Charles Dickens' classic tells the coming-of-age story of Pip, the orphan who rose from miserable destitution to great wealth, with the help of a mysterious benefactor. For better or worse, Pip's life is defined through his relationships with Dickens' trademark complex supporting cast: Estella, a fellow orphan with whom Pip is infatuated; Miss Havisham, the manipulative and wealthy spinster; Joe Gargery, the closest thing to a parent Pip has ever known; a pair of escaped convicts; and many, many more.
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I loved this book from beginning to end. It lasted me 15-20 hours. The narrative is wonderfully descriptive yet interesting while the mood ranges from beautifully serene to frantically dramatic. There are moments of intense action and hair-raising encounters spread over the lifetime of the protagonist as he matures both physically and mentally. I could always sympathize well with him and was never frustrated or bored. I dare say I myself learned a lesson from reading this book; one should not take anything for granted and therefore always try to realize the true value of what one has at the moment, especially regarding true friends.
On a side note this is the first book I've read since graduating high school. Then again I graduated less than two weeks ago. One can always appreciate a book more when one is reading it willingly and not being forced to do so by a cranky old English teacher.
As I am now retired, to read Dickens is a great thrill I never experienced. A passionate, but detailed writer, it's hard not to retread some of his lines as there are so profound, yet so charming. What a thrill!