Great Expectations by Charles Dickens


Great Expectations, one of those classic novels that many know of, but have not read. This one, dear reader, is worth the effort of reading it.

From the opening pages, Dickens vividly paints us a picture of a time and place. His genius for character presents us with that unforgettable hero, Pip, and what a flawed hero he is!

The plot is strong and we enter a world of colourful and unforgettable characters. The harsh “Mrs Joe”, kindly Joe Garrity, the crazy Miss Haversham and the icy Estella. The story is well-known, but the beauty of the writing rewards attention. For me, the true genius of Dickens lies in his ability to teach us lessons about life, without ever sermonising. This quality is particularly strong in Great Expectations. We learn about love, loyalty, superficiality, snobbery and finally, what it truly means to be a “gentleman”.

This book abounds with wonderfully descriptive passages and memorable characters and tackles the universal themes of redemption and the power of forgiveness. To me, it is Dickens’ finest and most accessible work, it is more acutely focused than David Copperfield and more warm and human than Hard Times. So I say, You’ve seen the film, now read the book and Great Expectations will lead to great rewards.


You can reserve a copy on South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

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