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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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Not the best of performance

The performance was way too animated for my taste. The desire to mimic each and every character turned them into caricatures and this heavily affected the serious conversations in the book. In particular, Mrs. Havisham was reduced to a joke and the most important conversation of her with Pip urging him to love Estella was turned into a comic scene.
It's not necessary to add theatrics to every character...

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A great read. A better listen

A fantastic narration of one of the cornerstones of victorian literature. Would highly recommend it to everyone, even if you've read the book already. Can't wait to explore the rest of The Dickens Collection by Audible.

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  • John
  • 30-07-19

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.

10 people found this helpful

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  • J. Day Mattson
  • 14-04-19

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
  • 12-06-19

performance tops!

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

3 people found this helpful

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  • Gracie
  • 26-03-19

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!

3 people found this helpful

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  • J. Whittle
  • 25-02-21

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ichardander
  • 18-01-21

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
  • 16-03-19

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

3 people found this helpful

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  • Michele Yates
  • 06-04-21

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
  • 07-02-21

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
  • 12-01-21

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.

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  • reba
  • 24-07-19

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.)




19 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs. R. E. Chandler
  • 07-10-18

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.

25 people found this helpful

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  • ACD
  • 09-05-19

Perfect for the commute

As others have said, skip the introduction as it is loaded with spoilers.

Narration was spot on. Matt Lucas does a great job and doesn't resport to the ministry of silly voices at all, which I was slightly nervous about when I downloaded the book.

Story is a meander of events ranging from absorbing to improbable but the writer paints an engaging picture throughout. Perfect for whiling away a daily commute.

5 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 06-09-18

A great tale indeed

A brilliant narration by Matt Lucas, throughly enjoyed this tale from days past, highly recommended

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-03-19

Worth 10 credits

I don't believe anything new can be said about "Great Expectations", buying this audio book I already loved it having read it several times previously however Matt Lucas is an incredible narrator, it is heaven to listen to, no visual interpretation could be as vivid and rich and bring the characters to life in all their colourful eccentricities as he does.
I would recommend this to anyone.....I LOVED every single minute.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Mikey
  • 19-07-18

Wonderfully enveloped in Dickensian description

There is something indescribable about the way in which Charles Dickens is able to take you on a journey depicting the dark and often repulsive nature of living in the 1800s. With his incredible ability to act out so many different types of characters and accents, Matt Lucas does a stirling job bringing the characters in this book to life.

Without rambling on too much about a book that really needs no introduction or review, I'd urge anyone to spend their credit on this, regardless of their age or genre preferences for books. This is a masterpiece written by one of the most celebrated authors of all time and told wonderfully by one of the most comically-gifted voice actors of our time, a winning combination that will take you on a journey back into the 1800s and leave you wanting more each time you switch off your device.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Maria Fernandez
  • 06-11-19

A beautiful reading of an at times dull story

I have to confess, I’ve enjoyed the performance more than the story itself. The story goes from the sublime to the predictable, back to the sublime and then down to dullness and sentimentality. The performance, however, never lets you down.

2 people found this helpful

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  • MG
  • 17-10-18

Fantastically narrated

A classic tale superbly told. Matt does a fantastic job, thoroughly enjoyed this book. hurrah

5 people found this helpful

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  • aidan
  • 13-01-21

Excellent performance - Wonderful writing

Wonderfully written and a fantastic performance. A classic with each passing day and a truly engaging story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Brionie
  • 01-11-20

Fabulous narration

Matt Lucas’ narration was fantastic, he bought all the characters to life. He was engaging and entertaining. The best performance of an audio book I have heard.


1 person found this helpful

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  • Sue
  • 15-12-19

Fabulous tale, beautifully read by Matt Lucas

To quote the actress Miriam Margolyes , "Dickens is best read aloud". If you have ever struggled with reading Dickens in print form, rest assured that having the same novel read to you by someone of the caliber of Matt Lucas is a totally different and entirely wonderful experience. Highly recommended.

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  • Jackson
  • 15-05-19

Either I am blind or I cannot find a way to return

Hi. I would like to refund this book because I have purchased the same title read by Eddy Izzard. I have tried to go to Audible website but after I have signed in something weird happened. After I put the sign details in, I was shown a web page that wants me to become a member and do a free trail. No mention of say I put a wrong detail, it just showed me the page for a non member and no other menu to even try to navigate. Now I am in Amazon website, I cannot find the refund option. I am enjoying the Eddy Izzard version and I would really like this version to be returned. Please fix this issue.

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  • Chris from Oz
  • 30-01-19

Now that’s how you narrate a story

So expertly read by Matt Lucas and Howard Jacobson. This really is how you should narrate a book with various characters, wonderfully read..Each character brought to life, if you closed your eyes you could imagine yourself actually in the scene.
Another Dickens masterpiece, if you’ve never heard or read Dickens this would be quite a place to start.