Becuase this is not my job, I decided early on to limit my reviews to one book per author. You can imagine, then, how hard it was to decide WHICH book of Charles Dickens to review. I mean, to choose between A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, and Great Expectations was downright cruel. I have a passionate love, you see, for each of these stories. I finally decided on Great Expectations because it was the novel I had finished most recently. That way the other books don’t feel so bad.
So on to Great Expectations…
Even though I finished this book six months ago, I still carry a crystal-clear vision of the village in which the main character, Pip, grew up (including all of the villagers). I came to love that little English countryside like a normal person shouldn’t. That is how well Dickens painted his portait in words. This is a story of an impoverished boy who climbs the social totem pole only to find that money’s promise of happiness is an empty one. Because Pip is such a rich character, we stick with him through thick and thin like a marriage to a naive young man. And when it’s all over done, we’d vow to do it all over again.
Charles Dickens was a master of his art. He has contributed as much to literature, in my opinion, as anyone in history, including Shakespeare. Dickens was that prolific. I admire this author like few others I have read – especially given his disruptive upbringing – and highly recommend this book to anyone looking to discover Charles Dickens in his unadultered, un-made-for-the-movies condition. (And if you don’t start with Great Expectations, Oliver Twist was my second choice).