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Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

Nicholas Nickleby (original 1836; edition 1839)

by Charles Dickens, Mark Ford (Editor), Mark Ford (Contributor)

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4,368531,127 (3.95)206
Title:Nicholas Nickleby
Authors:Charles Dickens
Other authors:Mark Ford (Editor), Mark Ford (Contributor)
Info:Penguin Classics (1999), Paperback, 864 pages
Collections:Your library, Own, Read

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Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (1836)

  1. 40
    David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (aces)
  2. 20
    The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne (roby72)
  3. 10
    The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Both books are early Dickens' novels and written in an episodic, picaresque style. Although Nicholas Nickleby is more plot-driven than The Pickwick Papers and contains some darker themes, both works are fundamentally happy Dickens novels and readers who enjoy one would probably enjoy the other.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
A picaresque novel by Dickens gives us a smorgasboard of delightfully crafted characters. The good the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. Dickens tells the story of a widow and her two children who seek help from her deceased husband's brother and are treated meanly and stingily by him. A social commentary told through the characters in this book and the main character, Nicholas Nickleby is a young man who comes to age as he takes care of his mother and sister and is kind to others he encounters on the way. This is Dickens third novel and a episodic and humorous book and also a first for romance for Dickens. ( )
  Kristelh | Aug 14, 2015 |
It was a happy day when I, for whatever reason, elected to sample Charles Dickens. Having read A Tale of Two Cities in high school, I digressed to more popular fiction (Michener, Clavell, McMurtry, King, Grisham), as well as periods of science fiction and even non-fiction (Ambrose, McCollough for example), before making an effort to upgrade my reading list.

I read some Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Steinbeck and Hemingway with mixed success before reading Great Expectations. I liked it enough to read David Copperfield, and I was hooked. A Tale of Two Cities followed and then Oliver Twist (not my favorite) and Bleak House (another below average Dickens novel in my opinion) before taking on this lengthy tome.

As in many of his previous works, Dickens introduces his protagonist and then follows him throughout succeeding adventures, introducing many quirky and fascinating characters. It is these characters that spice up the narrative and are the strength of Dickens’s writing in my opinion. Midway through this novel, I compared it favorably to David Copperfield (the gold standard), but as the book droned on, it diminished in enjoyment. Perhaps the fact that it was introduced in serial form had an effect on the flow of the story once it was incorporated into a single novel, but for whatever reason, I grew tired of it before its conclusion.

Having read several Dickens works prior to this one, I was aware that a period of acclimation is required before becoming comfortable with both the language and the cultural landscape. Unlike Bleak House, whose dialogue I found to be overly florid and tortured at times, I had no such problem with this work. If you have never read Dickens, it may take a little while to become comfortable, but if you have, you should have no problem.

Make no mistake, at nearly 900 pages this is a real door stop, and while it is not my favorite Dickens effort, it is nonetheless worth the time and effort to read. ( )
  santhony | Apr 15, 2015 |
Not one of Dickens' strongest tales. I just couldn't make myself care much about Nicholas although I liked Kate a bit more. But his secondary characters were brilliant as usual -- Ralph Nickleby, Wackford Squeers, Smike, the Brothers Cheerfull -- all wonderful. But my favorite part was the happy ending for Linkinwater and Miss La Creevy in the final chapter -- a beautiful, sentimental, feel-good poignant passage. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 22, 2014 |
I started re-reading Nicholas Nickleby thinking it was something like my 13th or 14th favorite Dickens novel (Hard Times has an uncontestable hold on 15th, or last, place). In reading the second quarter or so that judgment felt vindicated. After the excellent last half, however, I am starting to think I was unfair. Not that there are other obvious candidates one would want to downgrade.

There is an unfair misunderstanding of Dickens that he wrote in a hurry, by the word, in serials, and that as a result his books are not well thought out integrated novels but instead one incident following another in a somewhat muddled progression. That is unfair for just about all of Dickens ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
I found this Dickens classic very enjoyable. I had seen a film adaptation so I was familiar with the basic plot, but (as always with Dickens!) the book has so much more to it! I was surprised by the character of Nicholas's mother in particular -- so self-centered and annoying! ( )
  leslie.98 | Apr 29, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (53 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Dickensprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Browne, Hablot KnightIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ford, MarkContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jennings, AlexNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parker, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schlicke, PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorndike, Dame SybilIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There once lived, in a sequestered part of the county of Devonshire, one Mr Godfrey Nickleby: a worthy gentleman, who, taking it into his head rather late in life that he must get married, and not being young enough or rich enough to aspire to the hand of a lady of fortune, had wedded an old flame out of mere attachment, who in her turn had taken him for the same reason.
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Book description
Story of Nicholas Nickleby, a young man in nineteenth-century England.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140435123, Paperback)

When Nicholas Nickleby is left penniless after his father’s death, he appeals to his wealthy uncle to help him find work and to protect his mother and sister. But Ralph Nickleby proves both hard-hearted and unscrupulous, and Nicholas finds himself forced to make his own way in the world.

Nicholas’s adventures gave Dickens the opportunity to portray a extraordinary gallery of rogues and eccentrics: Wackford Squeers, tyrannical headmaster of Dotheboys Hall, a school for unwanted boys; the slow-witted orphan Smike, rescued by Nicholas; and the gloriously theatrical Mr and Mrs Crummle, and their daughter, the ‘infant phenomenon’. Like many of Dickens’s novels, Nicholas Nickleby is characterized by his outrage at cruelty and social injustice, but it is also a flamboyantly exuberant work, revealing Dickens’s comic genius at its most unerring.

Mark Ford’s introduction compares Nicholas Nickleby to eighteenth-century picaresque novels, and examines Dickens’s criticism of the ‘Yorkshire Schools’, his social satire and use of language. This edition also includes the original illustrations by ‘Phiz’, a chronology and a list for further reading.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:07 -0400)

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13 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140435123, 0141199814

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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