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Nicholas Nickleby (1839)

by Charles Dickens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Nicolaas Nickleby (1-2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,937761,272 (3.93)1 / 424
The most gorgeously theatrical of all Dickens's novels, Nicholas Nickleby follows the delightful adventures of a hearty young hero in nineteenth-century England. Nicholas, a gentleman's son fallen upon hard times, must set out to make his way in the world. His journey is accompanied by some of the most swaggering scoundrels and unforgettable eccentrics in Dickens's pantheon. From the dungeon-like Yorkshire boys' boarding school run by the cruel Wackford Squeers to the high-spirited stage of Vincent Crummles's extraordinary acting troupe, Nicholas Nickleby is a triumph of the imagination, bursting with color, humor, and poignant social commentary.… (more)
  1. 50
    David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (aces)
  2. 40
    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)
  3. 20
    The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne (roby72)
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» See also 424 mentions

English (74)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
This is Dickens's fourth book (after Sketches by Boz and The Pickwick Papers) but second proper novel (after Oliver Twist). I think it shows. It feels very eighteenth century, even though Dickens had already written the much more modern feeling Oliver Twist. There are two parallel narratives: one comes across as a sort of picaresque, a young lad traveling through the world getting into scrape, like Tom Jones (though not nearly so bawdy!), and the other is one of those novels where a young lady's virtue is under threat from conniving men, like Belinda.

The first one, the story of Nicholas, starts off roughly, with a long family history infodumped right on you, and then there's some stuff about Nicholas taking a job at a terrible school, which is decent, but the kind of thing I feel like later Dickens could make funnier and more horrifying, and then he gets a job writing plays for a theatre troupe, which is hugely entertaining, the theatre troupe being a ridiculous family only Dickens could write, but after that the book becomes sheer tedium. I would happily go the rest of my life never reading another word about Uncle Ralph.

Meanwhile, the story of his sister starts dull and ends worse.
  Stevil2001 | May 28, 2021 |
taking a break.
  GRLopez | Mar 2, 2021 |
I thought this was a very long read, not very interesting. Much to my interest this book was described as being comical. Well, I missed that completely... Maybe that's why I didn't care for it much.
Wanted to finish it, because it's a 1001-book, but otherwise I'm not sure if I'd gotten till the end. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Nov 23, 2020 |
Dickens 4th book, and 3rd novel, published in 1838-39 and cementing his speedy celebrity, Nickleby combines the angry social statements of Oliver Twist with something of the sense of sharp satire of The Pickwick Papers. True, neither Nicholas nor Kate exhibit much in the way of interesting features, but as Tintin-esque Everypeople, they are surrounded by a gallery of delightful characters. The Victorian pathos is there in spades, and some of it is really quite silly, but one can feel Dickens gaining such a sense of self-assuredness as he works through this novel, and the picaresque nature of Nickleby's travels will not be equalled by any of the other novels that feature extensive journeys. The acting troupe, the brutal world of Mantilini's dress shop, and the figure of Ralph Nickleby, who extends on Fagin's sparks of life to suggest that the author might one day be interested in creating characters with more than one-and-a-half dimensions.

Excepting parts of Little Dorrit and David Copperfield, this is the Dickens novel that has the purest sense of fun, and combined with some of the powerful statements about the workhouse and the place of women, it's a very worthy read. To be honest, I think this is the height of the Dickens canon for several years, until Copperfield comes along. ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
My fourth Dickens read, and maybe my second favorite, right behind [b:David Copperfield|58696|David Copperfield|Charles Dickens|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1309281852s/58696.jpg|4711940]. It's the same sort of traveling feast of characters as that and the [b:The Pickwick Papers|229432|The Pickwick Papers|Charles Dickens|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1360795072s/229432.jpg|3315230], and the usual good vs. evil storyline. The secondary characters in this one are so good, though, that it makes up for some of the more formulaic aspects: La Creevy, John Browdie, Newman Noggs, and the deliciously good villains: "schoolmeasther" Squeers, Ralph Nickleby, and Arthur Gride. I don't remember if most Dickens books have such a great plot twist at the end as this one, but it was a good one!

This might be the fastest I've ever read a Dickens novel: 15 days! ( )
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (182 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Dickensprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jennings, AlexNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nicholson, MilNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Browne, Hablot KnightIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ford, MarkContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knox, Christina F.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maclise, DanielCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parker, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schlicke, PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slater, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorndike, Dame SybilIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Everyman, I will go with thee, and be thy guide,
In thy most need to go by thy side.
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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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The most gorgeously theatrical of all Dickens's novels, Nicholas Nickleby follows the delightful adventures of a hearty young hero in nineteenth-century England. Nicholas, a gentleman's son fallen upon hard times, must set out to make his way in the world. His journey is accompanied by some of the most swaggering scoundrels and unforgettable eccentrics in Dickens's pantheon. From the dungeon-like Yorkshire boys' boarding school run by the cruel Wackford Squeers to the high-spirited stage of Vincent Crummles's extraordinary acting troupe, Nicholas Nickleby is a triumph of the imagination, bursting with color, humor, and poignant social commentary.

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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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Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

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