wilderthan: ((Delirium) Fish)
[personal profile] wilderthan
I'm sure I've read Great Expectations before, or I tried to, but after I got to a certain point I didn't remember ever reading any of it before, so I think perhaps I never finished it. It does take some time and attention, certainly, but it was easier to read than I remember. I'm aware that Charles Dickens' novels contain a lot of social commentary, but I don't remember as much about the context as I'd have liked. So I'm not going to say anything on that score, and just talk about what I did and didn't enjoy about the book.

It's written in first person, which makes the young Pip's voice kind of endearing at first, particularly his observations about what he imagines his parents to be like, from seeing their gravestones, etc. Pip does get less likeable later on, due to his great expectations, but a lot of the other characters are interesting. If one doesn't get on with Pip, I should think there's some other character one can get interested in.

I found the characters the strongest thing in this book, while some of the writing felt like filler. Not too much so, but some. The characters, however, were strong -- strange, some of them, and others loveable. Or both. All the imagery that surrounds Miss Havisham sticks really strongly in my mind; I wanted to hug Herbert a lot; Mr Wemmick was fun, with his secret castle and his strong division between work and home. I was surprised at how fond I got of Magwitch, too, but he turns out to be a more sympathetic and sweet character than you'd expect.

The two endings are interesting. I think I prefer the one in my edition, which I believe is the second one -- the happier one. It reads better, and less like a last minute thought, giving a bit more resolution.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-06-23 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] samuraiter.livejournal.com
Mr. Wemmick and the Aged Parent! One of my favorite sequences in all of Dickens, honestly. :-)

Oh, you asked me about my favorite Hardy books the other day. My answer: The Mayor Of Casterbridge. Deceptively simple book. And my favorite (relatively) obscure Dickens book changes, but it's currently Nicholas Nickleby.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-06-23 01:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wilderthan.livejournal.com
I loved that part!

I've read Nicholas Nickleby, at least! When I was younger, anyway.


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