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Summary

The classic Charles Dickens novel, performed by one of Britain's greatest comedians.

Widely considered to be Charles Dickens' greatest and best-loved work, Great Expectations was first published as a serial between December 1860 - August 1861 and has been in print ever since. The story of a young boy from humble origins who dares to dream of becoming a gentleman, it is one of Dickens' most enduring and widely adapted novels.

In this new unabridged production, star comedian and polymath Eddie Izzard infuses the story of Pip with his trademark wit and flair, and breathes new life into some of Dickens' most memorable characters, while staying completely faithful to the novel. 

A unique performer and storyteller, Eddie has long held a fascination for Dickens and his work. Whether you're already well-acquainted with the story or you've never read a Charles Dickens novel, this is a must-listen.

Public Domain (P)2018 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

What listeners say about Great Expectations

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Magnificent, if poorly edited

Eddie Izzard offers a masterclass here in how to read fiction with magnetism and empathy. He delineates the characters beautifully and somehow makes us feel for Pip even more than we might if we were reading off the page.

Bafflingly, for a production predicated on the star power and talent of its reader, no one bothered to edit out the various restarts and second takes that are par for the course in any recording session.

So, not infrequently, we get to listen to Izzard take a second stab at a paragraph. In some ways it's interesting, as we get to hear the level of nuance involved in what Mr Izzard changes (it's often subtle, but makes sense). But it does take one out of the story a bit. A few time references for these errors are below in case anyone from the publishers is listening and wants to correct and re-upload the file. How hard can that be? I could do it on my laptop. It would probably take an hour.

Having begun to listen to the more stentorian, less intimate Martin Jarvis version and abandoned it in favour of this one. I can thoroughly recommend this production. Just a shame that it’s a let down by the absence of some standard issue finishing touches.

A 9 out of 10 read of a 9 out of 10 book

Chapter 1: 11:25
Chapter 39: 30:51
Chapter 50: 04:28
Chapter 54: 36:45
...and many others

13 people found this helpful

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Does Dickens justice

One of the most classic novels told in a wonderful and heartfelt way by Eddie Izzard. He brings Dickens' characters and words to life. I was hooked from the first minute.

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Brilliant

Eddie Izzard's performance for this audiobook is absolutely fabulous. He clearly loves this story and is relishing (I'm still listening) reading it aloud. Highly recommend.

But, the editing is not 100%. There have been several times when a sentence has been repeated and the editor/producer has not deleted accordingly. So not an ideal production but Eddie Izzard's narration is very good.

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Wanted to like it

Sorry to say that I didn’t think Eddie Izzard brought the story to life as much as I was expecting from the other reviews. Primarily, his accents for the main characters were a bit too similar. I had just finished listening to a Tale of Two Cities, narrated by Simon Callow, which was exceptional, so maybe Eddie Izzard was facing an uphill battle by being next in line after Simon’s performance!

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Hard read

I love Eddie izzard as a comedian but sorry Eddie I just couldn't get through it.
Probably expected too much example another Stephen fry.
The story is amazing but just couldnt finish due to the narrative.
But that's just my opinion.

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good read

Thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this book.Izzard is a good narrator and added to the enjoyment.

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Superb Narration Eddie Izzard.

Absolute joy to hear Eddie Izzard reading Dickens...please sign him up to do them all...

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Brilliant novel narrated with style and creativity

Such a perfectly constructed and haunting novel; Dickens' finest work in my opinion. I was a bit nervous about listening to it because I know it so well and didn't want it spoiled. I needn't have worried. Eddie Izzard does it justice. He reads with intelligence and understanding and brings the distinctive voices of the characters to life. Most enjoyable.

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Not to be missed

This is smply one of the world’s best books read by one of the best ever narrators.

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magical

brilliantly read by Eddie. He has brought an amazing story to life. what a listen

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  • JoieDe
  • 30-09-18

Best listen EVER! Eddie Izzard + Dickens = AMAZING

I'm enthralled by this reading of Great Expectations. It is the tale of an ignorant boy coming into a surprise inheritance which he copes with in some hilarious ways as he gradually grows up. Much of it is tongue-in-cheek. Pip is at times an oblivious self-observer, but most of the characters are endearing in their eccentric and sometimes bumbling ways.

Eddie Izzard should record the entire Dickens oeuvre, he's that good at bringing the story to life.

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  • Cookie
  • 10-09-19

Not so much

I seem to differ from a lot of reviewers here in that I found the narrator too distracting to be able to follow the story. His accents were indeed wonderful, giving each character a life of their own. I could picture each person perfectly, befitting their particular class and station, personality, etc. but the actual reading of the story was often halting, with pauses in the middle of a sentence as if at a page break. I found I was subconsciously waiting for each future instance and was too distracted.
I ended up returning this edition and am going with Simon Vance- tried and true.
The book is definitely Dicken’s very best. I’m late to his writings and I find I’ve started to think of him as a writer in line with Shakespeare- something for any intellect to appreciate in every book. And I’ve yet to read any Dicken’s book that I haven’t cried- in sadness or joy.

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  • Thelma And Lou
  • 28-06-18

Pure entertainment

I've listened to several excellent audible versions of Dickens novels and this is one of my favorites - the reading by Eddie Izzard gives such enjoyment. Highly recommend

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  • Marianne Thompson
  • 16-09-19

Tremendous

Mr Izzard’s performance is transcendent. He renders each character with such insight and tenderness which is fully in concert with Dickens’ handling of them himself. Izzard’s intelligence and ability to relate to the humanity in the tale beyond the eccentricities of an older dialect allow him to inflect antiquated phraseology in a completely modern and relatable tone. He makes the tome which in other hands might be read with the gravitas of a formidable, unrelatable great-grandfather open up and blossom, as if told you by your best friend over tea in the kitchen. Truly a magnificent reading and-I forgot to mention - also an equally worthy and wonderful book.

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  • Karen Lee
  • 21-09-21

Love this adaptation

Always loved his comedy but think he has found his true calling. Beautifully done Eddie

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-06-21

Outstanding work!

By both Dickens and Izzard. If I read this in school, I don't remember it so wonderful. She uses different voices for all the characters that become so familiar you can recognize them by the vocals. I truly hated it to end. Mr. Dickens and Eddie Izzard are both wonderful companions.

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  • espressi
  • 08-04-21

Eddie Izzard does phenomenal work

Great Expectations was believed to be the most perfect novel Charles Dickens ever wrote. It’s a testament to Eddie’s versatility in voicing the many characters of the novel and it’s just wonderfully enjoyable book as a result. I would heartily recommend this to anyone, and maybe particularly to those who might have missed this book earlier in life.

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  • Ariel Kronman
  • 22-03-21

Amazing Performance

I have listened to over a hundred Audiobooks in English. At the risk of over-inflating your, um, expectations, let me say that this is an extraordinary performance, well worth twenty hours of anyone’s life. As for the book itself, well, if you don’t know how, er, great it is, you’re in for a double surprise.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-02-21

well done accents make the story come alive

Eddie Izzard brings out the humor in the story and the humanity in Pip. Very enjoyable.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-01-21

Izzard is terrific.

Best read book I have ever listened to. Izzard and Dickens are a perfect match.