Graham Law, Professor of English at Waseda
University, Japan, has written books and articles on nineteenth
century and modern fiction, and edited Dickens's Hard
Times and Wilkie Collins's The Evil Genius for this
Adrian J. Pinnington, also Professor of English at Waseda University, is the author of a variety of books and articles on English and Japanese literature.
Gr 8 Up-Great Expectations is the better told of these two classics, but breaking down a 500-page work of literary fiction into 48 pages of graphic text is a much simpler task than retelling the nearly 1000 pages of David Copperfield in the same amount of space, and Morley relies heavily on captions, rather than dialogue, to summarize Copperfield's complicated life story. She does, however, do an able job of summarizing the major plot points, and this could make a big difference for struggling readers. In both books, Gelev's artwork fits the time period, with detailed costumes, houses, and other background scenery. The neutral tones suit Dickens's dank world, and Miss Havisham's ramshackle home and crumbling wedding feast are drawn as readers might picture them. It is doubtful, though, that they would return to these books as particular favorites. They are more useful as classroom resources for readers struggling with Dickens's prose than for a general graphic-novel readership.-Sarah Knutson, American Canyon Middle School, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This beloved classic from Dickens follows the life and adventures of a six-year-old orphan named Pip as he makes his way and comes of age in 19th-century England. Simon Prebble turns in a solid performance in this audio edition, offering up a lush and resolutely dramatic reading and creating a panoply of unique voices and accents for the book's many characters. But while Prebble's performance is lavish, it fails to distinguish itself from the scores of previous audio productions of Dickens's novels. Still, his reading remains a pleasure and a well-orchestrated introduction to the world of Dickens-one that could serve as a wonderful opportunity for both fans and those new to the author's work. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"The notes to this edition of Great Expectations are extremely helpful, and the supporting materials are useful, clear, and well-selected. Law and Pinnington have put together an edition that takes into account what the contemporary (and especially, the non-British) reader needs in order to appreciate the novel. All in all, this is an excellent edition." -- Sally Mitchell, Temple University
"It is high time for this Dickens masterpiece to receive the kind of critical and contextual attention that this edition of Great Expectations affords. The editors provide essential information about Dickens's compositional as well as publishing practices, and they further support this background with a sampling of the lively contemporary dialogue about the text in the periodicals of the day. They issues raised by the novel--namely class and language, and crime and punishment--are amply explored by pertinent historical documentation, including highly-charged autobiographical writing by Dickens himself that was not available to his contemporary readership. Moreover, the introduction expertly guides the reader though the application of these materials in a creative and inviting manner. Law and Pinnington have gathered together an impressive array of contemporary documents to promote an informed reading of this classic text ... In particular, the maps and illustrations of the novel's various settings allow the non-expert to quickly gain insights which should lead to intriguing arguments about how the novel has worked--for its own time as well as our own. I especially commend the editors for their resourceful choices related to the Victorian conception of what constitutes a true gentleman--itself perhaps the key question that helps to unlock the novel." -- Carol Hanbery MacKay, University of Texas-Austin
With a major new film adaptation of Great Expectations coming soon to the big screen, now is a good moment for an updated audio edition of this classic story of an orphan boy's rise from poverty to gentility, thanks to the help of an unknown patron. One of Dickens's finest works, it is, all at once, the heartrending tale of unrequited love, a deep mystery with a shocking resolution, and an often exciting action story. VERDICT Simon Prebble's powerful narration brings Dickens's colorful dialog alive and will make the book's 18-plus hours seem so many minutes. During this bicentennial year of Dickens's birth, this audiobook should be a slam-dunk acquisition for most libraries. [See "Charles Dickens: Our Mutual Friend," LJ 2/15/12, for more Dickens titles in audio.]-R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.