I remember having to read that novel for ninth grade English class.
The teacher kept telling us it was a classic, but frankly it bored me to tears, probably because I always have preferred the drama that real life brings us rather than something concocted by imagination, no matter how well it is presented.
Mountain State sports fans - now there's real life -have Great Expectations these days.
Start with West Virginia University.
The Mountaineer football program has won 51 games in five years. Its recruiting class for 2010 is ranked as high as any WVU class in recent memory.
Coach Bill Stewart boldly proclaims the Mountaineers can contend for a national title. Good for him. He's supposed to believe that and to make believers of all those in his football program.
A program that next season will return virtually all of its major performers, with the noted exception of quarterback Jarrett Brown. The Mountaineers may return more starters than any other team in America. That includes the entire offensive line save for Selvish Capers and those of us who follow college football learned a long time that is the key unit as any team that can run the football, takes time off the clock and keep its defense on the sidelines is destined to be successful.
If you think there's great expectations for WVU football - which there is -wait to you see what is happening with Mountaineer basketball. You can't get a ticket to any of the remaining home games. They're all sold out. Bob Huggins has Mountaineer fans that excited about his third West Virginia team, which started the season in the top 10.
I laughed out loud when a Charleston sports writer devoted his column to saying perhaps WVU fans expected too much. When your team gets a preseason top 10 ranking, you have every right to expect a lot. I know Huggins expects more than he is getting from his underachieving team, which is more a collection of talented individuals than a cohesive unit.
Yet Huggins' team isn't the most successful one in Morgantown this winter. That honor goes to the Mountaineer women's team, under the direction of Mike Carey. Following Sunday's win over Pitt - nothing is sweeter than beating the Panthers in any sport - WVU is 17-1 and 5-0 in the Big East, where it is tied with top-ranked Connecticut.
But the great expectations of our sports teams don't end in Morgantown.
There's also major excitement on the campus of Marshall University.
Even before he has coached the Thundering Herd in a single game, Doc Holliday has put the life back into Marshall football. He's having a great recruiting year - including getting a couple of players to decommit from WVU and follow him to Marshall. He has Herd fans believing, something Mark Snyder never was able to accomplish in five seasons.
So does Donnie Jones. Like Huggins, Jones is in third year in Huntington and it's the best so far.