Thursday, November 29, 2007

expectations exceeded

This morning, we finished the novel "Great Expectations". It took three whole months for two very plausible reasons:
1. it is a long book. (380 pages in the unabridged Dover edition.)
2. it was read aloud. This very old-fashioned way to read a book is highly recommended for optimal family participation and enjoyment.
When we first began, the rambling and embellished descriptions of everything from the weather to facial features grated on our fast-food nerves. We wanted an action-packed storyline and we wanted it now. After re-setting our tolerance dial to a slower speed, we settled into letting Dickens unwind his tale at a nineteenth-century pace. By the time the plot began to thicken, we were enamoured with Pip (the main character) and Joe Gargery the blacksmith ("ever the best of friends...").
I encouraged the kids to stick with me in this endeavor and the process was helped along by watching the movie version from the local library. We struck gold with this, and although we broke down and viewed the ending before we had finished the book, it didn't ruin the final chapters.
Our next literary adventure? Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Anyone want to read a part?


Blogger Darlene Sinclair said...

My kids love reading Shakespeare together. At least they seem to enjoy it. I guess I don't know that for sure.
At any rate, I love it, and I am sure your crowd will do great with Hamlet!
I have a movie version of that (I think...) that I considered a good rendition, if you're interested.

7:45 PM  
Blogger brietta said...

I've heard the reason Dickens' novels are so long is that he was paid per word. Is that true?

12:51 AM  
Blogger TrashTidBits said...

Check my blog for some interesting pictures. Got anytime for coffee and some chit chat? I leave next Thursday for Texas.

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll pass on Hamlet, but bravo on Dickens! May I humbly suggest Tale of Two Cities for next year? Good stuff!

7:49 PM  

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