Great Expectations - The Review

Whew...............I'm proud of myself.  Finally finished Great Expectations.  My first Dickens book.  Took some time and I almost quit.  But now I can add it to the list of classics I assigned to myself to read.  This assignment stems from the fact that I was never once........... asked to read any of the classics during my 1970's public education.  We discussed Simon and Garfunkel lyrics (and some Beatles too).  So we were getting American AND British band lyrics..............but the classics?  Nah.  I'd also like to point out that I began reading this long BEFORE Oprah said I should.  But I probably will also add A Tale of Two Cities to my "To Be Read" list.

It's a hard read.  I could pretend that it wasn't,  but there were points at which I did want to set it aside.  I did not expect this book to be filled with so many plot twists.  Those seemed to happen in the last third of the book as Dickens started tying all the ends together.  I understand there are two endings to the book, the edition I read has the second ending.  It would be easy to blame the difficulty of reading this book on the time frame it was written, but I'm also reading Jane Austen, written even earlier,  and I find her novels far more readable and easier to follow.

Wish I could say that I enjoyed the book, wish I could recommend that YOU read it...........but I can't.  There is satisfaction in the completion, as if it had really been assigned to me.............but it was not an enjoyable read.  However, cultural literacy is important to me and I've known I should read at least one Dickens book.  Perhaps I should have started with A Christmas Carol.


Gradual Dazzle said…
Someone I was never exposed to during my schooling (and I was an English major!) was Tolstoy, so as an adult I decided (much like you've done) to assign myself Anna Karenina. I *loved* it. Loved it hard. Then recently I felt sufficiently guilty that I had been avoiding Austen ever since she had been forced upon me in a seventh grade classroom, way before I was ready for such a thing. Plus, I love Colin Firth with all my heart and I knew that his most famous role was Mr. Darcy... so I read Pride and Prejudice and I **loved** it hard too! I think sometimes we need to have a little more maturity (and a little context) to appreciate great literature -- I had grown up reading the King James Version, so reading Shakespeare was never a problem for me.

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