Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

I like Charles Dickens, and despite the length of this book, I picked it up anyway. To help my cause, I was listening to it on audio, which always helps with a long book.

Nicholas NGenre: Good Question – it was considered a comedy when it first came out in 1839.
The book is 776 pages, audio was 25 discs!

Blurb: (from blackstone audio) The most gorgeously theatrical of all Dicken’s novels, Nicholas Nickleby follows the delightful adventure of a hearty young hero in nineteenth-century England. Nicholas, a gentleman’s son fallen up on 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.

What I liked: I really like Dickens’ satiric humor. He has a nice piece in the beginning talking about the very important bill that the parliament (or some political body) was working on – something about crumpets for the poor – an obvious slam on politicians. He makes Nicholas mother such a wishy-washy air head, it is very comical. The bad men are very bad (Wackford Squeers and Ralph Nickleby – Nicholas’s uncle – in particular) and in the end they get their just desserts and all the good people live happily every after. I have picked this particular cover of the book because it depicts two of my favorite characters – twin brothers Charles and Ned Cheeryable that are the most upstanding, generous people anyone could ever meet. The book was read by Robert Whitfield who had the right accent and did a wonderful job with all the characters.

What I didn’t like: There are so many characters, it’s hard to keep track of them at times. And as per most period pieces, there are scenes that go on longer than need be, but if you work through those, it’s worth it.

Rating: 4/5


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