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Publisher's Summary

In this Audible Exclusive performance by Matt Lucas of Great Expectations, Charles Dickens demonstrates that conscience, loyalty and empathy are virtues far more valuable than intellect, wealth and social standing. 

First published in Dickens’ own periodical, All the Year Round, the novel was divided into nine monthly instalments, from December 1860 to August 1861. Unsurprisingly, it was an instant success and managed to sell over 100,000 copies per week. Though written at a challenging time in Dickens’ life, when the impending breakdown of his marriage loomed over him, Great Expectations proves to be one of his most optimistic, comical and romantic novels. 

This exclusive recording of Great Expectations starts with a unique introduction written and narrated by Howard Jacobson, the Booker Prize-winning author of The Finkler Question, in which he explains why Great Expectations is his favourite Dickens title.  

About the book 

Through a rich first-person narrative, listeners are introduced to the character of young Pip as he visits the tombstones of his beloved parents. Unexpectedly confronted by the dark and mysterious Magwitch, a convict in desperate need of food, Pip must decide whether to aid or impede the stranger standing in front of him - a decision which will shape the course of his life. Introducing some of the most iconic, Gothic and comically repulsive literary characters of all time, from the vengeful Miss Havisham, torn apart by a man she once loved, to her beautiful yet seemingly impenetrable ward, Estella, the listener is propelled through a wonderfully Dickensian world. 

About the author

Much like Pip, Charles Dickens was born into poverty. In his case, it was due to the incarceration of his father, and Dickens was forced to set aside his education in order to work at a nearby factory. Amazingly, this did not deter the young Dickens from rising above his station, and he went on to publish 15 novels, various articles, five novellas and hundreds of short stories. He lectured and campaigned for fair treatment of the lower classes as well as for children’s rights and education. 

About the narrator

British comedian, actor and screenwriter Matt Lucas is best known for the television show Little Britain as well as playing both Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee in Alice in Wonderland and his role as Nardole in the 10th series of Doctor Who. Able to embody so many characters with just his voice, Lucas is a perfect fit for Great Expectations.

Public Domain (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Great Expectations

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amazing.

Incredible performance, wonderful touching story. Dickens is simply the best, and Matt Lucas does him justice.

2 people found this helpful

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Pleasantly surprised!

I was looking for something different to listen to so I decided to look in the 'classics' category of audible. I had heard of this book before but knew nothing about it. I decided to give it a try and I'm glad I did! It was very entertaining and humorous. Narration was amazing! I think I will be looking into that category again! Thoroughly enjoyed it!

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A classic

The narrator did all the characters voices very well. A well-loved classic that is timeless.

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  • John
  • 2019-07-30

SPOILER IN THE PREFACE

As I stated before there is a fairly big spoiler in the very beginning during the preface. I'll leave the exact nature of the spoiler out for those who, like myself, haven't read it yet. However I will say that the spoiler is one that completely ruins the nature of the mystery surrounding Pip and his benefactor. Because of which left me struggling to finish the book. Though the last few hours which were not spoiled and had some secret and suspense was rather good.
Overall a good book.

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  • J. Day Mattson
  • 2019-04-14

Fantastic and engaging performance

The Matt Lucas performance of Charles Dickens fabulous novel is engaging and perfect! I enjoyed an all-time favorite story even more while listening to it.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Temple Elliott
  • 2019-06-12

performance tops!

A classic tale written to be read around the fire each
night. Fantastic performance...one actor, multiple characters.

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  • Gracie
  • 2019-03-26

Performance was wonderful brilliant my good fellow

I am happy that I continued to the end of this lengthy tome. Now I look forward to the movie!

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  • J. Whittle
  • 2021-02-25

Dickens is a time traveller who loved movies

Firstly Matt Lucas gives a tour de force as more than the narrator. He develops each character and brings the story alive. When Dickens has the time to observe people, scenes, and social interactions, his piercing and humorous gaze can transport us. About half way through Great Expectations Dickens becomes preoccupied with wrapping things up with all the pizzazz of a Hollywood scriptwriter. As he busies himself tying up all the loose ends its a bit rushed and descriptions are dispensed with. A shame for it is in the way he describes a face or gently ridicules the motives of his protagonist that we laugh at them, with him, and at ourselves.

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  • ichardander
  • 2021-01-18

Narration, a bit over the top

I am only going to discuss the narration here. I have been wanting to read this for a long time, and fully intend to continue with it, but have only made it a few chapters in, and have decided the narration is not for me. It is not that the narration is not good - in a sense it could be considered excellent. Matt Lucas has an fine voice, and is adept at portraying the array of characters in a highly dramatic fashion. But I found it all just a bit too much. When we read a book in print, we are free to add and imagine degrees of inflection and accent to voices of various characters, and we all do this to more or less extent. But when it is all done for us, like in this version, I found myself resentful, pulled out of the story, and want the narrator to just shut up - not any way to get through a book. At times, Mr. Lucas' characterizations bordered on Monty Python parody territory. Frankly, I just found it irritating. I realize that for many reader/listeners, this will be exactly what they want, and I hope my opinion will help them decide in favor of this edition out of the half dozen or so versions of this classic - if this is, in fact, what they want: a highly dramatized experience. For me, I want a version, a little less excitable, and more neutral, so I can add my own inflections to the narrative voice in my head.

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  • lisa chester
  • 2019-03-16

the recording would never let me see the chapters

the recording will never let me get past chapter 2 if I shut off or pause the reading it would go back to chapter 2 not a good recording the narrator was spectacular though

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  • Michele Yates
  • 2021-04-06

Spoilers in chapter one

Great Expectations is a good listen. Just be careful not to listen to chapter one first. Of course that makes no sense, but chapter one is a discussion of the book which gives spoilers. Also, I like to form my own opinion of a book before hearing others opinions.

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  • avid reader
  • 2021-02-07

wonderful listen

extraordinary performance! classic story. highly recommended. a must listen for anyone that wants the true experience of Great Expectations

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  • Karla
  • 2021-01-12

Delightful and engrossing.

This Charles Dickens novel is a perfect candidate for an audible book read by a narrator who can bring life to the book’s many wonderful characters. As much as I enjoyed David Lean’s classic black and white movie adaptation, there are many left out characters and details to be found in the book. Listen to this if you are looking for an escape to another century. NOTE. The introduction includes a spoiler, so skip it unless you already know the outcome.