I'm on the last 40 pages of Great Expectations and can't wait to post about it. Like everyone on the planet, I read this is school. And I loved it then. But, I love it even more now. I was astounded at how modern it felt, how Dickens' voice sounds so contemporary. A couple of times I even got suckered into absentmindedly wondering how authentic the dialogue really is, before jolting myself into realizing that the book was written more or less in the time it's set. Yes, he's that good. Here's the brilliant opener, no doubt familiar, but worth recaling...
"My father's family name being Pirrip, and my christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.
I gave Pirrip as my father's family name, on the authority of this tombstone and my sister—Mrs. Joe Gargery, who married the blacksmith."
The picture is one I shot of an overgrown cemetary in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow.