Book 6: Great Expectations

Great Expectations is a novel by Charles Dickens. It depicts the growth and personal development of an orphan named Pip.

– From Wikipedia

Great Expectations is a new addition to my 2012 26 book challenge list. I needed a replacement for Michel del Castillo’s La Guitare, which is sadly only available in French. I had considered dropping a Danny Wallace-style twist on myself and forcing myself to read the book in [my dreadful, GCSE-standard] French, but Great Expectations seemed a good fit for three reasons:

  • The book representing New Zealand on my list is Lloyd Jones’s Mister Pip
  • During the longlisting process, Ben had suggested I read a Charles Dickens novel
  • I’ve never liked Dickens and his paid-by-the-word verbal extravagance. For that reason I haven’t read anything by him in about 10 years, so it will be interesting to revisit his work.

So this is the second (or, rather, the first of two) books by English authors on my list (the other is David Mitchell’s Ghostwritten). Naughty, but justified, I think.

484 pages of Dickens, here I come. Does anyone else find the prospect stultifying?

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4 thoughts on “Book 6: Great Expectations

  1. Pingback: 2012′s 26 book challenge: The list | Al Online

  2. I’m afraid to say I did not enjoy reading Great Expectations, which may be because it was forced on us at school. However Middlemarch was another school book which I loved so I think you should have gone with that instead. It is also a classic but would partly solve of the problem of having too few women authors on the list.

    Also on a side note – whilst Mr Pip might be written by a New Zealander it is set in Bougainville (an island that is semi-independent of Papua New Guinea) so covers Melanesia as well.

    • Yes, we had to dissect Great Expectations at school too, which is why I think I was particularly dreading this, of all, Dickens novels.

      I’ve already got a cheeky second USA novel on my list so adding Middlemarch would have been particularly naughty. As it happens, 29 pages in I’m finding Great Expectations brilliantly hilarious!

  3. Pingback: 2012 books challenge: Half-year review | Al Online

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