Listen free for 30 days

Part 1

Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Length: 1 hr and 45 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (78 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Nearly nineteen-year-old Nicholas Nickleby suffers a change in fortunes when his father dies, leaving him, his sister Kate and his mother in financial need. They approach their distant uncle, the businessman Ralph Nickleby, for aid. After much consideration, and not before making enquiries through the family’s acquaintance Miss La Creevy, Ralph begrudgingly agrees to help them. He suggests that Nicholas should take a job as assistant schoolmaster at Dotheboys Hall, a school in Yorkshire run by one-eyed Mr Squeers.

Nicholas agrees on the condition that his mother and sister are cared for. The next day Ralph arranges a meeting with Squeers, who has come to London to collect pupils, and successfully persuades the schoolmaster to take Nicholas on. After departing from his uncle, Nicholas meets Newman Noggs, Ralph’s curious assistant. When Nicholas happily explains about his new position and change in fortune, Noggs reacts peculiarly but offers no explanation.

Public Domain (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Part 1

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    55
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    58
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    54
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent narrator

Dickens needs no comment, but what a superb, outstanding, marvellous narrator! I thoroughly enjoyed all the parts in this series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Genius casting

I've read other Dickens novels on Audible, feeling I was virtuously stretching my mind ....but sometimes it felt so weighty and meandering that I just yearned to zone out on some Chick Lit! However with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith doing the narration it's a totally different experience - suddenly Dickens has become a page-turner, can't wait to listen to the next part. Hats off to him for bringing sometimes archaic English totally back to life. Also having it in parts is a good move. I believe the people in Dickens' time read his novels in instalments in magazines so that fits.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Impossible to follow

The storyline is fine, I guess. But I don’t really know. I haven’t been able to finish this as the reader basically has two voices. When there are so many characters of differing backgrounds and gender, it is difficult to work out who is speaking and whether they are upset, angry or disillusioned. I hope my review is more clear.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The narrator is great

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith has the perfect voice for narrating Dickens. It's free too, so what's not to like!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Worst reading ever

Just listened to two marvellous performances of a Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield that we’re amazing - the contrast with this reading could not be starker - monotone and poor characterisation - avoid!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully narrated.

The narrator voices the many characters so well, that each comes to life. Loved it.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not much really happens.

I’m a painter and decorator. I put white paint on already white walls. Without some kind of intelligent distraction, I will lose my mind. I always wanted to read a Dickens Novel. I’m kind of glad I never did. This book is so tedious that I began to wonder why I was listening to it. The mundanities of Victorian life were truly terrible. If the description of Dickens characters is anything to go by, I can see why the crime rate was as high as it was. Everyone was bored. At first the narrators rasping voice (it sounds like a person trying to speak after breathing in the bubbles of extremely cheap champagne) irritated the boredom out of me. He has the controlled pronunciation of a trained actor. That’s the negatives. However, this actors Characterisation does grow on you. Some of them even grow on you. He does do a good job. I was perhaps feeling extra critical but I didn’t enjoy this much. The last few chapters come together in a nice fairytale bow and some of the niceties demanded of storytelling almost become exciting. Unfortunately though there is so much waffle a person has to chew through before you get to the maple syrup.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Struggled to stay awake

This was hard going for me. It was well read but I just couldn’t stay awake long enough to stay the course

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant book

I am not a Charles Dickens fan but was interested to listen to this as I had never heard the story absolutely brilliant the narration was perfect the characters were funny I didn’t realise just how much a comic Charles Dickens was totally enjoyed it was quite sad when it ended

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Simply a work of art

This story is pure classic. Funny, endearing and poignant. The reader was profoundly integral in my enjoyment of this book. His nuance, clarity and vocalisations were so perfect that I enjoyed it more than the movie. If you have the time to listen to this I would encourage it wholeheartedly. It is memorable as not only is the story so very good, but also the performance enhanced the telling of it. I do wish I could give it more stars it was so very good.