In this, perhaps Dickens' most profound and personal novel, we are invited to share in the sentimental education of Pip, the poor boy from the village forge who risks losing himself in snobbery and selfishness when he mysteriously inherits a fortune. The story moves from the bleak Kentish marshes of Pip's childhood to a thrilling climax that mingles tragedy and triumph.
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"We take great joy in recording our conviction that Great Expectations is a masterpiece." (The Atlantic Monthly)
The last time I encountered Dickens was at school (some 40 odd years ago) when our English teacher read Oliver Twist to us and made it come alive. In order to relive this experience I downloaded Great Expectations and was not disappointed. Anton Lesser is an inspired choice as narrator...along with Dickens descriptive talent he made this a magical experience and I want to move on to more of the same.
Definitely in my top five.
The beginning where Magwitch leaps out at Pip - he yells.
For anyone who wants to start on Dickens, I recommend you choose this book. It's a sudden beginning and you've just got to read until you reach the end. You feel for Pip right the way through, especially in his love for Estella.
Equal top with other Dickens/Lesser collaborations and some Virginia Woolf / Juliet Stevenson works.
Wemmick, or rather the home and story of Wemmick and the Aged P, is a wonderfully endearing construct.
Anton Lesser is brilliant at creating the characters Dickens portrays in this wonderful story – he never falters in bring the imagination to life, making me laugh out loud or shed a tear whilst listening to him on the bus - I will listen to this story over and over again. My great expectation was fulfilled. Thank you Mr Lesser.
Having listened to quite a bit of modern fiction recently, I am astonished at the quality of the story, characterisation and language in this wonderful reading.
Anton Lesser is simply perfect. His voice as Pip could almost *be* that of John Mills playing Pip in the excellent (and most memorable) David Lean film. Throughout, his ability to bring to life every character, with perfect diction, emotion and timing added so much to the book.
I enthusiastically recommend this to anyone.
Love classic stories and anything with lots of great description and character development
Touching, human, exhilarating
The opening scene in the churchyard when Pip meets Magwich sets the scene where the dark side of life meets the innocent. Also the scene on the Thames where Pip tries to get his benefactor to the safety of the ship.
Anton Lesser is a superb performer who brings vitality and life to any reading. He brings it all to life and makes it real.
Typical Dickens in that it takes you on an emotional ride. All emotions shown and felt on a deeply personal level.
An excellent introduction to Dickens with his most accessible novel.
I've been trying to get into the old classics, and although I can enjoy some of the differences from modern writing, I do find it difficult to enjoy. I think it is the pace which gets me. This and other old classics are so slow! They meander around the points and the characters and I just want them to move on! The main storyline, however, is sound and good.
"Complex characters and beautiful narration"
I started and abandoned another audiobook of Great Expectations a while back. While I found the narration excellent, the beginning of the book, with Pip's terrorizing by the convict and then the abuse by his sister, was just too bleak and intense, and I gave it up. However, I am running out of Dickens, and decided to try Anton Lesser's recording. I am familiar with his acting work on Wolf Hall and Endeavour but had never listened to his narration. It is exquisite. His portrayal of Pip is straightforward, gentle, almost minimalist, very moving, and his voicing of the other characters is varied and marvelous. It was utterly engrossing.
Great Expectations does not contain the comic relief that Dickens used in so many novels. There is so much horror and sadness: Mrs. Joe, the convicts, Orlick, Miss Havisham, but there is also love and tenderness: Joe Gargery, Wemmick and his Aged Parent, Biddy. It's a rich and beautifully-written story, and well worth your time.
"Love the narration, disliked the book"
I just love Anton Lesser as a narrator. He is an amazing reader, with an incredible knack for creating rich characters with just his voice.
On the other hand, I've never cared for Dickens, and his popularity has always been puzzling. This seemed like a good opportunity to see if Mr. Lesser could open the door of Dicken's magic.
As always, Mr. Lesser made magic with his voice. These characters will remain with me as rich individuals. But I still don't understand Dickens' popularity, because the story was not engaging in the least - at least, not for me. Instead, I was simply annoyed by the passive and discontented Pip, who is never happy no matter what life gives him.
"Dickens paints wonderful imagery with his words."
Anton Lesser is a master of voices and characters.
Pip's life lessons parallel many of our own youthful misguidance that only straightens itself out as he actually lives life.
"A superb narration for this classic."
Dickens has always provided characters that are memorable; the narration here has managed to truly bring them to life.
I can't choose a favorite character in this performance--Mr. Lesser caught them all so very well indeed.
I was moved as Pip realized just how much his mysterious benefactor had suffered unduly, and as we watch him fully change his attitudes and turn around his expectations both of other and of himself.
A rendition I most firmly recommend by a superb narrator.
Anton Lesser reads this late novel by Dickens beautifully. He excels in his range of voices and accents. Warmly recommended.
"A Worthy Favourite"
There's nothing much that Anton Lesser can't do -- from Hamlet to Homer, his performances are always superlative. So he's the ideal narrator for Dickens' best novel, the wide range of vivid characters drawing out all the actor's virtuosity. Three minutes in, the convict appears out of nowhere, the listener is gripped by the neck, and this eerie and enthralling story begins to unfold in lifelike colour.
"Anton Lesser's narration is amazing"
Yes... the narration is that good.
His talent for various voices and accents makes the story come alive.
"Anton Lesser is Superb"
Great Expectations is a given...one of the greatest English novels. Thus, the narrator is a key in choosing an Audible book. I will be looking, from now on, to books read by Anton Lesser.
a very good story and great performance. truly enjoyed the various voices for the characters.
"Great Book & Genius Narrator"
One of the top.
Miss Havisham because of her surrealistic quality.
Anton Lesser is brilliant as all the charactres and has an amazing grasp on Dickens' dialog and the subtleties of its humor. But I especially liked his portrayal of Wemmick.
Pip leaving Joe was the most moving, but also his climactic confrontation of Estella.
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