Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Book Review Blog Chain September 2009: Great Expectations of Charles Dickens

It is time for Absolute Write September Book Review Blog chain. I have been participating in AW Blog Chains since 2006 and thus, for the last 3 years, I have taken part in numerous blog chains. From my own personal experience, I can say that it is fun and at the same time, it can give some boost to your blog in terms of search engine ranking. Before me, Coryleslie wrote about The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.

Anyway, the book, I like to write about is Great Expectations of Charles Dickens. I first read it in 1995. At that time, I was a university student and we had to read the text. Normally, for many students like me, when we have to read something in the class and for exam, then it becomes boring. However, I have to say that I liked the novel from first and I have been reading it continuously over the years until now. I watched the movie but did not like it as the book.
For plot summary and more information, I would like you to direct to Wikipedia’s entry about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Expectations

Here, I want to talk about the reasons that I liked the novel so much that I have been reading it for almost 14 years. May be it was my personal background that made me feel attracted towards the novel. The hero Pip came from poor background and then he was just lucky to get some financial help from a convict. Pip did not know from where the money came from but it arranged education for him and he became a ‘gentleman’. As for my own life, I did not have any support from any wealthy person. I had to work really hard to become educated and become a ‘gentleman’.
Dickens had great skill in narrating a story and here in Great Expectations, he is perhaps at his best. The story started when Pip was  a child of 7 and it continued until he became 35. Dickens could keep the event flowing and the readers have the feeling that Dickens took great care of describing the events of all these 28 years.
In the novel, Charles Dickens showed both sides of humanity. Some people are cruel and some people are generous. The convict is perhaps a mixture of both. I also characterization in this novel.
Well, I would like you to read this novel if you have not yet. If you have already read it then you can do it again. If you don’t have it then you can download the text from here: http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/title/g/ge.html

Next in the chain is DavidZahir. I wonder what book he likes. 


  1. Razib,
    It just goes to show you how subjective literature is for I read Dickens’ Great Expectations as part of my preparation for the common entrance exams to get in to secondary school and have hated it since. I was miserable and the book was bleak but now I think I should take a second look at it.

  2. Great Expectations was one of those books forced on me in high school and it was one of the few I never actually read fully. I struggled through the first chapter, skipped to the last chapter, and used Coles Notes to fill in the gap. :-)

    Maybe it's time I gave it another chance.

  3. I just started reading Great Expectations for no particular reason other than for self-edification.I would like to begin a thorough discussion about the book, that is, with respect to one chapter at a time. In the past, this has worked well; I see that there are others who have struggled with this book. Perhaps a discussion of this kind may help others as they try to understand this excellent piece of literature. Get back with me and chime in if you should be interested.

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  4. Good review, though I am afraid you will not convert me. I really do love a lot of classics, but Charles Dickens just doesn't do it for me. It's not that his stories are poor, because I do enjoy movies made from them, but because he tends to use a lot of dialect, it just gets on my nerves, so after trying few things, I don't even bother trying him anymore.

  5. Very nice. I'll admit Dickens has somehow not quite grabbed my imagination the way I'd like. Not sure why, although the tales are well-done and generally riveting. Still, it isn't as if I don't like him -- just that he's not one of my faves. Very nice review, btw.

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