Get a free audiobook

Great Expectations

Written by: Charles Dickens
Narrated by: Simon Prebble
Length: 18 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

One of the most revered works in English literature, Great Expectations traces the coming of age of a young orphan, Pip, from a boy of shallow aspirations into a man of maturity. From the chilling opening confrontation with an escaped convict to the grand but eerily disheveled estate of bitter old Miss Havisham, all is not what it seems in Dickens’ dark tale of false illusions and thwarted desire.

Raised by a humble blacksmith, Pip is recruited by the wealthy Miss Havisham to be a companion to her ward, the cold but beautiful Estella. There, Pip learns to despise his rough origins as Estella torments him about his low prospects. When Pip is informed that an unknown benefactor expects to make him his heir, he sets off to London to realize his “great expectations.” But true gentleman stature, he will find, is a matter of character, not fortune.

Public Domain (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the critics say

“Observe how finely the narrative is kept in one key. It begins with a mournful impression—the foggy marshes spreading drearily by the seaward Thames—and throughout recurs this effect of cold and damp and dreariness; in that kind Dickens never did anything so good…No story in the first person was ever better told.” (George Gissing, English novelist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A must-read for every bucket list

If writing my obituary, I would want to include the accomplishment and JOY of having read this book, so beautifully performed. Read it. Your life will be the richer.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Highly recommended

This book was amazing; I couldn't turn it off. The narrator was wonderful and made the humor come alive. Many laugh out loud moments that I'm not sure I would have picked up on if I had been reading myself. My favorite characterizations of his were probably Joe, Uncle Pumblechook, Jaggers, and Herbert.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

no expectations

this novel is not that great, I expected more our of this novel but it fails all expectations.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Long

The book was long, but the audio book made it much easier to get through than reading it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Saved My Grade

I only got this book because I had to read it for English class of my senior year.

Simon (the narrator) only made around 5 mistakes that I found (such as "her" instead of "his") which I only noticed because I happen to be looking at the page simultaneously. His voice was pleasant and I feel it captured the interesting chatacters from Dickens very well.

About the story: it was easy to follow but I did find myself tuning out at times. I can't say if it is from listening to it for around 7 hours straight each session or if the story was lacking. I find when I did listen, it was enjoyable, even for an assignment.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steven
  • ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States
  • 2013-08-18

Great Performance of a classic!

I sometimes find high-brow victorian literature to be a little to slow and heavy, including Dickens, but 'Expectations' is a clear exception. I loved it. Simon Prebble's performance was captivating.

37 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dana
  • New Haven, CT
  • 2013-06-13

The narrator!!

This was my first time reading Great Expectations and I really liked the story. But I have to say the narrator, Simon Prebble, did such an amazing job with this story and these characters that I'm now going to look up his other audiobooks.

I would definitely recommend giving this one a try.

60 of 63 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sandra
  • 2013-12-07

A Character Renewed

What made the experience of listening to Great Expectations the most enjoyable?

Pip is so much like me, like any of us. He gets caught in his obsessions, ignores what is beautiful in his life, and then misses every great opportunity for love and fulfillment.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Joe, his adopted fater. It's hard to fathom that such a humble and humbled character should be able to embody such profound self dignity, such forgiveness, and such sweetness over every other character in the book

Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

Magwich. His voice would be difficult to speak in the same way that the character would have done. It probably would have been unintelligible so I'm glad the narrator made it easy to understand -- yet at the same time it conveyed the gruff character etc

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Joe told Pip he wouldn't be coming back to dinner and immediately afterward Pip experiences repentance and then "self-swindling". At that point Pip gives an elaborate description of his obsession with Estella and decides that his "devotion" or obsession with Estella is his greatness. Fortunately, the mature writer notes that this "devotion" was actually the young Pip's smallness and meanness.

Any additional comments?

Dickens's ability to describe the nature of obsession is frighteningly real and I think that reading Dickens could substitute for a therapeutic relationship. Obsession is so real in so many peoples' lives and Pip's character shows how it can suck the life out of a person.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mmr
  • 2015-09-05

Exceeded my expectations!

I loved this book! The writing was so beautiful and so beautifully read by the narrator. I had no previous knowledge of this story but wanted to read a Dicken's. My heart is still full with love of the story and some sadness at the ending. Great Expectations has enriched my life.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Shawn E. Walsh
  • 2014-12-30

Wonderful narration!

The narrator really is spectacular. He does an amazing job at bringing the characters to life.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elisa
  • Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2013-07-09

One of my Fav. Classics!!

Any additional comments?

First up, this is a must read. If you are debating if you should read this, you don't need to debate longer. This is a brilliant one.

Dickens is one of the best story tellers I've ever read. The characterization is fantastic, especially because it captures human nature so well. What happens when you sudden turn from a kid with nothing much to a gentleman? Well, I won't spoil the story for you. The first person narrative is especially effective for this one, because we constantly get what PPip is thinking and as he is misled as to the situation around him and the changing character of himself, so are we the reader. I loved the technique to. You get a character who you think is gone for ever and then what does Dickens do? He brings him back suddenly, and it turns out he is crucial to the story. Anyway, I will stop talking now, but seriously, this is a must read. Maybe you can learn something about yourself in the process too... like me. So sit back and enjoy it!

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 2013-05-11

A soft, muted Victorian Melodrama

There are many parts of Dickens' writing that I love and few pieces of his that fall short of complete adoration. 'Great Expectations' is one more of Dickens' absolute masterpieces. I love how with 100 pages left you can almost feel the universe shift as Dickens grabs the crazy, once loose strings of his moral narrative and begins to pull it all together.

I think a significant part of the magic, for me, of 'Great Expectations' is found in the minor characters. Everyone from Uncle Pumblechook, Miss Havisham, & Mr Jaggers, to Mr. Wemmick and the Aged Parent (the Aged P.) could be the center of their own Dickens novel; each life is given a warmth (or where there lacks warmth, a round coldness) that keeps the novel propelled on.

You can't have a Dickens novel without a little bit of melodrama and a bit of Victorian moralizing. However, with 'Great Expectations', Dickens does this with a soft touch. He isn't as confrontational about social ills as he is in 'Hard Times' or 'Oliver Twist' and he isn't as melodramatic as he was in 'Tale of Two Cities', but even so, I completely enjoyed this gentle, more muted Dickens.

41 of 46 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • edris jama
  • 2015-01-15

awesome,

have read the book over 20 years ago but listening the audio aster all this time had made me enjoy and appreciate the great AUTHOR even more .
thanks

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pita
  • North Shore City, New Zealand
  • 2012-09-12

Loved it. A fantastic introduction to Dicken's

Enthralling, intelligent, riveting, engaging, while still quaint and amusing, and sill amazingly relevant. This is thought to be Dickens' most readable book and with Simon Prebble performing it certainly is. I recently heard an English actress claim that Dickens' must be read aloud and she used Great Expectations as an example. Having listened to this I would have to agree with her and Prebble's performance is impeccable. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Julie
  • Clay, MI, United States
  • 2014-02-14

Greatly read!

Would you consider the audio edition of Great Expectations to be better than the print version?

Simon is a genius. He made each character come alive. Very well done!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Great Expectations?

A memorable moment was when Pip discovered who Estella's birth mother and father were.

What does Simon Prebble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

All the different tones of the characters. Wonderful drama!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

You know them, or DO YOU?

10 of 11 people found this review helpful