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“I absolutely adore “Nicholas Nickleby.” Nowhere else in Dickens are the comic grotesques unleashed at such full-throttle, nowhere else are the villains quite so deliciously wicked, no where else are the saintly victims so close to holiness, no where else are the bodhisattvas quite so quirkily...”see full review » see other reviews »
“I wish people had more time to read nowadays; I wish I had more time to read: we could then appreciate the magnificent beauty of this tome without the hurry and quick pace of modern life, but reflect on it, reflect on how education was as essential then as it is now to have a happy life; reflect on who is undermining it, why and how. Reflect on that beautiful feeling which is empathy and how we want good youths to do well, but are incapable of helping (or unwilling), reflect on how little we have moved on from the Victorian Age; we may have shredded it up into digestible chunks for the fast pace of modern life, but the staple of our cultural diet is, in reality, still the same.
Take a holiday from your crazy life and read it!”
“I would give this three stars, but Dickens has again created a number of seductive secondary characters that grip my interest and my sympathy beyond reason. His sense of the absurd mingles with his heartfelt protest against injustice, but he mixes his political and social agenda into stories of strong personalities with a sure hand.”Robin Winter wrote this review Friday, April 26, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“One of the great books of English literature - so no need to bore you with a review. I loved it.
Also - the unabridged audio read by Alex Jennings is nothing short of phenomenal.”
“Nicholas Nickleby was serialised between 1838 and 1839. It is almost 900 pages long and comprises 65 chapters. Charles Dickens was 26 years old when it was released - his third novel, following on from The Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist. One further statistic of note is that the bus ride from Tollesbury to Maldon that I undertake each day for work lasts almost exactly a Nicholas Nickleby chapter. As such, given that it was originally published as a long running serial, I feel that little bus journey contributed greatly to me finishing only my second Charles Dickens novel.
Anyway - on with the review!
The novel, as you would expect, follows the eponymous hero in various encounters that shape both his own future and that of those he comes to love and befriend. He is opposed all the way by his dastardly money-lending Uncle Ralph who enlists the help of various unbecoming fellows, including the wicked schoolmaster Wackford Squeers and the old lecher Arthur Gride, in his attempts to thwart the young upstart in his quest to see goodness triumph. If you throw into the mix the vaudevillian Crummles family, a mad old man with very small clothes who throws vegetables over the fence in order to woo Nicholas' mother and two angelic old twins called the Cheerybles - oh and not to mention the foppish Lord Verisopht and the drunken hidden hero of the novel, Newman Noggs - then it is quite clear that this is no tedious novel.
Nicholas Nickleby is pure entertainment from start to finish.
Ironically the character that I did not really take to was Nicholas himself. He is rather one dimensional in his unstinting goodness and somewhat irritating in the way he imposes his morality on others. His actions though are wonderful, particularly the way he cares for young Smike, that tragic young boy whom he extricates from the clutches of the villainous Wackford Squeers. It is the characters of lesser morals, such as Ralph Nickleby, Arthur Gride and the aforementioned Wackford Squeers, who really do make the novel throb. Wonderful as the Cheeryble Twins are, it is the dark deeds of the villainous that really shows the author at his best. He rails against the rich and the powerful, those who take advantage of their status, their gender and their profession. The descriptions of the school where Nicholas encounters Smike is one of the most harrowing I have read in any novel. The small episode towards the end where Nicholas cares for his ailing young friend is touching beyond words.
Interspersed with the blistering social commentary is a story of love and devotion, of people struggling to the point where all they have to rely on is each other and a fundamental belief that all will come good in the end.
Finally, I will repeat some of the statistics from earlier. Nicholas Nickleby was written by a 26 year old man 175 years ago and it is almost 900 pages long - impressive at every turn. It is certainly as relevant today as ever it was and has served over the last few months to make my little bus journeys entirely wonderful!”
“I never technically finished this, but what I did read, I enjoyed. ”Elle wrote this review Tuesday, January 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I finally got through with this book. I have more trouble getting through long classics now that I'm old than when I was younger. It had a good story to it but It was way too long. I realize he wrote for newspapers a continued story each week part of a book. The good twin brothers was a little far fetched but the rest was very believevable.”Mikie wrote this review Monday, December 31, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book is the closest I've come to a Dickens book that's both long and tight. There's not much padding here. There's plenty of humor. The inescapable bleakness doesn't very into sentimentality too often. It's a good, long enjoyable read. After The Pickwick Papers, my favorite Dickens book so far.”Slackyb B wrote this review Tuesday, November 27, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Actually, I did not read this book. I read the script for the 6 hour play, which of course I could not locate on Shelfari. But I wanted Nicholas Nickleby to be on my Shelfari list, so I am using this edition!
“I love everything Dickens!”Michelle B wrote this review Thursday, August 16, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“As is the case with most of Dickens’ novels, Nicholas Nickleby has a comprehensive cast of interesting characters with a web of interconnections; some obvious and some we do not discover until the end, for example, the connections between Ralph, Smike and Brooker.
I enjoy reading Dickens for the way he incorporates humour, for his complex, weaving plots, and the endless challenges and tragedies he presents for his characters. It is true that he does not like to concentrate much effort on his female characters, but that's overcome by the brilliance of his story-making.
It's a long read, but definitely worth every minute”