Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Great Expectations: Sticky Post


NOTE: Proper discussion questions are now beginning to appear below this post! Questions are spoiler-free, but the comments section is open season!

This brief sticky post will remain at the top of the page until the end of January. Post links to your reviews of our January book or any alternates you may have chosen via Mister Linky down there. In the comments section...

Feel free to discuss general points in the comments section of this post, or just talk amongst yourselves. Feel free to answer the discussion questions, if they strike your fancy, at your leisure.

Note: Please don't feel like you need to rush if you haven't even started the book yet. Jump in when you have a chance and feel like it. We're very free-flowin' around here.



24 comments:

Heather said...

I haven't finished the book yet, but I would love to know what everyone thought of our narrator, Mister Pip. Did you like him or hate him? Did your opinion of him change during the course of the novel? Was he a reliable narrator?

Nyssaneala said...

Heather, I just finished the novel today. My feeling towards Pip seemed to fluctuate as I was reading. Overall, I actually felt sympathetic for him. He was young, and how hard is it for a person (any age, but especially as a teenager) to come into money and not let it go to their head?

**SPOILERS BELOW**

Yes, he treated his family and Biddy terribly by practically cutting them out of his life, but I believe he redeemed himself in the end. Well, somewhat. He was able to acknowledge his actions as wrong and was remorseful. And, his treatment of his benefactor at the end was much more honorable than how he felt when he first found out his identity.

Fiske said...

I chose Scott's Rob Roy for my first book, and added a post on my blog this morning about getting started with the novel. My but there are some faster readers on this forum! :-) Fiske

Nyssaneala said...

Fiske - Don't be deceived, I started Great Expectations 3 weeks ago! It just happened to fit in well with my reading at that point.

Ali said...

Hi everyone!

This Alicia (Ali for short) and I'm just happy to be amongst you and have the chance to read and discuss books together.
I look forward to all your thoughts.
I'm really enjoying GE, more than I thought I would.
I should finish it this weekend.
I made a post on my blog about my experience reading the book so far. And found a great drawing of Miss Havisham!

MissHum22 said...

Whether Pip should be 'allowed' to act like an a-hole or not isn't what bothered me, it was that I wanted to follow everyone else but him. He bored me, to be honest. Yeah yeah, a self-centered status seeker - I've seen that before. Now Wemmick - he's interesting.

Think Pink Dana said...

I read this last year and LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVED it! Did i say I loved it?
I am going to substitute this Dickens book with one I haven't read this month but am going to link to my review from last year and hope to join in the discussion.

My opinion of Pip changed drastically throughout the novel. He wasn't very likable for quite some time, but I think that a relatively large percentage of young men (and women too for that matter) even today are cocky and unlikable until they grow up a little. I know I had MY moments (still do sometimes). So I found his character to be true even if it wasn't likable.

Andi said...

Thanks for joining us, Ali! I'm glad you're enjoying the book.

Misshum, I know what you mean in a sense. Other characters are definitely more interesting. I find reading about Estella and Miss Havishman totally enthralling. Although, if I were inundated with their points of view, I think I might tire of it. Will report in on this issue a little further when I'm done.

Andi said...

Thanks for chiming in with your opinion, Dana! Which Dickens book are you going to substitute? I've read and loved quite a few of his books.

stillwaters said...

I've just finished Part 2 and I have to agree with andi about Estella and Miss Havisham. I've also fluctuated a bit on Pip. Initially I was able to relate a lot to his character, but then I found myself disappointed. Maybe I'll change my mind again by the end of the novel.

Logophile said...

It's really interesting to read people's thoughts on Pip so far, how people's feelings are fluctuating towards him. I decided to substitute Vanity Fair, which has been in my stack for yonks and I'm really enjoying it. Only 110 pages in so far, so I haven't posted about it yet. But Becky Sharp is certainly different to Pip!

kristen said...

My review is up! I'm so interested in everyone's comments--I hated the book! Ha. I feel shame!

I just didn't like Pip. Didn't really like the story much and hated how all the women in the book were portrayed.

It was my first time with Dickens. Maybe my expectations were off!

Andi said...

Stillwaters, I find that I'm paying Pip a lot more attention this time. Maybe my memory is completely wonky, but all these years really all I've remembered is Miss Havisham and Estella. I'm trying to experience Pip's plight more this time, since he is the main character and all. LOL Not a likeable one at that.

Logophile, Vanity Fair has been on my stacks for ages. I adored the movie which gave me more of a push to read the book. I started it a while back, got 50 pages in, my attention span went kaput, and now I need to get back to it. I enjoyed what I read, but I'm horrible when it comes to focusing on a long work.

Kristen, feel free to dissent! I'm all about a myriad of opinions. It's certainly not for everyone, and I have to admit, not all of Dickens is for me even though I enjoyed this one. If I were to have to re-read Hard Times I'd go down kickin' and screamin'. Must give more thought to how the women were portrayed. I feel a discussion question coming on!

Wendy said...

I started the book yesterday...it is going slow for me. I don't know if I'm just not in the right mood to read Victorian era fiction, or if I'm just bored with the story right now! I'll wait to jump into the discussion until I've finished it :)

Andi said...

Good luck with it, Wendy! I hope it picks up for you.

Andi said...

Well, I think I'm allllmost done! It's taken me longer to read the book than I expected, but I suppose it's not terribly unusual given that I've had papers to grade and all that good stuff.

I can't wait to discuss with you all!

Belinda@upsidedownbee said...

Finished Great Expectations and liked it pretty well. Victorian literature is not my favorite, but I really liked the story. I'm reading Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones as a follow up to Great Expectations for my book club. Let you know how that one turns out. Good so far. B.

Andi said...

Great review you wrote, Belinda! I'm going to give Mr. Pip a try myself soon. I hope you enjoy it!

gigi said...

GE was an assigned reading for my 9th grade AP English class...32 years ago (Hard for me to accept that! hah). We had to take turns reading it aloud...it was unbearable. I am glad that it was part of this challenge because it is a richly dramatic story and I completely missed it the first time around. I am at Chapter 33 but hope to be finished by tomorrow. For me, part of the pleasure of reading is to have a reaction positive or negative about a character. Glad to read all of the opinions...gives me something to consider as I finish up.

Andi said...

Gigi, we did the same thing! Took turns reading aloud, and it was certainly torture. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the book as you finish up.

Lisa said...

I loved the book! I felt sympathy for Pip from the beginning to the end. Although he made me crazy -- I just wanted to slap him and tell him to wake up. I also felt sorry for Estella because she became what she was raised to become. However, they both change and can have a future. I did feel some sympathy for Miss Havisham, but for some reason I didn't really like her. O.K., you were treated poorly, but come on! I guess I found her less believeable than Pip or Estella simply because she was so extreme. I'd like to think that no one would actually spend their life in a rotten wedding dress and one shoe, never leaving her house.

Michaelann said...

I finally finished the book after a bout with the flu. I enjoyed the book but have to agree that I wanted to go more into the other characters rather than Pip. As a main character he paled in comparision to his companions. This is also my first Dickens.

Phoebe said...

I finished Great Expectations over the weekend and here is the link to my review along with a couple of others:
http://knithappened.blogspot.com/2008/01/expectations-song-and-muse.html

Like Lisa I truly wanted to slap some sense into Pip...he knew that the relationship with Estella was bad from day one but he couldn't help himself...he liked being her lapdog. I read this book for the first time just after college and it is definitely a different read cough 20 years later. Pip definitely redeemed himself with his RAKs at the end, but that is the beauty of Dickens...the hero's journey of enlightenment.

Sondie said...

Loved the book...I liked it when I read it as a teenager,but what a different perspective as a 30 something. My book club read it as their January book (so I killed 2 birds with 1 stone)and we had a great discussion. I think Pip redeemed himself in the end...

Amazing book overall.