Charles Dickens (1821-1870) used his fiction to criticize the injustices of his time, especially the brutal treatment
of the poor. He is also the author of Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations. He was born in Portsmouth, England.
From the author of Jayne Slayre and in the bestselling tradition of such “monster classics” as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes a clever retelling of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations featuring Pip as a werewolf and Estella as a vampire slayer.
In Irwin’s reimagining of the Dickens classic, Orphan Pip is a werewolf. Pip’s sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery, is not, as lycanthrophy passes down through the male side, and this adds to her natural bitterness. Uncle Pumblechook is a zombie broker who gets Pip involved in the family business of exhuming bodies to zombify and sell to the gentry. Miss Havisham is a blood-sucking fiend whose hatred for Compeyson, the vampire who turned her, has caused her to channel her rage into training Estella to be a slayer of supernatural creatures. Pip and Estella believe they cannot be together as she has been nurtured to hate everything Pip represents...but Estella’s self-image is shaken when she discovers that she is half-werewolf herself. Can Pip and Estella ever find happiness and raise a litter of pups of their own?
Filled with plenty of supernatural surprises, this amusing tale will have fans of both Dickens and literary mash-ups clamoring for more.<
"Erwin's previous literary mashup, Jane Slayre, embodies the flawless union of supernatural fiction and the best of classic literature. She continues in this captivating and fascinating tradition, here taking on Dickens's Great Expectations. There are no glossy Hollywood creatures of the night within these pages but monsters that seem to have crawled from the darkest corners of Dickens's fertile imagination. The orphaned Pip is an unlikely werewolf, ever pining for the aloof slayer Estella, and Miss Havisham's hermetic existence amplifies her tortured suffering as a brokenhearted vampire. The twists and turns of the plot follow familiar paths into uncharted territory, leaving us reassured and spellbound all at once.
Verdict: The original Dickens is eerie and unsettling, and Erwin rises to the challenge, creating another masterpiece by making the strange even stranger. Highly recommended; astounding great fun! — Library Journal<
My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my occasionally altered infant tongue could make of either name nothing longer or more explicit than Pip, sometimes Yip. So I called myself Pip, on occasion Yip, and came to be called Pip. I give Pirrip as my father’s family name on the authority of his tombstone and my sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery, who married the silversmith. As I never saw my father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them, my first fancies regarding what they were like were unreasonably derived from their tombstones. The enormity of my father’s stone, the shape of the letters, gave me an odd idea that he was fierce and stout, requiring great effort to hold back even in death, with coarse black hair curling over every inch of him when the moon was full— for he was my sire in the truest sense, responsible for the beast within me, according to Mrs. Joe. From the character and turn of the inscription, “Also Georgiana, Wife of the Above,” I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly, entirely human.
The wolfish nature was passed from male to male down the line, Mrs. Joe said, almost with a grudging air by way of explanation. There had been known to be female werewolves, but only as infected by a bite and never by birth (again with the bitter tone). And birth, or at least infancy, was quite a trial for my kind, or so it seemed by the five little stone lozenges, each about a foot and a half long, which were arranged in a neat row beside my parents’ graves, and were sacred to the memory of five little brothers of mine, who gave up exceedingly early in that universal struggle.
I believed that they had all been born as pink gasping babes, unable to cope with the violence of transformation when the first moon came and proved too strong a foe for their inferior infant bodies. I, on the other hand, was born under a full moon as a robust pup, and stronger in wolf form to handle the force of the change when it next came on, for experience had taught me that werewolf to human was a much less traumatic transformation than human to wolf.
Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within twenty miles of the sea. My first vivid and broad impression of the identity of things seems to have been gained on a memorable raw evening under a full moon. At such a time I found out for certain that this bleak place overgrown with nettles was the churchyard, where Philip Pirrip, late of this parish, and also Georgiana, wife of the above, were buried. And that Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and Roger, infant children of the aforesaid, also dead, were buried. And that the small bundl
Growing up an orphan, being raised up by hand thanks to his much older sister, getting accosted by a convict, and falling in love with the most unattainable girl he knows, all of these things would make life tough. Add to this the fact that you are a werewolf, and, well, you have Pip's lot in life. After an odd encounter with a convict werewolf, Pip's life becomes a serious of curious encounters, including the vampire Miss Havisham, the slayer Estella, and a mysterious benefactor who is determined to make Pip into a gentleman werewolf. What does the future hold for Pip?
I am a sucker for dark and gloomy novels, so one would think I would adore Dickens, but oddly enough I do not. I do not actively dislike Dickens, I just find him difficult to read. So thank goodness for Sherri Browning Erwin. Her gothic revision of Great Expectations made me love this story. Once again, she proves that literary mashup genre can be something magical when done correctly; sadly, few authors are as adept at the genre as she. I had not read the original story since high school, so picking up this book was like walking down a somewhat familiar path that has grown dark and shadowy. I loved that feeling.
Sherri stays true to the heart and soul of the Dickens classic, but I really love the liberties she has taken with the characters. I love the juxtoposition of werewolves, vampires, and of course the slayer Estella. I liked seeing Pip struggle with his wolvish nature, it added a bit of latent sexuality into an otherwise completely chaste tale.
Clearly, there is a huge theme of transformation in the novel. The wolves transform, not only due to the moon but due to their own passions. Pip is being transformed into a gentleman, while Estella into a slayer. Miss Havisham was transformed into a vampire, and a broken woman. Dead people are transformed into zombies. And a dusty literary classic is transformed into a riveting supernatural novel.
And I, dear readers, was transformed into a Dickens fan.
Pip Pirrip definitely didn't have an easy start in life.You see he is a werewolf whose mother and father are dead. So he was raised by his older sister Mrs. Joe Gargery who he calls Mrs. Joe. She is a harsh woman who rules with an iron fist, or should I say with a silver tipped cane she likes to call the Tickler. Pip hunts escaped convicts while also trying to hide his wolfish tendencies from the girl he has fallen in love with, but when he learns that his lady love is actually someone that slays supernatural creatures you can't help but wonder how things will work out for Pip! Will love prevail, or will Pip's lady love be the end of him?
Having never read Charles Dickens Great Expectations,I was anxious to read this supernatural spin on the classic, but overall for me it was just an okay read. I found myself rereading parts of it to grasp the language that was used.Once I got into the groove of the story, it moved along quite well, and I did enjoy the characters.I thought it was interesting that in this story vampires were considered civilized and welcome in society while werewolves weren't. While I would consider this book a middle of the road read for me, I think it will appeal to a wide audience, from anyone who enjoys their classic tales rewritten with a paranormal twist, to fans who enjoy werewolves,vampires and the conflict that goes along with slayers wanting to eradicate supernatural beings.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.
Grave Expectations is a new paranormal retelling of Great Expectations.
I love these recent adaptations of the classics. Sherri Browning Erwin takes the old characters Pip, now a were wolf, and Estelle turned slayer, Erwin turns our classics upside down.
I love the snark inherit in Erwin's book. Both Jane Slayer and now Grave Expectations had been fabulous reads for me. There is this great lot of dark description in the novel and it give the scenery of the book a whole new feel. One minute we are rooting for Pip, and another sympathizing with Estelle.
If you like your classics in a whole new light, then Grave Expectations will really surprise.
I enjoyed reading this one immensely and have fun comparing the passages between this adaptation and the original.
"Erwin's previous literary mashup, Jane Slayre, embodies the flawless union of supernatural fiction and the best of classic literature. She continues in this captivating and fascinating tradition, here taking on Dickens's Great Expectations. There are no glossy Hollywood creatures of the night within these pages but monsters that seem to have crawled from the darkest corners of Dickens's fertile imagination. The orphaned Pip is an unlikely werewolf, ever pining for the aloof slayer Estella, and Miss Havisham's hermetic existence amplifies her tortured suffering as a brokenhearted vampire. The twists and turns of the plot follow familiar paths into uncharted territory, leaving us reassured and spellbound all at once. Verdict: The original Dickens is eerie and unsettling, and Erwin rises to the challenge, creating another masterpiece by making the strange even stranger. Highly recommended; astounding great fun! — Library Journal