Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

GreatExpectations2012

I started reading Great Expectations back in late June 2013, by signing up to dailylit.com. That way a piece would be sent to my email every day, and I just needed to read that part for that day. If I stuck through it, I would get through Great Expectations in 229 installments – or 229 days.

And I did. Slightly quicker than that because there were days when I felt like reading more and I only needed to press a link in the email to get the next installment.

I did not think when I embarked on this project that I was going to get til the end, but I did. I think it was almost 7 months long, wow. I found out that now I could get through any thick classics by doing the same thing. Thank you dailylit!

I do believe that I probably wouldn’t finish GE if I read it the normal way. It’s not that I didn’t like it, but like most thick classics, there are parts that are interesting, and some parts that are simply boring, boring, boring, you’d-rather-do-anything-else-apart-from-reading boring. With this method, I only needed to read a small chunk every day, and made steady progress anyway. We read countless emails and web pages every day (or at least I do), why not treat this installment like any other email that I have to read? Also that way I was free to read other books the normal way, so it didn’t feel like I was hogging all my time to read this one thick classic.

So that is how I got through Great Expectations. I recommend this method if you have failed before by reading it the “normal way”.

I quite like the story, though at the end there are too many coincidences that made it a bit soap-opera like. Also I wish the boring parts could be abridged. There were a few events, usually somebody visiting somebody or a group of people visiting a group of people, and the description and conversation just went on and on. As I only read a few hundred words every day, this event could go on for something like a week or more, and induced internal comments like: Omg, are we still here? Can’t we just move on?

I watched the latest (2012) movie adaptation as soon as I finished the book – which was alright. I think everyone is pretty well cast. The only one that was a bit off was probably Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham. I usually like her, but I picture Ms Havisham to be very skinny (and most people do, or she’s even described as so by Dickens), but HBC is a bit too.. buxom. I’d love to see the depiction by Gillian Anderson in the older GE movie.

Mee’s Rating: 3.5/5

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and the Disney Movie

A Christmas Carol - Dickens

I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their house pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

Their faithful Friend and Servant,
C.D

One fine day I finished my book on the way to work and had nothing to read on the way back — serious problem, because one way trip took me almost an hour.

I was in panic mode for a while before I got an idea to print out a few pages of a free book from the net. I was looking for something short and could fit into any of my challenges. A Christmas Carol was pretty much the only one that sprang to mind (as a bonus it counts for at least three of my challenges!).Charles_Dickens

I read the first chapter and decided to continue the rest with audio-book performed by Patrick Stewart, as recommended by Sarah Miller. She said the audio book is abridged but it’s one of the best she ever listened to. Believe it or not, I had NEVER tried audio book before. About time. It worked perfectly since it’s short and Patrick Stewart delivered the atmosphere and mood very well.

Reading or listening however, I had a hard time not to picture it as comical. I watched the Disney adaption of it when I was small and that was the only version of A Christmas Carol that I knew for the longest time. It doesn’t help that the main character’s named Scrooge. For me any Scrooge is Scrooge McDuck, especially when he’s stingy and grumpy.

From this short story, I could tell that Dicken’s is not easy one to read. I found the use of the language or words were quite odd. Or maybe just old.

Mickeys Christmas Carol

I watched the Disney short of Mickey’s Christmas Carol after finishing the book and enjoyed it immensely. Who plays Ebeneizer Scrooge better than his namesake, Scrooge McDuck? He’s perfect! All the characters cast really well. Mickey as the poor clerk, Donald as the nephew (nephew! What a coincidence!), and Goofy as Marley – Scrooge’s dead partner (not generally scary, but Goofy can be anything if he wants to). Jiminy Cricket is the Ghost of Christmas Past, Willie the Giant (from Mickey and the Beanstalk) as the Ghost of Christmas Present, and evil Pete as the Ghost of Christmas Future. Daisy Duck plays Scrooge’s youth love and Minnie Mouse as Mickey’s wife (with mini Mickey as Tiny Tim).

I imagine that if I read the story by itself, I may have not liked the fact that the moral lessons are too ‘in your face’. That’s why the cartoon works perfectly as the medium, because the whole thing is comical — the premise, the characters, the ghosts.

The short is nominated for Oscar in 1984 for Best Animated Short Film.

mickey's christmas carol

This book and movie would be my first entry for Disney Literature Challenge. Following Sarah’s lead, I’ll give my verdict for each battle.

DLC

Disney Literature Challenge Round 1

Disney vs. Dickens
on A Christmas Carol

*drum roll*

.

.

.

This time I can easily give my vote to Disney.

Please. No crying. There will be more battles to come!

Score
Disney – 1 vs. Authors – 0

Ratings
Book: 3.5 stars (1843, 88 pp)
Movie: 9/10 (1983, 26 min)

First line
Marley was dead: to begin with.

Last line
And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!

Also reviewed by
Rebecca Reads
| Aneca’s World | Dreadlock Girl | Book Nut | Vulpes Libris | One Persons Journey Through A World of Books | Bobbi’s Book Nook |MariReads (audio book – Jim Dale) | at home with books (Mickey’s Christmas Carol) | 5 Minutes for Books (The Muppet Christmas Carol)

Did I miss yours?

ps: I’m going to save The Muppet Christmas Carol for this Christmas.

Challenges
R.I.P. IV (book #3), (Another) 1% Well-Read (book #7), The Spice of Life (book #3), 1001 Books Before You Die (book #25), Disney Literature Challenge (book #1)

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