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Pip is an orphan, brought up in a village on the Essex marshes by his disagreeable sister and her husband Joe Gargery, the kind-hearted village blacksmith. Life is harsh and Pip has few prospects until he receives from an anonymous benefactor the chance of escaping the forge for a more promising life in London. But his expectations are fraught with difficulties as he is haunted by figures from his past such as the escaped convict Magwitch, the eccentric Miss Havisham, and her proud and beautiful ward, Estella. As he passes from childhood to adulthood he in time discovers his true self.
Powerfully moving, the story is immersed in Dickens's own memories of the past, raising questions about the extent to which individuals affect each other's lives.
Often considered Dickens's best-loved work, Great Expectations features some of his most memorable characters and continues to attract fans of all ages.
Dickens was one of eight children from a very poor family, with his father eventually being sent to debtors' prison. At the age of 12, Dickens had no choice but to start work in order to help clear the family debt. It was this troublesome childhood that provided him with much of the material for his novels and lent him a sympathetic voice for the poor.
Martin Jarvis is one of Britain's most admired actors. His audiobook output is legendary. He is described in Vanity Fair as 'the Olivier of audiobooks' and 'genius of the Spoken Word' in the LA Times. Award-winning recordings range from titles by Charles Dickens, P.G. Wodehouse and Michael Frayn to thrillers by Jeffrey Archer, Wilbur Smith, Ian Fleming and Dick Francis. Martin's BBC Just William recordings are worldwide best sellers.
Martin Jarvis has starred in many acclaimed West End and National Theatre productions and received the Theatre World Award as Jeeves on Broadway. Numerous UK television appearances encompass Law & Order, Doctor Who, Endeavour, Inspector Morse and The Forsyte Saga. In America: Murder She Wrote, Numb3rs, Cosmos and Walker, Texas Ranger. Films include Titanic, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Wreck-It Ralph. Videogames: 'Alfred' in Batman, 'Finn McMissile' in Cars.
Martin is invested by HM the Queen as Officer of Order of the British Empire (OBE).
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Great Expectations delivered
This is one of the greatest works of English literature read with enormous intelligence and understanding by an excellent actor. I had read Dickens as a young man and liked him, but listening to this reading of Great Expectations was a revelation, showing me for the first time how truly great he is. If you only ever listen to one audiobook, this should be the one.