Mixing It Up challenge, and because a new BBC miniseries production of it will be airing where I live in April. Very excited about that. I first read this book in high school (we won't say how long ago), and remember almost nothing from that reading except that I liked it. I liked it again--why not? It has everything I enjoy about Dickens.
The sense of place is all I could hope for, from the bleak marshes, to the village blacksmith's bare, plain home, to the eerie decay of Miss Havisham's mansion, to the bustle and corruption of the London criminal courts. This will, I think, be the chief pleasure of watching it on TV.
There are of course, the incredibly vivid characters--dear Joe and deranged Miss Havisham stand out in my mind, but there is hardly a character in the book, however minor, who is one-dimensional, whose motivations we don't get at least a glimpse of. Even "Trabb's boy," annoyer of Pip in the early days, reappears in a whole new light at the end, unexpected and yet exactly right.
And the writing itself is pure pleasure. A random selection: "I looked as grateful as any boy possibly could, who was wholly uninformed why he ought to assume that expression." "If he had shown indifference as a master, I have no doubt I should have returned the compliment as a pupil; he gave me no such excuse, and each of us did the other justice." "The white vapor of the kiln was passing from us as we went by, and, as I had thought a prayer before, I thought a thanksgiving now." It's hard to find a sentence that isn't graceful and packed with nuance.
Great, great fun.