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Sunday, September 14, 2008

I recommend Mister Pip

I resisted picking up this book at the library (more on this later) for weeks. Would it be a blasphemous interpretation or take on my all time favourite Great Expectations? Would it be someone's desperate attempt at writing fame through the brilliance of Dickens' characters?

But I couldn't resist a book that had Pip in its title. I succumbed. I surrender.

This book by Lloyd Jones is fantastic. I always give award winning books a try (in the sad hope that some day, some one would pick up mine)... but not many of these manage to bowl me over.

Lloyd Jones did. I could easily have been Mathilda, and at times the slower Daniel. I could have even been Mr Watts, making Great Expectations his very own story.

I remember getting lost in Havisham's gardens, imagining myself as Estella and Pip in turns... and in fact when I re-read the book in my late-teens, sans boyfriend or even a hope of one, I even thought of myself as Mrs Havisham.

Mathilda's anger at Pip for spurning Joe, could well have been mine. But which one of us is not guilty of being mean to the people who care about us?

Having finished Mr Pip, I think it's time to revisit my old love... I don't know why I haven't touched GE in the last 10 years... I re-read David Copperfield at least twice in this period, and I love the former more.

But before you go away thinking Mister Pip is about Great Expectations alone, let me set the record straight. It's about the great expectations and hopes of its character... some realised, some brutally terminated.
Thanks Mr Jones.

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