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Nicholas Nickleby Kindle Edition
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|Kindle, March 10, 2020||
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About the Author
- ASIN : B085G33Z44
- Publisher : Open Road Media (March 10, 2020)
- File Size : 19386 KB
- Publication Date : March 10, 2020
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Print Length : 800 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #743,222 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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But for all that, Dickens is one of the world's great story-tellers and you will find yourself wanting to know what is going to happen to Nicholas and his family as they go through some really bad years of their lives. (Spoiler alert: They all live happily ever after.) Also, you will learn a lot about London in the early to middle 19th century. It is entertaining and well worth reading.
Nicholas Nickleby was the third book written by Charles Dickens, and it was published in serial form monthly in 1838 and 1839 before being published as a book in 1839.
At first, I found the book very readable. As with many books written in the 1800s, the prose tends to be very wordy, and the style of the language is more stilted and formal than in books written more recently. However, I feel that Dickens’ style is perhaps a little more casual than some authors of that time which made reading the book more enjoyable. I felt there were a lot of descriptive passages in the book that could have been edited, making the book more streamlined. After a while, I felt that I got bogged down in the detail which made it somewhat less enjoyable to read. Also, Dickens introduces many characters throughout the book who really do not have a bearing on the overall tale. The characters seem to be part of amusing anecdotes used as filler to keep the serial going as long as possible. I felt that there was a lot of buildup to a climax, and then the story just petered out with minimal wrap-up compared to the amount of buildup. For instance, we learn much about two aristocratic gentlemen and also a family of performers, none of whom figure largely at the end of the story, but there is very little to be learned about the future spouses of both Nicholas and Kate, even though they would have more bearing on the longer story.
Please skip the next paragraph as there are spoilers contained. I felt that there were some inconsistencies in how certain characters reacted. Nicholas seemed to be a very kind and honorable young man; however, at the beginning of the story, he seems to have a terrible temper which gets him into trouble. Not long afterward, he seems to have matured, and there is little reason for this given by the author. He may have realized the error of his ways, but Dickens did not see fit to mention this. Also, Ralph Nickleby is portrayed as a mean and heartless man. He finds that he has a son who was ill-treated before he was befriended by the Nickleby family and has now died. Because of this Ralph commits suicide, which seems very out of character.
I did enjoy the classic good-triumphs over evil storyline. I also enjoyed meeting the many and varied characters introduced by Dickens, although there were a lot to keep track of. Dickens does a fabulous job of fleshing out some of the characters, but he does leave other characters feeling flat.
This particular story is about a young man, the title character, and his family, following the death of his father. Nicholas Nickleby is a fine and honorable young man, who is a true gentleman and also possesses both moral and physical strength. He only displays the latter when necessary and appropriate, otherwise he appears to be a meek, kind, gentle spirit. After his father dies he undertakes to take care of the rest of his family. The story is about all of the characters,, the good and the miscreant, and all of the adventures and misadventures that he encounters.
As I understand it, this novel was published in a serialized format over many months. My Kindle version has, I believe, 65 chapters, some of which are quite lengthy. I read the book and listened to an audiobook narration simultaneously. The audiobook was narrated by Simon Vance. His work was excellent and added much enjoyment. I read about a chapter a day and it took about two months. Speaking for myself it was well worth it. At the same time, I am quite sure that its length will not suit the tastes of some readers.
I have read numerous works by Mr. Dickens and am now trying to read all of his worksn order. The setting is contemporary London of the author's day. This novel fits the pattern of wry humor and observations about social injustice in contemporary British society. Mr. Dickens combines a host of skills. He writes beautifully of natural scenery. He also is able, at times, to evoke great emotion. There is a scene in this novel wherein a fine young man dies. It is extremely well written and poignant. While painful, it was beautifully written and may have been my favorite part of the novel.
There is also a chapter wherein the characters stop at a public house for a night and the various guests spin tales. The chapter almost seems to be a non sequiiter. What it reminded me of, stylistically, is a Victorian era version of "The Canterbury Tales". I do not know for sure if that was the point or not.
There is also a part of the story wherein a character conceals himself in a room whilst a malevolent conspiracy is being conceived of. This was a device that Shakespeare employed at times. An example of this that comes to mind is Polonius in "Hamlet". Again, I do not know if Mr. Dickens was paying tribute to Shakespeare or not at that point.
In summary, this is a very fine novel that is of great length. When I speak to modern readers it is very clear to me that some do not wish to read something of this length. In that regard this novel will not fit all modern tastes. Speaking for myself, I enjoyed it very much and Charles Dickens has become one of my favorite authors. Thank You...
Top reviews from other countries
I found the characters in many cases well rounded and enjoyable, indeed I’d say I found many more deep and engaging than, somewhat saccharin Nicholas himself (I’m think Ralph, Newman Noggs and John Browdie). The occasionally funny Dickensian turn of phrase equally entertaining. I’d recommend getting a version with a character list and the original illustrations. It is a very, very long book, which although written in bite sized chapters, I think requires that the reader keeps to a sustained reading pace otherwise risking it becoming, even for me in places, lacking drive and focus. For me one for the better Dickens, helped by me not actually knowing the, usefully uncomplicated story at all.
`He`s a violent youth at times,` said newman, looking after him;
`and yet I like him for it.`
Besides this, there are the usual well drawn characters and the predictable melodramatics which we come to expect from this genre. The sub plots in this novel may appear a little more incoherent than usual, such as when Nicholas and Smike go to Portsmouth in order to escape their turmoil and spend some time treading the boards in a theatre company. Another reviewer complained of the number of coincidences - the frequency of the same characters mysteriously reappearing together in the same situations. This is not an uncommon technique and although I too find it a little contrived at times, I think there is a case for allowing it in the interest of coherence of story line. Also coincidences do happen and so their usage is not totally spurious.
Personally, I like to try and transport myself back to the Nineteenth Century and imagine what it must have been like, sitting on an omnibus reading Dickens in the paper on the way to work. The work is of its time and requires a certain adjustment of mind set in order to get it. It is in some ways quite a powerful novel, the twists and turns working on the emotions. A fairly long book, it is also quite memorable.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1904633846/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_0 - buy this edition - The collectors Library. It cost 4pence more with postage and is a beautifullittle copy Nicholas Nickleby (Collector's Library)