From the dungeon-like Yorkshire boys' boarding school run by the cruel Wackford Squeers to the high-spirited stage of Vincent Crummles' extraordinary acting troupe, Nicholas Nickleby is a triumph of the imagination, bursting with color, humor, and poignant social commentary.
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(P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.
I've listened to many Dickens novels, and this is one of the best. My favorite (so far) is _David Copperfield_ (Frederick Davidson narrating), and this has many of the same qualities. A young man's adventures through life, a cast of interesting characters, wonderful narration. _Nickelby_ takes longer to capture your attention, but you do come to love Nicholas and the family, to curse the villains and rejoice with the lovers. It's a very good listen.
Narrative makes the world go round.
I listened when I REALLY needed to be cheered up and diverted--and this was just the medicine. Nicholas, even in his naive youthfulness is too good to be true, of course, and the bad guys are one dimensional but such fun caricatures. Contemporary light fiction just can't draw in the listener like Dickens, especially through Whitfield's superb narration.
If you like 19th century fiction, you'll probably love this. If you haven't yet tried 19th century fiction or were turned off it in school, this would be a great entry point into that diverting world of wonderful prose and sharp social insight that still resonates today. Dickens wrote to be shared in reading aloud, so audiobooks give his fiction new life.
The reading of this book is the best I've gotten yet from Audible.com. Robert Whitfield is incredibly talented.....I thought I was listening to 20 different characters. And not a discernible cut or splice anywhere! I've wanted to read this entire book for about 30 years now, and I'm so glad that when I finally got around to it, I found a version that was read by such a priceless voice talent!
And thank you, also, Charles Dickens, for a beautiful story populated with such memorable characters...and with all that great social commentary sprinkled throughout.
One master-passion in the br east, like Aaron's serpent, swallows all the rest. A. Pope
"No dark sarcasm in the classroom....
If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding!"
Pink Floyd, "Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2"
I delight in Dickens' class humor/social satire and irony. Nicholas Nickleby was third novel, right after Oliver Twist. This novel is lighter than Twist but nearly as influential in pressuring changes to English society in the mid-1800s. Here, Dickens' target was an abusive all-male boarding school in Yorkshire. In researching for this novel, Dickens made visits to this school and based his villainous schoolmaster Wackford Squeers on the Yorkshire master William Shaw, who was apparently one brutally cruel S.O.B.
Other memorable character names include Newman Noggs, clerk to Nickleby's awful Uncle Ralph Nickelby, Miss Knag, Miss Wittiterly and Lord Frederick Verisopht, who is killed in a duel with another of British nobility.
This included the first romance written by Dickens, though it fell considerably short of the one he wrote for David Copperfield.
I enjoyed it, but found the story didn't flow as well as some of his later novels.
Addicted to books, both print and audio-.
The story is both very funny and heart-wrenching. The writing is superb and plenty accessible to today's audience. But the quality of the narration is beyond words. Simon Vance's ability to convey the nuances of the characters, the humor, the pathos, Dickens's tongue-in-cheek prose . . . it's simply stunning. Dickens used to do readings of his work that were hugely popular; I imagine he would have sounded much like this. This book is so much fun and so touching. Between Dickens's descriptions and dialogue, and Simon Vance's vocal characterizations, the book is brought completely alive. It's a joy.
May be not as well constructed as David Copperfield, which I listened to before, but very enjoyable even so and the reading first class.
This book is highly entertaining and touching. It draws out all the bad characteristics of an era to be examined and laughed at without dismissing how serious they were. A great read and an entertaining listen.
The characterizations by the reader made the story come to life.
Nicholas Nicholby was my favorite character because he always had the fortitude to do what was right in spite of him temper and dire circumstances.
The reading was vivid and kept my attention
It was quite impossible to listen to in one sittle due to the books length, but it was worth the time overall.
I liked the story but it is not my favorite Dicken's novel. The story seemed to sag a bit in the middle but gained momentum in the last third. It's worth being persistent and listening to the entire very long novel. One thing one can't say is that one does not get a lot for their money with this book.
I love Charles Dickens! His insight into human nature is remarkable, and his ability to create unique characters unmatched. So much has been said about Dickens, I don't need to add more here. As for the story, it was written early on in his career, and is consequently has a youthful swagger about it. It is most definitely a romance, all ends up well in the end. Not as good as some of his more mature writing, but better than Bleak House and Our Mutual Friend.
Simon Vance is an amazing narrator. The amount of different voices he comes up with is remarkable. The only voice I didn't like was Smyke's, but that may have been intentional on his part. Amazing narrator, best one I've heard on Audible besides Grover Gardner.
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