In February I signed up for "The Year of Reading Dangerously" Challenge. Unfortunately the challenge had started in January so I was already behind a month and a half. The good news was that my trip to Africa included about 40 hours of flying. During the trip I was able to finish January's book, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I'm just now able to get my review in.
What did I think of it? If you have not read it before, you must! Dickens was amazing. I love his characters. I had watched the movie years before(you know, the one with Gwyneth) and knew some of the storyline, but I was so unimpressed (and subsequently forgot a lot) with the movie, and the book was so much more complete in its story, that I enjoyed and was surprised by most of the plot twists.(I just reread that sentence and I'm not sure it's intelligible, sorry.)
I've read quite a few of Mr. Dickens' novels and I don't know if I just missed it before or if Great Expectations just had an extra handful, but it is so sarcastic. I found myself laughing out loud on the plane in a few parts.
I'm not going to critique the book or offer any sort of literary discussion. If you want a literary study, google "great expectations analysis" and you'll get 1.8 million hits.
I'm just going to say that I loved the story. I loved the quirky specifics he gave to the characters. I closely followed the choices of the hero, Pip, finding myself smiling at times, wincing at others and even wanting to smack him in the head with one of Joe's blacksmithing tools (or at least wishing Joe would). I even loved the ambiguity of the ending.
With Great Expectations, you can read one of literature's classics and thoroughly enjoy it. You don't have to "power through" or skulk in the knowledge that you just couldn't finish. It's an enjoyable read and I hope you give it a try!