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.
Fantastic reading of this novel, the actor is superb and incredibly gifted in the different voices for the different characters.
This should be a nailed on hit. Dickens is one of the world's favourite authors and Simon Vance is one of the best readers on audible.
But sadly Nicholas Nickleby is not one of the master's best. It rambles along through over sixty episodes and some of them are a complete sidetrack from the story. One whole chapter is given over to a tirade against the piracy of his work by 'dramatists' who are abusing the authors work. Whilst it was interesting to hear that 175 years ago Dickens was struggling to protect his intellectual property, it didn't add to the story.
Meanwhile Simon Vance was not at his best either. Most of his stock voices are ready and welcome, but for the kindly Yorkshire farmer Simon wanders the British Isles for his accent. Sometimes he is geordie, at other times welsh and often Scottish. What he never achieves is the lilting North Yorkshire country voice which John deserves.
So this is value for money - it's long for the price - and important if you want the whole of Dickens' work but don't make it a priority.
Aged 64. I listen because I have dry sore eyes and it brings me so much pleasure. I like historical novels, true life stories.
An interesting story beautifully read
Listening to this long story made me appreciate Dickens' Victorian verbosity. The language is so amazing compared with today, but it has a beauty to behold. It would have been the EastEnders of those days, brought out as a series in a magazine, with cliff-hangers at the end of most chapters. Quite convoluted regarding who was who though, and a bit of a coincidence when some of the characters met up later in the book to bring about the denoument of the plot.
Thirty-one hours of pure unalloyed pleasure. The reader is a genius.
This book is so little known and should be on the best seller list!!! It is riveting. If you are a fan of classic 19th century literature, you will love it. Nicholas and his sister overcome incredible odds set against them by their unscrupulous Uncle to grow and thrive after losing their father and all financial support. They are devoted to their mother, who is silly and absurd. Touching love stories abound, and the princes rescue the damsels in distress. This is truly a great and enjoyable book with happy endings for the good guys and justice for the bad guys.
This is my favorite of all the Dickens novels, and Nicholas is my favorite of all Dickens heroes! I do love David Copperfield, of course, but Nicholas has my heart. I realize the characters Dickens creates are pretty, schmaltzy, is that the word?, but I love them, and I wish I could meet somebody like Nicholas Nickleby. Though the end is, of course, predictable, it is the happily-ever-after ending I always love from Dickens.
"Yup, a delight"
Robert is right-on. Sheer delight. The reader makes this wonderful book even more alive than on the page. If you like early Dickens, this audiobook is a must.
"A classic story and a great listen"
I liked this audio book very much. The narration was excellent, with very consistent characterisations throughout.
The story is a classic, and although, in my opinion, it doesn't have the depth and humour of David Copperfield, it is a very engaging story on many levels.
I don't hesitate recommending this audiobook to anyone who wants to dip their toe into a Dickens novel, and I'd recommend also listening to David Copperfield (Unabridged)at some time after this for a complete Charles Dickens experience
"delightful story, fabulous narrator"
This was the first Dickens I've downloaded, and I can't wait to hear others. The characters and situations sometimes made me laugh out loud and Dickens' understanding of human nature is always right on the mark. This narrator is so gifted - his voices were perfect for male and female characters alike and all were easy to distinguish and truly delightful. A joy.
"Classic Dickens superbly read"
The story is just what you expect from Dickens: some memorable characters (the villainous ones are especially memorable); a somewhat complex interweaving of plots leading to surprising discoveries about birth and parentage; some good women who are rather insipid; some sickly sentimentality, especially regarding a brother-sister relationship; a poignant young death; justice to the villains; a happy ending; and much wonderful prose. The reading is excellent. My only complaint is that the plaintiveness of Smyke and the Yorkshire accent of John B. is a little overdone. But this is minor. Dickens is a very great writer, and Simon Vance does him justice.
"Great Cast of characters!"
Another excellent novel by Charles Dickens! Sympathetic and noble Nicholas attempts to find his fortune in an interesting array of life styles which compose jolly old England. Narrated by Robert Whitfield, this novel boasts of a wide cast of voices which not only maintain the listeners' attention but also portray the characters in a most delightful and colorful manner. Excellent read if you truly enjoy Dickens!
"Another Dickens Gem"
Really a gem of a book. Nicholas Nickleby is one of my all-time favorite Dickens characters, you will absolutely fall in love with him. Great story, with a wonderful array of quirky characters, extremely villanous villans and exceptionally virtuous heros. Very entertaining!
"Even Dickens need an editor."
Accepting the needs of Dickens' audience and serial publication, there is too much padding here. Scenes and characters that detract rather than add to the dramatic flow and tension. I was also disappointed in the narrator. Not enough spirit and energy for the Crummles interlude. The voice for Ralph Nickleby is much too wimpish, even nerdish. No cruelty or vigor. I can accept the interpretation given to Kate and Nicholas, but both voices were too old and mature sounding. This novel should chart Nicholas's growth into manhood and responsibility. Worse for me, Kate sounds like an aging woman, not a young woman of charm, exploration of life and growing discovery and self-confidence. Even audiobook performances need direction! I will likely listen again to another's interpretation.
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