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Great Expectations: The Graphic Novel [graphic novel - Classical Comics] (2009)

de Charles Dickens

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In graphic novel format, presents an adaptation of Dickens' tale of an orphan growing up in Victorian England.
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I teach in a high school and saw this in the library, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm ashamed to admit I've never read Great Expectations, so I figured I could at least get the gist of the novel. I suppose this graphic novel did that for me, but only barely. I got just the barest idea of the story line. I was also disturbed by some of the illustrations. All of the characters looked mean, so it was sometimes hard to determine just through the sparse dialogue whether a character was angry or mean or just blessed with a permanent scowl. There was good detail in the illustrations, other than the facial expressions, especially in the background artwork. This would be a decent way to introduce someone to the novel, but it falls short of complete understanding. ( )
  hobbitprincess | Sep 26, 2017 |
The main character in "Great Expectations", Pip, goes on an adventure of self discovery. In order to gain the affection of Estella he must become a gentleman. With the help of an anonymous financial source his dream is closer than he thinks. Pip spends a great part of his life improving himself so that he may one day earn Estella’s love and affection. Charles Dickens weaves a wonderful story about love, loss, hope, and humanity, in his novel "Great Expectations".
Personal Reaction:
My first encounter with this book was when I was a freshman in high school and I love it. I’m a hopeless romantic so the lifelong love story and Pip’s obsession for Estella’s returned affection really captured my attention.
Extension Ideas:
1. I can ask my students to tell me what they would do if they were given money and a chance to leave home in order to become well educated adults.
2. In the classroom, my students can write a new ending to the story. They can have it end anyway they want it to end.
  sharletkanehl | Apr 12, 2011 |
This story begins in the years of 1812, when an orphan by the name of Pip. Pip goes through I journey that he could never have imagined as he meets character after character. These people, Pip does not realize will influence his life forever.

This story is a great adventure but made more for the older students. The graphic novel is based on comic book setting to catch the attention of students. This books illustration is very detailed and there are some questionable pictures, but this story will keep you wanting to read more and more.

This book would be great for the Literature classes in high school to help keep students more interested in the subject of choice. ( )
  NicolesBubble | Nov 12, 2010 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
I can’t recall when I last read Great Expectations. My most recent encounter with a graphic novel (whatever that term might mean) came several years ago, when I charged through Persepolis 2. My broader experience of comics, in short or long form, has been minimal. I therefore came to the Classic Comics edition of Great Expectations with a certain freshness –- or, perhaps, a certain ignorance.

This edition’s greatest shortcoming is the novel on which it’s based. Great Expectations is a novel that, when boiled down to its essentials, is a creaky, hollow beast; the narrative and textual condensation undertaken by Classic Comics is an admirable one, serviceably done, but it underscores the fact that Dickens’s greatest talent was not narrative but instead the generation and exploration of often grotesque characters. There’s more joy in his characters than there is in the narrative framework in which they exist.

Because it strips out a great deal of text, then, this edition must rely on the visual representation of the novel’s characters to convey that grotesqueness –- or, if not grotesqueness, then simply each character’s identity. It seems, by and large, to do that: this is a highly realistic, representational comic –- there are no flights of visual metaphor or sense of artful design, as in Satrapi –- but characters are provided with enough flourishes to convey a certain sense of the excess with which they’re depicted in Dickens’s original.

Even if these characters are all visually unique, however, their words are not –- and by that I mean the visual rendering of their words. This edition uses what I would (without a history of comic-book reading, mind you) characterize as a traditional comic-book script –- a uniform, vigorous, forward-leaning, machine-like all-caps style, with certain words bolded, evidently for emphasis, or perhaps simply for visual variety. (“MY OWN DOING. LOOKS PRETTY; DON’T IT? THAT’S A REAL FLAGSTAFF, YOU SEE, AND ON SUNDAYS I RUN UP A REAL FLAG.”) There’s an anonymity to it that’s jarring and flattening, all the more so because the creators of this edition have thought it fit to scatter throughout words that are “misspelled,” so as to represent a touch of dialect. This is done so seemingly at random, and the erraticness of these words evidently necessitated a note that appears on p. 6, opposite the opening page of the narrative, which insists to the reader that “[t]he text in this adaptation has been rigorously and diligently checked back to the original Dickens novel. Misspelled words (such as ‘pint’ instead of ‘point,’ opposite) that were used to imply an accent in the speaker are reproduced in this adaptation, to remain true to the author’s intentions.”

There is much to be marveled at in this note. But its presence underscores the fact the visual uniformity of the script implies a similar uniformity of spelling and grammar. Deviations from that therefore look particularly out of place and must be flagged with this note. A better solution would have been to regularize all language and not make any attempts to replicate Dickens’s misspell—-er, efforts to render dialect and pronunciation. As it stands, “pint” is a distraction and an antiquarian affectation.

That this note appears at all in this book, however, should be cause for praise, because it reflects a general sense of concern about the text that can sometimes be lacking in non-graphic-novel editions. That concern may simply be the result of the air of insecurity that lingers throughout this edition –- that this “frivolous” format must be bolstered with claims about the authenticity of Dickens’s text – but its acknowledgement that there’s such a thing as a text and thus textual history is laudable. (See in particular the note opposite the closing page of the narrative, on p. 147, which makes yet more questionable invocations of authorial intent but is refreshingly transparent in explaining the decision-making behind the closing line used.)

This edition of Great Expectations also supplies a helpful collection of supplementary texts, ranging from a brief biographical sketch of Dickens, a depiction of his family tree, several mini-essays that provide a historical context for the novel (on Newgate Prison and on transportation, for instance), and a spread on the making of the book. This edition lacks a list of books for further reading, which is a shortcoming; even a brief list of biographies and studies suitable for a general audience would be a useful addition, and it would add further to the seriousness this edition seems to yearn for.

As a physical object, this book is a delight: its production values are high, with glossy, heavy pages and a cover that has a pleasant mix of textures and colors. Classical Comics deserves praise for the care that went into the design and printing of this book.

In short: I’d buy this book as a gift for the teens in my family, with the expectation that it would provide a diverting story and also provide an opportunity for further reading to those who find themselves interested in Dickens and his times. It’s a good introduction to Dickens for the inexperienced, and there’s a seriousness about it that would justify use in the classroom. If only Dickens could have supplied something that would have better survived condensation into this format. ( )
  jarbuthnot | Jul 24, 2010 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Classical Comics has created a graphic novel from Charles Dickens’ wonderful coming-of-age story, Great Expectations. It comes in two formats, one using extracts of original text (my version) and one simplified with a quick text. I was hoping to re-read the original before reviewing this graphic novel, but I found myself with a few spare hours and devoured it without stopping.

I thought the graphic novel adaptation was excellent. The illustrations were great, the abridgement very good. The treatment includes Dickens’ many plot twists and the author’s humour and pathos is in here too. It is a great introduction to classic literature for 12-15 year olds. ( )
  merry10 | Aug 2, 2009 |
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In graphic novel format, presents an adaptation of Dickens' tale of an orphan growing up in Victorian England.

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