Great Expectations

Great Expectations

by Monica Kulling, Charles Dickens, Cindy Alvarez

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After harsh early years, Pip, an orphan growing up in Victorian England, is given the means to become a gentleman by an unknown benefactor and learns that appearances can be deceiving. Stepping Stone Classics series.See more details below

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After harsh early years, Pip, an orphan growing up in Victorian England, is given the means to become a gentleman by an unknown benefactor and learns that appearances can be deceiving. Stepping Stone Classics series.

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
Publishers Weekly

Returning to print after more than a decade, this first volume in the relaunch of the Classics Illustrated series presents a handsomely rendered adaptation of the orphaned Pip's first-person narrative of his journey from humble childhood to adulthood as an English gentleman. Though quite involving, this retelling of the Dickens classic registers as a "fast forward" version of the epic tale of one man's evolution and the hard lessons learned from it, but that aspect is a minor quibble shoved aside by Geary's charmingly cartoony art. Long hailed for his unique work in such diverse showcases as the New York Times, National Lampoon and his exceptional continuing series A Treasury of Victorian Murder, Geary's fleshy characterizations breathe a near-animated life into the classic tale. This pleasant graphic interpretation can serve as an introduction to Dickens for younger readers and perhaps eventually steer them to the wider world of the source material and beyond. (Apr.)

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KLIATT - George Galuschak
Great Expectations opens on Christmas Eve. Seven-year-old Pip sits at his parents' tombstones in the marshes. He is set upon by an escaped convict, who demands food and a file; when the convict is recaptured, Pip settles back to life with his sister and her husband. The first great event in Pip's life occurs when he is escorted to the spooky old mansion of Miss Havisham to become the playmate of her ward, Estelle. Miss Havisham still wears her ancient bridal dress, and her decayed bridal cake sits on the table. She makes Pip want to be a gentleman so that he can win Estelle's hand. Soon afterwards a mysterious benefactor swoops in, and Pip is sent to London to be educated. Pip is happy that his dreams are coming true—he will become a gentleman and marry Estelle. Too bad life doesn't work that way. Many graphic adaptations of classics aren't exactly classics themselves, but Great Expectations is an enjoyable read that made me want to read the actual book, so mission accomplished. The story is gripping, with lots of twists and turns. Pip grows as a person, and—unlike real life—the characters get what they deserve. The full-color art is done by Rick Geary, who has worked in the Graphic Classics series. Great Expectations contains depictions of the human condition and is recommended for junior high and high school graphic novel collections, especially those that stockpile graphic adaptations of classics. Reviewer: George Galuschak

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Product Details

Random House Childrens Books
Publication date:
Bullseye Step into Classics
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 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,

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

"Pip, sir."

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

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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.

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