Brad's Reviews > Nicholas Nickleby

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
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it was amazing
bookshelves: novel
Read 2 times

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, I concede to three flaws in his oeuvre that are not insignificant. First, while he seemed to develop an almost endless variety of male social types, his female characters are much less well developed. Second, although he portrayed the stark brutality of economic and class inequality with unparalleled clarity, his diagnosis of what needs to be done is flaccidly liberal, suggesting that the wealthy should simply be nicer and more generous to the poor(yet his writings did propitiate structural changes, e.g. to the Poor Laws, in his lifetime). Third, in tying up the loose threads of his extremely complex plots, he often pushes this reader past the boundary of the reasonable suspension of disbelief. Some readers also object to his sentimentalism or to his grotesque characters but I find these extremes create a dynamism in combination with his social criticism.

These caveats aside, I deeply enjoy reading Dickens for a number of reasons. He exhibits stratospheric gifts of imagination in portraying extremes of human character in extreme situations. His idiosyncratic characters each have an unmistakable and unforgettable voice. His highly crafted language is endlessly inventive and evocative. Finally, he created a parade of some of the funniest, evilest, and most pathetic characters one will ever encounter and although extreme, they also ring true to equivalent characters from any time.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
Started Reading ( Edition)
January 1, 1997 – Finished Reading ( Edition)
June 25, 2007 – Shelved ( Edition)
June 25, 2007 – Shelved
June 29, 2007 – Shelved as: novel ( Edition)
June 29, 2007 – Shelved as: novel

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Maya (new) - rated it 1 star

Maya Zauberman I can see where you are coming from, but I personally disliked this book. I felt it was a little too long, and a little too sentimental. I didn't particularly connect to many of the characters- I felt that they were nice, but very unrealistic, in the sense that they don't seem to exhibit many faults. It certainly could be that they were there- I likely just didn't see it. The only character I remember liking was Uncle Ralph, and maybe Wackford Squeers.


Geekycheeky Unfortunatley there isnt a like button for ur comment otherwise i woulda given it a double like. I liked his other books, but i found this one hard to connect with. At first i thought i was missing something but it did feel like he had too many unnecessary characters to begin with. Characters that didnt quit help the progression of the plot save to elongate the story/pages. Also their dialogues often at times felt hard to follow and some of the characters seemed to be rambling on for too long when they would have just gotten straight to the point. After the last page i didnt know what to feel. I didnt have the usual awesome feeling that came with ending a classic.


Geekycheeky btw, Maya my previous comment was intended for you, not Brad. I tried replying to your comment but it posted as though it where in reply to Brads :(


message 4: by Shana (new) - added it

Shana Harris I got 4 Charles Dickens books i check out different day


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