Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Great Expectations"

I recently finished listening to the book Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I've always been a little intimidated when it comes to classical literature, but I've been trying to stretch myself and expose myself to different types of books, so I thought I'd give Great Expectations a try.
I listened to the unabridged version of the book, which was about 18 hours. I also read the summary and analysis for each chapter on the Spark Notes website. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again… there's no way I could get through a classic novel and get near as much out of it without Spark Notes! The thorough summaries help keep me on track so that I can understand all of the wonderful complexities of the story.

I was grinning like a fool when I finished Great Expectations because I felt so uplifted and happy. I loved the book because there were so many great characters with amazing qualities. It was really a story of redemption and growth for the main character, Pip, who finally came full circle at the end of the book and came to realize what's truly important in life.

I've gained such an appreciation for classics, and I especially love, love, LOVE Charles Dickens! He's a master storyteller! His books are so intricate with complex plots and interesting characters. Reading classics certainly takes a lot more time/concentration, so I'm taking a little break to listen to some light, fluffy fiction before taking on my next classic.

I watched the Masterpiece Theatre production of Great Expectations that was made in 2011 after I finished reading the book. I've seen it before, but I wanted to watch it again. It made a lot more sense this time around since I was familiar with the story line and the characters. The movie is three hours, which is pretty long, but since Great Expectations is such an intricate story there was still so much of the story that had to be changed or left out altogether. I still enjoyed it.
*I know when I talk about books I use the terms "read" and "listened to" interchangeably. When I read books, I always listen to them and don't actually read them myself since I can't hold a book. I either listen to my mom read them to me, or I listen to audiobooks. I still consider listening to a book reading it, though, since I hear the entire story and get as much out of it as if I held the book and read it with my own eyes. I just thought I would explain this in case it confuses people.


Julie said...

I'm not really into reading & really struggle if there aren't any pictures to look at! (I'm a very visual person)

I also get more from books if I listen to them.

I've been struggling lately to read the scriptures & I think what I'll do is listen to it. Often if I'm reading a chapter of scriptures I keep checking to see how much longer there is to go! (Sorry to be honest about that but I have a huge problem with concentration)

I'm really glad you enjoyed the recent book.

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