Friday, December 23, 2016

Four of the worst fictional holidays

At the B&N Reads blog, Jenny Kawecki tagged four of the worst holidays in fiction, including:
Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations opens on Christmas Eve, as orphaned Pip visits the graves of his parents and siblings. While there, he’s accosted by a recently escaped convict, who bullies Pip into stealing food and a file to get rid of his handcuffs. Later, instead of thanking Pip for his help, the convict gets violent, and Pip runs home to spend Christmas Day stewing in guilt over the whole affair. Life gradually improves when Pip starts visiting creepy Miss Havisham, falls in love with her ward Estella, and starts receiving money from a mysterious benefactor, but still. Not the best holiday memory for a seven-year-old.
Read about another entry on the list.

Great Expectations appears on Lynne Truss's 6 best books list, Charlotte Seager's list of five well-known literary obsessives who take things too far, TheReadDown's list of seventeen books to read during wedding season, Phoebe Walker's list of eight of the best feasts quotes in literature, Rachel Cooke's top ten list of single women, Robert Williams's top ten list of loners in fiction, Chrissie Gruebel's top ten list of books set in London, Melissa Albert's list of five interesting fictional characters who would make undesirable roommates, Janice Clark's list of seven top novels about the horrors of adolescence, Amy Wilkinson's list of five books Kate Middleton should have read while waiting to give birth, Kate Clanchy's top ten list of novels that reflect the real qualities of adolescence, Joseph Olshan's list of six favorite books, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best clocks in literature, ten of the best appropriate deaths in literature, ten of the best castles in literature, ten of the best Hamlets, ten of the best card games in literature, and ten best list of fights in fiction. It also made Tony Parsons' list of the top ten troubled males in fiction, David Nicholls' top ten list of literary tear jerkers, and numbers among Kurt Anderson's five most essential books. The novel is #1 on Melissa Katsoulis' list of "twenty-five films that made it from the book shelf to the box office with credibility intact."

Read an 1861 review of Great Expectations.

--Marshal Zeringue