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Nicholas Nickleby

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  31,246 Ratings  ·  1,007 Reviews
'I shall never regret doing as I have—never, if I starve or beg in consequence'

When Nicholas Nickleby is left penniless after his father's death, he appeals to his wealthy uncle to help him find work and to protect his mother and sister. But Ralph Nickleby proves both hard-hearted and unscrupulous, and Nicholas finds himself forced to make his own way in the world. His a
Paperback, 817 pages
Published September 25th 2003 by Penguin Classics (first published 1839)
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Community Reviews

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Peter Ackroyd, in his ground-breaking biography of Charles Dickens, says that Nicholas Nickleby is "perhaps the funniest novel in the English language". The complete title of the novel is perhaps a bit of a mouthful,

"The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, containing a Faithful Account of the Fortunes, Misfortunes, Uprisings, Downfallings and Complete Career of the Nickleby Family".

It was published, as his previous novels had been, in monthly installments, between 1838 and 1839, and the la
Jun 27, 2007 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
When the name of the cruel schoolmaster is Wackford Squeers you just know it's going to be good. Nicholas himself can sometimes be a bit prissy but this serves well as a foil for the many extreme characters that surround him (and he's a lot more feisty than the relatively milquetoast David Copperfield). This is classic Dickens at the height of his powers.

My generic comment about Charles Dickens:
First of all, although I am a partisan of Dickens' writing and have read and relished most his works,
Luís C.
Only now, as I will getting to know the work of Dickens, I begin to understand why his books make me feel young. It is that books like this arouse the dream; they are dramas of real life in which good and evil clash, but being the Good the eternal winner. This naiveté is no more than a reflection of the natural goodness that characterized this magnificent human being named Charles Dickens. The famous Happy Endings of Dickens are not only elements of romantic oversimplification; They are a manife ...more
Mar 16, 2016 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2nd reading

I wouldn’t have chosen this Dickens to reread but for recently joining a local group. The reread was certainly worth it and not only for the convivial fellowship of the monthly meetings. (How can you go wrong with cheese and cakes being offered, and tea and sometimes wine being poured?) Sure, there were the somewhat annoying coincidences, melodrama, blushing love interests and meaningless side-plots (and I don’t mean at the meetings), all true to the picaresque indicated by the novel’
MJ Nicholls
I have a titular affinity with this novel since it incorporates many common misspellings of my surname: Nicols, Nichols, Nickles, Nicholas, Nicolls and (once) Amber Juliana Swami. Dickens’s third novel unites the comedic episodes of The Pickwick Papers with the melodramatic realism of Oliver Twist in a brilliant 832-page (OWC edition) adventure filled with more manipulative drama than Lot 45 on Hollywood Studios (known as the Robin Williams Crap Mound). Unlike the aforesaid former comic actor’s ...more
Barry Pierce
One common criticism of The Pickwick Papers is that it has no plot. This novel is the antithesis of Pickwick, it has too much plot. At 1020 pages in length this is the largest book that I have ever read, and it really felt like it.

Dickens is the master of setting and characterisation. However, sometimes he can get so caught up in describing the mood and the presence of a location that half the chapter is gone before any dialogue is even uttered.

This novel contains, in my opinion, one of Dicken
Dec 29, 2009 Vicky rated it it was ok
Shelves: classics
I couldn't quite bring myself to give just one star to a master of English fiction, but honestly, this book is Dickens at his worst: maudlin, melodramatic, and almost pathological in its hysterical demonization of the villains. Dickens here caters shamelessly to the sentimentalities, moral simplicities, and stereotypes of his readership. The good characters are gooily good, the bad ones lack not only any redeeming feature but any plausible motivation, and we are encouraged to relish their downfa ...more
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
You guys should know by now that I'm a tragic Dickens fangirl. I've been obsessed with the dude's writing since I was ten. I passed Dickens Trash status many a long year ago. Nicholas Nickleby isn't one of my favourites, and it took me a solid week to get through it. But it's still definitely worth a regular reread.

Nicholas as a character is kind of a pain. He clearly has anger management issues, and yet everyone fawns over him. Madeline is almost non-existent on the page, and yet we're suppose
Aug 04, 2008 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first went to the UK and was doing my version of A Tour Round the Whole Island of Great Britain, which involved many hours alone on British Rail and in B&Bs, this was the only book I took with me - and it was the only one I needed. Because of their length, you could probably say the same about any of Dickens' novels, but somehow this story of two young people going out for the first time to travel through the world on their own (albeit by necessity and not by choice) and meeting all k ...more
"In short, the poor Nicklebys were social and happy; while the rich Nickleby was alone and miserable."

The contrast between rich and poor, happy and miserable, greed and contentment, have always been key parts of all Dickens' works. Nicholas Nickleby is no exception to this rule in how Dickens sets up the titular hero as the originally poor, yet noble, character and the other men around him as scheming misers.

The plot essentially follows the Nickleby family, left without a father and with Nichola
Mar 24, 2015 F.R. rated it it was amazing
Wackford Squeers!

The aforementioned schoolmaster is probably the most famous character (with the obvious exception of Nicholas himself) in Dickens’ third novel. Indeed, in my memory of this book – which I last read some fifteen years ago – Wackford Squeers featured as one of the dominant figures. And that’s somewhat odd as he is not the major villain of the piece, he is merely one of a gallery of grotesque rogues the Nickleby children encounter. So why does he linger so long in the mind? I think
May 09, 2012 Petra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: floor-joists
Loved it! This is the light, breezy, humorous, cheery side of Dickens. He must have written this through a good, happy period of his life.
Nicholas Nickleby contains Dickens’ signature purely evil people and purely pure people, his incredibly described people and situations. It also is chockfull of humorous paragraphs, descriptions, situations and quippy one-liners. Wonderful, entertaining reading with a great story, lots of twists, turns and surprises.
I'm not faulting Dickens for my tepid enjoyment of this. The BBC version starring James D'Arcy is absolutely marvelous and had me itching to read the source material. I'm sure it's just as great (if long-winded in spots, as Dickens is wont to do).

However, as happens all too often, the audiobook narrator sucked ass. Robert Whitfield? You, sir, ran the gamut of voices from A to B. Okay, maybe C. Sometimes.

(This review was fully intended to have GIFs of said James D'Arcy version, but the only ones
Jul 08, 2015 Roberta rated it really liked it
Shelves: classici, uk, 2015
Non nascondo che leggere questo libro è un'impresa impegnativa, più per la mole e il melodramma vertiginoso che per la lingua originale (il linguaggio di Dickens risulta ostico solo all'inizio, finché non si prende il ritmo, è molto più angosciante leggere questi incipit "Viveva un tempo, in una località appartata della contea del Devonshire, un certo signor Goffredo Nickleby"... Goffredo?).

Nicholas Nickleby non è il romanzo migliore di Dickens. Passa da melodramma a farsa (avrei volentieri sal
Nov 25, 2015 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
What can I say? This is Dickens at his best and the master certainly doesn't need MY recommendation! Suffice it to say that Simon Vance's narration does justice to the material making this an excellent choice for any audiobook reader with an ear for the classics.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
'Sex! Drugs! Rock 'n' Roll! None of them are in this film but watch it anyway!'

Any additional comments?
Apologies fo
May 01, 2015 Negar rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, translated
حتی حرصم می گیره بهش یک بدم :|

اصلا نمی تونم نظر بدم :| خیلی وحشتناک بود :|

میدونم که جناب دیکنز کار بزرگی کرده که فقر و بدبختی اونا رو به تصویر در آورده و این جور چیزا، ولی آخه اینطوری؟ البته من از تجربه ای که با بقیه آثارش داشتم می دونستم عادت داره شخصیت ها رو پرت کنه تو منجلاب بدبختی و بعدش هم همینطوری یهویی یه هپی اندینگ خوشگل تحویل خواننده بده، ولی این ماجرا دیگه داغونم کرد :|
Holy crap, if I had known how funny Dickens is, I wouldn't have put off reading him for so long. Now, I'm not sure why I did.

While I read that Nicholas Nickleby isn't Dickens' best or most-respected work, I enjoyed the dickens out of it (sorry). Farcical melodrama at it's most amusing, I say. Sure, the characters are pretty cliche, aptonymical caricatures of various personality traits writ large, but who is better at rendering human motivations and clothing them in astonishingly recognizable por
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
I stayed up late to finish this novel, and it was well worth the lack of sleep! Nicholas Nickleby is an engrossing and exciting read; full of some perfectly nasty, evil, and some very good-hearted characters. Also, I have to say that I had no idea that the conditions at the so-called "Yorkshire schools" were so incredibly deplorable. Yet for every moment of 'doom and gloom' in the novel, Dickens comes right back with the 'bright light' and 'flowers' of the better side of humanity.

The novel is fa
Angela Young
Sep 04, 2012 Angela Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So often there's a particular scene or series of scenes from a book that stay with me and the ones from Nicholas Nickleby are the early ones between him and Smike. On page 97 of this edition Nickleby sees Smike on his knees before the stove. Smike shrinks back expecting a blow but Nickleby says, 'You need not fear me ... are you cold?' Smike says he's not cold but Nickleby can see he's shivering. He thinks, 'There was such an obvious fear of giving offence in his manner, and he was such a timid, ...more
Paul Brogan
Nov 05, 2012 Paul Brogan rated it liked it
Shelves: classic
It was with some difficulty and not a little despair and disappointment that I struggled through the first few pages of Nicholas Nickleby. It's David Copperfield in disguise, I thought; oh, no, not another commentary on how unfair life is, I reflected further; and there Dickens goes again with his one-dimensional women, in their fainting swoons, righteous indignation, and sheer bitchery.

A few pages further, and I was into the story and read it with some enjoyment to the end, where everyone gets
Ayu Palar
Jun 21, 2009 Ayu Palar rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Sherien Sabbah, Boof, Sandybanks
Shelves: classics, dickens
The first Dickens I read. I wanted to read Nicholas Nickleby so much since I love the adaptation starring the ever so gorgeous Charlie Hunnam as Nicholas. Compared to other Dickens that I have read, Nicholas Nickleby is lighter. Basically, it tells Nicholas’ journey to reach success. Not only that, he also reveals some dark secrets of his family. I enjoyed this a lot, due to the fact that when reading it, I always imagined Mr. Hunnam’s face *ehm*.

The characters are also remarkable. Our hero Nic
May 11, 2008 Paul rated it did not like it
Shelves: victorian
Wow, what a trial. I loved Great Expectations, I tolerated Oliver Twist, but Nicholas Nickleby was a bear to get through. I bought the book years ago in error, thinking it was on a college course reading list. This book sat on my shelf until I finally decided to take a crack at it last fall. After about 200 pages, I put it down and it just kind of sat there. Then I decided to download a pdf copy from google books in an effort to read a little bit each day at work on my lunch break. Didn’t enjoy ...more
আকাশ আব্দুল্লাহ
ভিনটেজ সেবা পরকাশনীর সবচে দুরবল দিক হচছে অনুবাদে গিয়ে অতিমাতরায় কাটছাট করা। অতিমাতরাটা আসলে কেমন মাতরার সেটা বোঝার উপযুকত দৃষটানত এই নিকোলাস নিকোলবি।

চারলস ডিকেনসের এই মূল বইটার পৃষঠা সংখযা । সেবা সেখান থেকে কেটেছেটে মাতর পৃষঠায় এনে দাড় করিয়েছে!!!

ফলাফল সবরূপ গলপে হুট করেই এমনসব চরিতর এসে পড়েছে যেগুলোর সমপরকে পূরবে কোনো পরিচয়ই করিয়ে দেয়া হয় নি পাঠকদের। অচেনা চরিতরের কাজকারবারে হতভমব আমি গলপের সাথেই তালই মিলাতে পারছিলাম না।
মূল বইয়ের গুডরিডস পেজ রেটিং দেখলাম খারাপ না। কিনতু অনুবাদ এই বইটা নিতানতই
Wackford Squeers and Ralph Nickelby, together make Bill Sikes look very common in his (Sikes) evil ways. I thought I had experienced an extreme Dickens character in Bill Sikes from Twist, but the sheer pseudo-intellectualism coupled with brute dishonesty of Squeers and the cold, calculating avarice of Ralph push Sikes into a byword of bad deeds. Again, Dickens crafts wonderfully rich and diverse character, though mostly male(which male characters are developed in more detail). Understanding that ...more
یکی از بهترین آثار چارلز دیکنز
داشتم کتاب غول بزرگ مهربان اثر روالد دال رو می خوندم که دال توی کتابش یه اشاره ای به این کتاب کرده بود. فرداش رفتم کتابخونه و از شانس خوب توی ردیف کتابها همین طوری که می گشتم پیداش کردم. اول رغبتی به خوندن یه کتاب کلاسیک دیگه نداشتم اما شرایط دست به دست هم داد که کتابای دیگه ای که دنبالشون بودم همه امانت بودن و منم این کتاب رو امانت گرفتم. از همون وقتی که شروع کردمش واقعاً از نثر بی نظیر چارلز دیکنز لذت بردم.
به تمام کلاسیک خوونا پیشنهادش می کنم.
Paul Bryant
Jun 03, 2012 Paul Bryant rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
This is one of the crap dodgily picaresque (= not really got a plot) very early Dickens which have no merit at all except being complete fun and a joy to read. But they have no purpose. Just joy and fun. So you can probably skip this.
Apr 26, 2014 K. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dickens lovers, not necessarily noviates
“Don’t you just love starting a book this big, knowing you’ll have such a long time to spend in a new and delightful world?” From the sticky note I put on the cover of my son’s copy of Nicholas Nickleby before placing it on his TBR pile. The bigger the book the better (in many cases), I say.

2014 Dickens project reread.

While it’s true that Nicholas Nickleby hasn’t descended through time as Dickens’ best book, quite possibly it is known as his most humorous. I’m not the first to observe this, no
Apr 08, 2010 Silvana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, used-to-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2013 Joff rated it really liked it
Say What You Like, this Nick's a Dick

Dickens was only 26 when he started writing Nicholas Nickelby - and it bloody shows.

After the knockabout good-natured comedy of The Pickwick Papers and the rage-driven sucker-punch of Oliver Twist, the prolific young writer had built up a head of hyperactive steam and really had the bit between his teeth for this one. He hadn't even finished Oliver Twist before he launched into writing this. It's a rags-to-riches story of a young middle-class gent and his mis
Sep 10, 2013 Tristram rated it really liked it
“[… I]t will be our aim to amuse, by producing a rapid succession of characters and incidents, and describing them as cheerfully and pleasantly as in us lies […]”

Thus it reads in the so-called Nickleby Proclamation, which was supposed to assure readers that their beloved Boz would once again treat them to a feast of Pickwickian antics and Twistish melodrama.

Strike the iron while it’s still hot!

The energetic young Dickens, probably overwhelmed with the success of his Sketches and his first two no
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Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and sho ...more
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