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Great Expectations cover art

Great Expectations

By: Charles Dickens, Howard Jacobson
Narrated by: Matt Lucas, Howard Jacobson
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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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Great Story, Great Narrator, Great Expectations

Probably Dickens' greatest work, brought to life by a fabulous narrator. Great Expectations is also one of Dickens' most accessible works with a lot less of the waffle that fills his more weighty tomes.

However, if you don't know the story then I suggest you skip the introduction narrated by Howard Jacobson, because he gives away the entire plot.

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Great Expectations delivered.

A thoroughly enjoyable story: better than the David Lean film which is my favourite adaptation. Matt Lucas performed all parts well with the exception of Magwitch; a large man who would never had the screechy voice portrayed. That said; it was well narrated.

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fantastic

I've always loved this book and Matt Lucas ' reading recreates all the characters brilliantly

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Matt Lucas is wonderful

Wonderfully read bringing the story alive making me laugh out loud in places.
Hope Matt Lucas reads more as he was so good doing all the voices in appropriate ways!

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Marvellous

Matt Lucaa is really excellent at narrating this timeless classic. Really recommend this book

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beware: spoilers in the introduction to this book!

this is a great, great reading of a classic novel, and Matt Lucas is a genius, on form. the introductory essay contains major spoilers, as if Howard Jacobson has assumed that everybody listening will already know the story through and through. Still comes highly recommended: just don't listen to the intro until after, if at all.

another favourite in this series of new recordings is the brilliantly nuanced reading of Little Dorrit by that other genius, Juliet Stevenson, who brings out all the subtle light, shade, and humour in that book, just as Matt Lucas does here. Both readers – and readings – are national treasures.

(amongst the slightly older recordings of other Dickens on audible, the readings by simon vance, nicholas boulton, and anton lesser are also superb, and there is an amazing video of simon callow talking about dickens at the sydney opera house in 2019, on youtube, fyi.)




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Excellent rendition

Matt Lucas was perfect for this rendition, my only issue was when the character voices reminded me of the tv ones but that just added piquancy. All in all I really enjoyed listening to this book.

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Sensational

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Matt Lucas brought it to life with his incredible narration, I felt like I knew all of the characters personally, a must listen.

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Brilliant

If you like Dickens, this is a must. I think it was the best of all of his books. Brilliantly narrated and a book I will return to

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Wonderful

Matt does wonderful job of performing this well loved tale. I listened to the whole book in 3 days and I am sure it won't be long before I do so again. Thanks Matt!

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