The novel's first chapter is really atmospheric, containing vivid descriptions of the marshland and the graveyard. Things begin in quite an exciting manner too, because, our protagonist, a boy named Pip, is turned upside-down at the graveyard by some guy who also stole his bread. Good stuff. And I'm not even being sarcastic.
While reading, I keep getting this feeling that Great Expectations or maybe Dickens's work in general should be read aloud. The rrrrr sounds in this passage, for example, tickled my ear when I read it out loud:
"A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped, and shivered, and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin."So far, Pip's sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery, has made me laugh out loud, especially when she's abusing her fair husband. I also like the easy camaraderie between Pip and his brother-in-law Joe, despite the twenty-year age difference. I want to see what's going to happen to all of them, especially with that man in the graveyard. We haven't been formally introduced yet.
I'm just feeling my way blindly as I go along, because I know very little about the plot of Great Expectations. I didn't look up the summary on purpose, because I like the sense of mystery that goes with not knowing almost anything about the book you're reading.
On to Chapter Three...