I tried to read the print version of this book three times before I picked up an audiobook. It was the best decision I could have made. I was afraid I’d never be able to make it through this book. Though I could have done without some of the details Dickens included, that was never why couldn’t finish it. I had the worst time understanding the speech of the people in the book. Since Dickens wrote in dialect, I had a hard time decoding what they were saying, especially Magwitch. This audiobook fixed that problem. Frank Muller reads the story perfectly. I’m positive I would have missed some of the intended humor without his expression. I’m an immediate fan of him. He brought this intimidating book to life for me.
I find it amazing that classic books like this are full of characters with such tragic flaws. I love and hate the characters all at once. Miss Havisham is such a horrid woman, until she finally shows Pip her true affection for him. Estella is so cold until she has a hard life. Suddenly, she gains some semblance of a heart. Pip, who was a kind little boy, gains wealth and becomes a total snob. He atones for his sins, but it’s just amazing what money, love, and hate can do. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story about his journey.
One thing I liked about this audiobook was it’s inclusion of the “other ending” Dickens wrote. I think I liked it a little better than the one he published. It just fit the story a little better to me. We all love happy endings. They’re appropriate for some books. But they’re not really necessary in all books. This book worked well either way, but I particularly liked the not-as-happy ending.
I was reading Shelf Awareness the other day, and there was a link that coupled books with the best directors to bring them to screen. They coupled this book with Tim Burton. I have to say, that’s the perfect decision. I would kill to see this done by him. He has such a good eye for period pieces and the gritty look of London. I can only imagine how perfect his Miss Havisham would look.