors that you are likely to meet. To be making a move to London to go to school, being able to make friends with influentual individuals and experiencing who they live, and some people that are even simple in how they view life and just trying to get by as best they can. Pip did a wonderful very unselfish thing when he anominoulsy helped a friend reach his life long goals, for instance becoming part owner of a business, marrying the one he loves and having family. Which in the real world would never happen. The ending, I thought could have been left on a better note than it was. Great Expectations is a good book for the old addage "Be careful what you wish for". The out come of such wishes may or may not be what you expected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read this book in the eighth grade, and, upon reading the first line, I feel in love. I have always loved reading, and Charles Dickens never fails to entertain. He creates characters so life-like and real that you feel like you have known them all you life. You can really identify with these characters that are so abstract and complicated, yet so simple and heart-warming. Pip is such a dynamic character,and you really feel for him as he falls in love for the first time and tries to live up to the Great Expectations set for him. I love it.
DiBeth More than 1 year ago
Although the STORY itself is a great classic, this free version has formatting problems that made it difficult for me to follow along, even as my daughter read aloud from a print copy. After a few pages, I went back online and paid 99 cents- and now can actually read the book!
Kobra101 More than 1 year ago
It is an exceptional book. Charles Dickens uses the words as if he were a dictionary. Excellent control of superb words. It is amzaing how the rising action and falling action happens.
Poge More than 1 year ago
Not even going to write a real review im just going to list reasons why its is the best piece of Literature on God's green earth 1. it is the best piece of literature on god's green earth 2. it is the best piece of literature on god's green earth 3. it is the best piece of literature on god's green earth Go buy it unless you are a total commy
Sakr More than 1 year ago
This beautifully written novel absolutely deserves its place as one of the crown jewels of Dickens' many works. It is very smoothly written however is somewhat dense and is therefore required to be read rather slowly to be digested properly. I would only recommend this book to those whom I know have the intellectual capability and the stamina to keep up with this rigorous work. Overall stupendous.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To enter Honors English, i was required to read Great Expectations. My first thought, and the thought of many other teens, was oh great, a lengthy book using old English vocabulary But i was surprised, i actually enjoyed it. It does get weak in some parts, but its a great piece of Literature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After a couple of chapters, you might begin to feel disappointed and want to quit reading it. Don't! You will be amazed at the suspense you feel and how interested you are in the characters. I also thought it was so clever how Dickens tied everything together, in little ways that you'd never have thought of. When I finished reading, I felt satisfied. I recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry to burst your bubble, but some people here would like to read reviews on this freaking book. Please move your roleplaying or whatever it is you're doing to another place such as an online chat or forum so I can figure out how good this book is and therefore how grueling my summer homework will be.
MullyJS More than 1 year ago
Great Expectations is truly a masterpiece. Dickens has given the reader the life of Pip, a poor boy of no real expectations until chance affords him the opportunity to become someone of means. Dickens has created a character of such great depth that I grew to love the man Pip. Pip’s growth, his ability to convey feeling and his own acceptance of weakness in himself and others touched my heart. Yes it is a slow read but don't be discouraged. It's a treasure. When I recommend the Nook to anyone I always give as one reason the classics. Reading the classics on a Nook is much easier with the flexibility to change the font and the small size of the Nook itself leaving the reader less overwhelmed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reading this book for the first time, I cant believe all the misspelled words and words that really did not make sense! I tried really hard to read this book, but after a short while, I just decided to buy the book instead of reading it on my NOOK. At least the actual book will have the right words and I will understand it!! Really someone needs to corrrect all the mistakes in the Nook version!!
Haharyne More than 1 year ago
If you start reading this book and realize that there is a lot that could be cut out of it then you will probably enjoy it more. When I first started reading this book I couldn't believe how boring it was. Once I started getting into it, however, my opinion changed entirely. I didn't want to stop reading. Then there were some more dry chapters and I couldn't maintain interest. Then this book suddenly made me think I had been reading a mystery the whole time. It brought back details I didn't even think about. Everything came together and ended so well I could not believe how fantastic it was. I would highly recommend this book if you are willing to be bored through certain chapters.
ExTwilightFanpire More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed htis much more than Oliver Twist! The characters were complex and facsinating! One thing is it's not the kind of book you can just pick up and read a page. It doesn't just pull you in, you have to focus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great classic which everyone should read.
HeatherM427 More than 1 year ago
This book was forced upon me as summer reading. I struggled throught it. I had to reference to spark notes and the movie (something I NEVER do). But after I could get throught the writing style and look back on the story and the characters I sort of fell in love with it. So for a free read NO. But as for something analitical an absolute yes!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm currently a senior, and while I was not required to read this book, I had enjoyed Tale of Two cities by Charles Dickens, and had heard good things about Great Expectations from my father and a good friend. Many classics, while great books, don't always hook me and draw me in. This book did. Many are of the opinion that this book is very dark and brooding. It is a story with many dark and gritty elements to it, but when I read it, I didn't get the sense that the mood was dark and sober just for the sake of it. Rather I think Dickens was portraying just how harsh the world can be, and the corruption and selfishness that many people possess in pursuit of riches, property and status. In many ways, the journey of Pip reflects a story almost the same as that of the prodigal son. It's about a young man who feels restless and discontent with how life is, and feels that the pursuit of a greater life, status and riches are needed in order to gain happiness, and the woman he loves. Yet in the end, after all his expectations vanish into thin air and he's left worse than he was before, it's the family that he left in the pursuit of his expectations that pay his debts, and receive him with the same love they had for him before. Another side to this story that gripped me was his relationship with Miss Havisham and Estella. Miss Havisham is the living result of just how deeply a human heart can be hurt and broken by the cruelty of someone who they thought loved them, and how when we hold on to that hurt and brokenness, never forgetting or forgiving it ends up destroying us, and even more tragic cause us to hurt others in the same way. Which is what Miss Havisham does to Estella by raising her and teaching her to be a heartless woman who does not even comprehend love, and what Estella does to Pip by rejecting him and using him. Yet what amazed me most is even when Pip had every reason to rage and be consumed by anger and bitterness against Estella, he never stopped loving her, and resolved to remember her well even though she had thrown away his love. And even though Miss Havisham is responsible for Estella's heartlessness and now in a way his own heart being broken, he chooses to forgive her. Just the raw strength of this story left me amazed. I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book really well written. I personally recommend the unabridged version. After you get to understand the was he writes and the old english you will really enjoy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, was a very wonderful book to read. I have to admit that it was difficult to get into it at first, but once the story started getting good, I couldn¿t put it down. There were so many twists and surprises that kept me completely compelled. I especially liked how the character, Pip, grew and changed throughout the novel. He didn¿t seem like just a character in a story, he seemed like a real live person in my life. His emotions and actions were so realistic that I felt his pain, his joy, his fear. Another aspect of the novel that I loved was the whole theme and basic moral. It harped upon the idea that loyalty to loved ones is way more important than wealth or social status could ever be. Among other things, these are the reasons why Great Expectations is a truly exceptional novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I decided to read this simply out of curiosity, and expected a long, boring, painful book. I was shocked. This kept me completely interested throughout the whole book, and was surprisingly easy to read. The language was not that hard to figure out, and basically, I was extremely pleased. If you think it'll be long and boring, you may be surprised at how fast you'll get through it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author came out on an episode of Doctor Who!!!
vikrimtheman More than 1 year ago
An obvious classic for obvious reasons. This is from a time and author which knew (and was expected to) craft very fine words, ideas and plots. A timeless story with heartbreakingly truthful characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why are over half of these reviews not even reviews? I'm mean seriously people, I know it might seem crazy to you, but the point of the rate and review system is so people can rate and review the book. You're not suppose to rate and review about you stupid personal life and things that no one else cares about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dispite the longness, i say overall this.is a good book! Even though dickens isnt one of my top picks for an author, i say this is a good book! It takes you through pips life from child to adult, and as an 8th grader i say this is a good book. Dickens was also born a couple weeks after me to... Anyways. This book is in so many ways. And will always remain a classic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the simplified version and it was okay. It seemed a little boring and i eally hated estella cae she was suc a brat because she (being an orphan) was taught by her grandma i think she was to hate all men. It does have a kittle twist when it comes to his benefacter though. Over all i probably wouldnt pay the money i would just rent it from the libray.