Well, I think this may be a record.
I started "Great Expectations" on Sunday night, and I have just finished it an hour ago. Three days! Dear me.
It was my first introduction to the famous Pip, who I will never, never forget. As far as winsome and compelling narrators go, he is right up there with Cassandra Mortmain and Holden Caulfield.
Reading this book, and writing this review, I feel such a sense of frustration that there's nobody to TALK to about it! Even if you've read it, it was probably a while ago. (Finally - the reason for Lit classes - so SOMEBODY is reading the same good book that you are reading.)
It makes me really, really, really miss Sandy. Did I ever tell you she was my grade 12 English teacher? I was 15, she was 25.
I bought a copy of "Villette" from a local used-bookstore a few years ago, and after Sandy died I finally got around to reading it. I opened up to the first page, and guess whose handwriting I saw, noting: "space and time harmonious"?
Yep, it had been Sandy's copy, from one of her university Lit classes, taken to the store after a fit of purging, as part of a misplaced effort to "help my family not have to deal with so much, later".
All this is to say, I wish she was still alive JUST to talk about "Great Expectations" with me. I can see it now: I would call her up and say "Can I come over tonight?" and she would say "YES! Yesyesyes, I was JUST going to call you!" We'd hang up and then fifteen minutes later I'd be at her door, Pip in hand, saying "WHAT ABOUT THIS HAVISHAM NONSENSE!!!" and she'd throw herself back on the couch, hands held in front of her, palms up, fingers clawed towards the heavens, scream out "AAUUUGGHHH!!! HAVISHAM, I CAN'T STAND IT!!!" And then we'd move on to the pathos of the whole thing, and I'd say "Joe!! Joe!! That's the worst part!!" and she'd say "'Wot Larks!'" and then we'd both dissolve into tears.
Then we'd have an extremely strong coffee and she'd dig out some chocolate.
A few other notes:
* Dickens had an amazing ability to change up his voice and his style. Great Expectations is completely different from A Christmas Carol is completely different from Barnaby Rudge is completely different from Tale of Two Cities.
* I laughed so hard at this book, I shouted out loud several times.
* I cried so hard at this book, I alerted several startled passersby to the fact that no, that car is NOT empty. There is a sobbing woman sitting behind the wheel, poor soul.
* I loved this book and loved the way it ended, and loved the.........[trying not to give it away] surprising negative aspects of the plot.
Mrs. Dalloway awaits. Onward.