Great Expectations by Charles Dickens


Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, 1861


My favorite quote: “I am what you designed me to be. I am your blade. You cannot now complain if you also feel the hurt.”


Notable characters: Pip, an orphan who dreams of one becoming a gentleman; Mrs. Joe, his hot-tempered older sister; Joe, her husband; Miss Havisham, a wealthy spinster; Estella, her adopted daughter


Most memorable scene: Pip meeting the convict in the cemetery jumped to my mind so I’ll go with that


Greatest strengths: It’s a toss-up between the imagery and the characters. Dickens excels at both, and Great Expectations serves as a great example of either


Standout achievements: As far as I know, there is only one way to travel to another time and place — and that is to read Charles Dickens. His command of the language, his life-like characters, and above all, his vivid descriptions, remain unsurpassed. So, if you’ve ever wondered what it must have been like to walk down the streets of London in the early to mid 19th century, check out Great Expectations


Fun Facts: The first film adaptation of Great Expectations was in 1917. It was a silent movie starring Jack Pickford, and is now a lost film


Other media: Too numerous to mention


What it taught me: The first time I read this, many, many moons ago, I couldn’t help noticing the way the story arc built right up to the middle of the book, and then just kind of … petered out. For a long time, I was convinced that poor Mr. Dickens must have had a stroke right in middle of this book … until I learned the way that story arcs were constructed back then. These days, the tension climbs throughout the book, climaxing at the end. In Dickens’ day, though, story arcs frequently peaked at the midpoint and slowly simmered down for a nice, quiet ending. I didn’t know that until I read this book


How it inspired me: There are definite traces of Miss Havisham in my character, The Black Wasp (from the book of the same name) as well as in the ghostly Bride of Ravencrest in the Thorne and Cross series, The Ravencrest Saga
Additional thoughts: I’m definitely a fan of this one — just to be clear


Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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