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05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
Saw the BBC film of Nickleby and was persuaded to pick up the book. Not having read Dickens before, I was a bit worried about getting through it, but 750 pages later, I must say that I think this is one of the best books I've ever read. It may not be his best novel, it may not be the peak of Dickens's biting social satire, his brilliant and insightful caricatures, his humorous character sketches, but in terms of a hero, I've encountered few in all of literature that can rival Nicholas Nickleby. Ralph Nickelby and Wackford Squeers also make a wonderfully wicked pair and all of the secondary characters add flavor to the novel, each as memorable as the next. This is truly a great work, and though the sophistication or importance of it can be dwarfed by Dickens's other works, I can't think of one that is more entertaining to read.

10-18-2009, 10:38 PM
I agree with your evaluation of the novel. I was never truly a Dickens fan. Not that I disliked his work, I just never especially liked it. But something about the characters in NN caught my heart.

Nicholas is perhaps a bit too perfect, but then he does have a temper and is a bit naive sometimes. As for Smike, I think it takes a hard heart not to want to rescue him from all the misery his life throws at him. I find their friendship one of the sweetest portrayals of platonic loyalty and devotion I've read in a while.

I also first saw the BBC version (with D'Arcy as Nicholas) and that inspired me to read the novel. I'm waiting for the 2002 movie with Hunnam to arrive in the post so I will be seeing that shortly. Can't wait to do a comparison analysis, and I'm wondering what others thought of the two movie version compared to each other and to the book?