Manga Classics: Great Expectations by Stacy King, Crystal S. Chan (Story Adaptation), Nokman Poon (Illustrations) & Charles Dickens
My Rating: 5 Stars
I’m going to be honest: I really really don’t like Charles Dickens. There, I’ve said it. I had to read Hard Times and Great Expectations for a university course and, until today, they were probably the two novels that took me the longest to finish. However, I absolutely loved the adaptation to Manga. Congratulations to Stacy King, Nokman Poon and Crystal Chan for another brilliant Manga Classic!
Great Expectations tells the story of Pip, a boy from the low class that is given the opportunity to have a better life. With his chance, he discovers that power and money can change a person and is reminded that the past can always come back to haunt you. It’s a timeless tale of opportunities, mystery, love, redemption and second chances.
Here is my deal with Charles Dickens: I like the stories but his style of writing is too tedious for me. In this brilliant manga adaption, the story is made simple and very enjoyable. For someone that hasn’t read the novel before the story is very understandable and easy to follow. I’m very glad that there is a limit of pages per adaptation even though the story loses a bit of its depth, but I think the idea is to make the story more accessible to all ages.
The art is simply breathtaking. The dress designs are very beautiful and pleasant to look at and the facial expressions of the characters are very well developed. I could feel the emotions of each scene from the drawings and the different atmospheres from the different places in the novel. I especially liked the manor of Miss Havisham and the dusty darkish room she is in, and I think it represents perfectly the state of her life and her unhappiness.
My favourite character was and still is Estella. For me, she is the representation of how one is the fruit of their education, of the culture they receive since very young. She was taught how to hide her feelings, to be someone other than who she could become without the toxic influence of Miss Havisham. Pip is also a great character; I like his development as a character. With him, I think the lesson is you should never forget where you come from because those are the first pillars of your character. In the end, he becomes a better person because he remembers that and manages to break free of the culture of appearances of high society.
The first adaptation that actually made me appreciate the genius of Charles Dickens!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Udon Entertainment, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.