From Library Journal
Nicholas Nickleby, a gentleman's son fallen upon hard times, must set out to make his way in the world. Along the way various older, money-grubbing villains attempt to injure him. Eventually, with the assistance of kind patrons, he and his family achieve economic security and a happy home. Sounds rather trite, doesn't it? Not with characters written by Dickens (Hard Times, Audio Reviews, LJ 5/1/98). Schoolmaster Squeers would make a fine poster boy for child abusers. Ralph Nickleby's initial desire to injure Nicholas gradually develops into a full-blown obsession. Then there are the kind Cheeryble brothers, the gentle, much-abused Smike, and a host of other friends who provide comic relief. Martin Jarvis does an outstanding job of reading this book. His ingenues sound young (a frequent problem area for male readers) while his villains are deliciously evil. The only problems are with the abridgment. In several places, choppy editing has left brief, disconnected scenes and/or character cameos without relevance to the abridged tale. Still, this is a charming presentation and a wonderful bridge to a classic book. Recommended for public and academic libraries.AI. Pour-El, Iowa State Univ., Ames
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"Dickens is huge—like the sky. Pick any page of Dickens and it’s immediately recognizable as him, yet he might be doing social satire, or farce, or horror, or a psychological study of a murderer—or any combination of these." —Susannah Clarke, author, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
"The novel has everything: an absorbing melodrama, with a supporting cast of heroes, villains and eccentrics, set in a London where vast wealth and desperate poverty live cheek-by-jowl." —Times
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