WBN: 51 Great Expectations

Have I mentioned that I love, LOVE Dickens? There are many classic authors that I admire for their mastery of language, their social commentary and their awesome characters, but Dickens wins out over almost all of them for his dry, hilarious wit. The story of Great Expectations is really a coming of age tale with a twist, but it’s Dickens’ deadpan delivery and larger than life characters that really make it.

The main character, Pip, is probably not anyone’s favourite character. He’s likeable and flawed, but in all honesty it’s the supporting characters that will grab you – Joe Gargery, Mr Wemmick, Miss Havisham and Mr Jaggers – and not let you go again. I could read this book twice a year for the rest of my life and never get tired of it, yet I know so many people that just can’t get into it at all. Admittedly it can seem a little dry at first, but stick with it: the dry, dusty sentences are often draped over darkly funny words and ideas that glimmer and sparkle beneath. It’s one of the most intricate, well written classics I’ve read, and is probably in my top 20 books of all time.

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Filed under Books, World Book Night challenge

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