Nicholas Nickleby has the great writing always served up by Dickens. Then there are the villains and the almost-saints (never quite saints - everyone has some character flaw). There are those in need, and those who help. But somehow, just about everything here wraps up as expected - (almost) everyone is paired off (at least those who are interested), the villans meet their just ends, the poor but deserving end up inheriting and are not so poor after all. (Except for one really sad case.). Kind of like the sort of plot Gilbert and Sullivan poke fun at. Nicholas' "love" for Madeline is as infatuous as can be - she is pretty and seems sweet, and therefore he loves her dearly. He knows he loves her before he knows anything about her personality. Too shallow. We don't find the truly developed and interesting character, like Miss Havisham (Great Expectations). Of course we get Dickens' depiction of society, but it is hard to know if there is exaggeration in his depiction of the "school". (A descendent of the person whom Sqeers was modeled after says it is a false depiction.). But, even if it is an exaggeration, we know that children were not treated too kindly in 19th century England. There is greed and generosity. I think what makes the book still of great value and interest is the quality of the writing. And then, in the case of the audio version, Simon Vance more than "saves" it. His delivery is a sheer delight. His Yorkshire accent is fun. His voices - amazing. He raised the level totally, totally, to a superb pleasure of a book.
If you are unfamiliar with the story it is worth a listen. Some of the characters are tiresome. Some parts of the book lagged. Still a good story overall.
You can't do any better than this rendition of Nicholas Nickleby. The voice actor certainly deserves fame for his rendition. I can never fully express how wonderful this performance was. A joy. Dickens would be proud.
Trite, trite story, but carried beautifully by the outstanding narration. Mrs Nickleby certainly assists Dickens' royalties with her dithering, and other excessive details were at first annoying. However, listening on, I began to enjoy paying attention to the excess, parts which in reading the book, I would have skimmed or skipped. I did have the image of the heroin tied to the rails with the hero coming to the rescue in the nick (Nick?) of time over and over.
Firstly it's not Dickens's best written story but it is a great story with a wonderful ending. The biggest reason it is hard to listen to is because of one character who talks way too much about nothing and the narrator does too good of a job capturing her annoying personality. It's a test of patience.
I listened to A Tale of Two Cities just before Nicholas Nickleby and loved it.
I think the narrator did a good job it was just that he really acted out the annoying personalities too well!
This is a masterpeice. The character development by Dickens is striking, as well as fascinating. I found myself pulling for redemption of Ralph Nickleby, and hang at cliff's edge till learning his fate. Ralph was the antagonist, one can only imagine how I cheered for the good guys. The performance was top notch. I will catalogue it among the best-ever, rivaled in my estimation only by Oliver Twist...DOwens
It's always a treat to see how everything comes together in a Dickens novel. The language is rich & the characters interesting. Vance brought them to life with his wonderful voices and exacting tone & pace. I will miss this as part of my morning bike ride!