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on August 30, 2017
Some chapters really have nothing to do with the story about Nickolas and his family; the coincidences are really implausible, and sometimes it seems that Dickens can not really figure out what to do. (One bad guy is killed in a duel that has nothing to do with the plot. At least he did not have a piano fall on him.)

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.
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on January 29, 2018
Nicholas Nickleby is the tale of a young man whose father has died leaving his family penniless. Nicholas must find a job to support his mother and sister, Kate. The family turns for help to their uncle, Ralph Nickleby, a ruthless businessman, who has taken a dislike to his relatives. Nicholas, aided by many diverse characters, must protect his family from his uncle’s machinations.

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.
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on September 9, 2013
Since there are no reviews of this edition (the MacMillan edition of 1982) and there seem to be a lot of them available, some at a ridiculously low price, here I am.

To begin with, this is a beautiful book. It's clothbound and provides a facsimile of the "Household Edition" as published in the nineteenth century, with the original text (unabridged and unedited) and the original illustrations. And therein lies a potential problem. The text is presented in double columns. The font size is fine. But the double columns might throw some readers off, especially those who aren't used to reading old books and/or who aren't as leisurely in their reading as these books demand. To read four columns and have progressed only two pages may be disconcerting. I'm not troubled by it because without the double columns the page count would double, and I don't particularly like holding doorstop books in my lap (600pp is plenty). And the pages are thick enough so that one doesn't have to worry about tearing them.

The book also, for some reason, includes color photographs of the Royal Shakespeare Company production staged in 1981. These don't offend me, but I'd rather not have them. But there are only 40 of them in a 420p book, so let's not get too picky. And if you're an RSC groupie, it will be fun to see these people thirty years younger.

And for those who care, I purchased this at an embarrassingly low price from Blue Cloud, who underrated the book as Good when it clearly was/is Very Good (the only thing preventing it from being Like New is shelf wear on the dust cover). So a shout out to Blue Cloud for those who need this sort of thing.

And for those who want to see the inside of the book, search eBay for it. Sellers there usually provide detailed pictures which I would copy here except that they aren't mine and how much trouble is it for anyone who's interested to go to eBay themselves? :)

And a note to sellers. If you have a book to sell, you'll have much better luck selling it if you tell potential buyers something about it. What too many sellers do instead is give the impression that they haven't even looked at it (may have writing, has a dust cover if it was published with one; either it has or it hasn't). Tell buyers who published it, what the edition is, how many pages long it is, aside from the condition of the spine and so forth. Otherwise buyers will simply move on to whoever provides this information.
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on December 26, 2013
The title character, his mother and sister are thrown on the mercy of a cruel uncle when Nickleby senior dies penniless. In true Dickens style, there are many memorable characters, good and bad, and a very evil villian with dark secrets. Parts of the novel are more Picaresque than the typical Dickens, with Nicholas stumbling from one adventure to another in the English countryside as the danger of his Uncle dragging Nicholas' sister into his dark schemes increases. I do love the movie adaptation, by the way, but this one gives you the full effect, including the very real abuses that were being performed by the Yorkshire schoolmasters of Dickens' day.

- Paul Race, School Of The Rock
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on January 28, 2017
One must remember that this was written in the 19th century and can be a bit difficult to read, with extremely long and detailed descriptions of location, thought and action not found in today's works. Like many of Dicken's novels, the plot is convoluted and chronicles the tale of a young person and his family who have fallen on hard times and the people who both help and hinder their well being. Highly recommended for those who enjoy these old classics or just the patient reader who enjoys a good story with a happy ending.
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on August 14, 2015
Dickens shows sometimes in his earlier novels - this is his 2nd - that he is getting paid by the word/installment. He can get a little wordy. Mrs. Nickleby had one-sentence that was three pages long, but Oh!, what a sentence, he is a magician with verbose characters and narration.
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on June 1, 2017
Dickens as usual is a little hard to follow in places, but still a great read (or listen).
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on August 13, 2017
Great novel with pictures
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on August 16, 2017
This is a great read as are many novels from this time period. Charles Dickens amazingly captures the human element in all its frailty and strength in a captivating manner even for the 21st century reader.
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on January 28, 2013
Typical period piece writing by Dickens. You either love his work or critique it as simplistic plot lines. However, his novels embrace the period in Great Britian when, while its empire touched all 4 corners of the Globe, back home the Social Classes had much suffering at the lower levels. The way children were treated then would be called neglect and abuse in our current time.

Yes Dickens is predictable and Yes his novels have common threads to each other, but he allows us a window into a time where the poor and children were exploited. He paints a picture of the landscape and surroundings of London and the countryside in such a way as you would want to be there, or avoid it all together. One of my all time favorite authors, this book shows why so many waited for the next installment back in his day. Todays Soap Operas, Paperbacks and Mini Series have nothing on a Good Dickens Novel - I highly reccomend the reader get back to Dickens and forget that you were foced to read his works back in Middle School. Enjoy
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