This is a novel that I had heard so much about but never got a chance to read which is obviously why I am writing this now as a review. Students nowadays in Delhi schools have to read Khalid Hosseini or for that matter, my mom who had to read Shakespeare while in college along with several other classics but Great Expectations came with an ‘amazing read’ bookmark from Amazon which should have eased me into it. I did finish it in a jiffy by my standards but what came to mind is a particularly Indian sub context by comparing Charles Dickens and Manmohan Desai, the erstwhile director of Hindi movies who churned out several hits primarily based on coincidences, lost and found stereotypes, larger than life characters,contemporary aspirations and Great Expectations is so much more.
The story revolves around the protagonist Pip who is an apprentice to his brother in law in a forge and how he dreams of making it in the whole wide world against the reality that he finds himself in. Another facet giving impetus to his thoughts is his liking for Estella who is rich beyond his means and has the demeanor and personality of a heartless woman inspired by the irrepressible Miss Havisham. By a sudden turn of events and a quirk of fate, Pip finds himself with inherited riches and how he navigates troubled waters, pun intended, is what the book is all about. A book written in 1861 can still hold forth such is the power of the pen and is much appreciated with the intricacies and nuances involved wherein one finds a pleasant journey rather than a time warp of the industrial revolution.
Arguably one of Charles Dickens’s finest works and a must read for avid readers and I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.