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Nicholas Nicklebyn elämä ja seikkailut (1839)

Tekijä: Charles Dickens

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut / Maininnat
6,765931,329 (3.92)2 / 449
Nicholas Nickleby is left responsible for his mother and sister when his father dies. The novel follows his attempt to succeed in supporting them, despite his uncle Ralph's antagonistic lack of belief in him. It is one of Dickens' early comic novels.
  1. 60
    David Copperfield (tekijä: Charles Dickens) (aces)
  2. 40
    Pickwick-kerhon jälkeenjääneet paperit (tekijä: Charles Dickens) (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Both books are early Dickens' novels and written in an episodic, picaresque style. Although Nicholas Nickleby is more plot-driven than The Pickwick Papers and contains some darker themes, both works are fundamentally happy Dickens novels and readers who enjoy one would probably enjoy the other.… (lisätietoja)
  3. 20
    Tristram Shandy : elämä ja mielipiteet (tekijä: Laurence Sterne) (roby72)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 93) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Dickens 4th book, and 3rd novel, published in 1838-39 and cementing his speedy celebrity, Nickleby combines the angry social statements of Oliver Twist with something of the sense of sharp satire of The Pickwick Papers. True, neither Nicholas nor Kate exhibit much in the way of interesting features, but as Tintin-esque Everypeople, they are surrounded by a gallery of delightful characters. The Victorian pathos is there in spades, and some of it is really quite silly, but one can feel Dickens gaining such a sense of self-assuredness as he works through this novel, and the picaresque nature of Nickleby's travels will not be equalled by any of the other novels that feature extensive journeys. The acting troupe, the brutal world of Mantilini's dress shop, and the figure of Ralph Nickleby, who extends on Fagin's sparks of life to suggest that the author might one day be interested in creating characters with more than one-and-a-half dimensions.

Excepting parts of Little Dorrit and David Copperfield, this is the Dickens novel that has the purest sense of fun, and combined with some of the powerful statements about the workhouse and the place of women, it's a very worthy read. To be honest, I think this is the height of the Dickens canon for several years, until Copperfield comes along. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 24, 2023 |
You know what you're getting yourself into with a Dickens book usually, humor, melodrama, intricate plots and absurd characters, and this was all that and more. There's a reason Dickens was such a celebrity in his day, he can tell quite an entertaining story. For me this book faltered a bit towards the end and I got the impression the author killed off Smike (poor Smike!) because he didn't quite know what to do with him, but it was still a very enjoyable read . ( )
  Autolycus21 | Oct 10, 2023 |
This is the first time I have ever managed to finish a book by Charles Dickens. It was actually recommended to me as one of his more accessible novels, so thanks to the recommender for a good choice. One of the things that makes it more readable than [b:Oliver Twist|18254|Oliver Twist|Charles Dickens|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1327868529s/18254.jpg|3057979] or [b:Great Expectations|2623|Great Expectations|Charles Dickens|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1327920219s/2623.jpg|2612809]is that at the start of the book the protagonist is an adult, not a child. This means that he has a bit more agency and doesn't just spend the first 200 pages getting neglected and mistreated as in the other two Dickens novels I've attempted.

That's the good part. I have two main beefs with Dickens' writing in general and this particular novel is no exception. Beef number 1 is just a stylistic one. In his attempt to maintain a light and cheerful tone, the author's attempts at irony are often just saying the opposite. So when Dickens describes "those stories of engrossing interest which are to be found in the more antiquated spelling-books" we all undersstand that he means that the stories are dull. In that sense it's technically irony, but it's irony without purpose. Frequently he confuses saying-the-opposite with irony, but irony needs to have a purpose, a reason that the speaker is distancing themself from the statement they are making - eg. in this case the purpose might be to lampoon the person who thinks these stories are interesting, but no-one thinks this. Without purpose it's just a moment of dissonance, of negativity. So, the point here is that a light, chirpy writing style needs to have wit, or it just comes across as sarcastic. In passages Dickens has loads of wit, in other long sections there was just not enough to engage me.

Beef number two (remember we were counting beefs. Stay with me) is the characterisation, or should I say caricaturisation. There are no characters in this book, there are only cliches and types and because they are so paper thin all the characters are eventually unlikeable. Remember that moment in one of the David Tennant series of Dr Who when he joins in a soccer game and is brilliant at it? Instead of liking him more, I liked him much, much less. The character of Nicholas Nickleby has a kind of moral sonic screwdriver that solves all problems and quickly becomes tedious. We want our heroes to fail sometimes and we want them to make compromises. Or at least I do. Dickens' enduring popularity and respect obviously make that generalisation incorrect. Having said that, I actually found Nicholas Nickleby to be the least unlikeable character. The baddies are so relentlessly evil that it's impossible to think of them as human and the goodies are so weak, stupid, helpless or unlikely as to be highly punchable within five pages of their introduction.

Finally I'll note that I don't take pleasure in seeing people get their comeuppance. When a miserable person who did terrible things suffers for their actions, it's a sad occasion, not a cause for gloating and celebration (this is not a spoiler as there are many baddies in this book, so you'll have to read to find out where and whether just deserts are distributed). Dickens' vindictive kind of morality differs so greatly from mine as to be somewhat offensive and I couldn't enjoy scenes that I think I was supposed to rub my hands at.

So, this book is a good choice if you want to say you've read Dickens, or if you love Dickens, but otherwise, read [b:Jane Eyre|10210|Jane Eyre|Charlotte Brontë|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1327867269s/10210.jpg|2977639] for an idea of what 19th century literature can be. ( )
  robfwalter | Jul 31, 2023 |

“Oh,” growled Ralph, with an ill-favoured frown, “you are Nicholas, I suppose?”
“That is my name, sir,” replied the youth. (40)

Mr. Squeers was standing in a box by one of the coffee-room fireplaces, fitted with one such table as is usually seen in coffee-rooms, and two of extraordinary shapes and dimensions made to suit the angles of the partition. In a corner of the seat was a very small deal trunk, tied round with a scanty piece of cord; and on the trunk was perched - his lace-up half-boots and corduroy trousers dangling in the air - a diminutive boy, with his shoulders drawn up to his ears, and his hand planted on his knees, who glanced timidly at the school master from time to time with evident dread and apprehension. (48)

Mrs. Squeers then proceeded to open a miscellaneous collection of letters, some enclosing money, which Mrs. Squeers “took care of”; and other referring to small articles of apparel, as caps and so forth, all of which the same lady stated to be too large or too small, and calculated for nobody but young Squeers, who would appear indeed to have had most accommodating limbs, since everything that came into the school fitted him to nicety. His head, in particular, must have been singularly elastic, for hats and caps of all dimensions were alike to him. (109)

A few - and these where among the youngest of the children - slept peacefully on with smiles upon their faces, dreaming perhaps of home; but even and again e deep and heavy sigh, breaking the stillness of the room, announced that some new sleeper had awakened to the misery of another day, and, as morning took the place of night, the smiles gradually faded away with the friendly darkness which had given them birth. (157)

But men are so different at different time! (204)

Such is hope, Heaven’s own gift to struggling mortals; pervading, like some subtle essence, from the skies, all things, both good and bad; as universal as death, and more infectious than disease. (239)

It was a cold, dry, foggy morning in early spring; a few meagre shadows flitted to and fro in the misty streets, and occasionally there loomed through the dull vapour the heavy outline of some hackney-coach wending homewards, which drawing slowly nearer, rolled jangling by, scattering the thin crust of frost from its whitened roof, and soon was lost again in the cloud. At intervals were heard the thread of slipshod feet, and the chilly cry of the poor sweep as he crept shivering to his early toil; the heavy footfall of the official watcher of the night pacing slowly up and down and cursing the tardy hours that still intervened between him and sleep; the rumbling of ponderous carts and waggons, the roll of the lighter vehicles which carried buyers and sellers to the different markets; the sound of ineffectual knocking at the doors of heavy sleepers - all these noises fell upon the ear from time to time, but all seemed muffled by the fog, and to be rendered almost as indistinct to the ear as was every object to the sight. (276-7)

“I think ,” said Smike, “if you were to keep saying it to me in little bits, over and over again, I should be able to recollect it from hearing you.”
“Do you think so!” exclaimed Nicholas. “Well said. Let us see who tires first. Not I, Smike, trust me. Now then. ‘Who calls so loud?”
“Who calls so loud?” said Smike.
“Who calls so loud?” repeated Nicholas.
“Who calls so loud?” cried Smike. (332-3)

Lord Frederick Verisopht was the first to speak. Dropping his slippered foot on the ground, and, yawning heavily, he struggles into a sitting posture, and turned his dull languid eyes towards his friend, to whom he called in a drowsy voice.
“Hallo!” replied Sir Mulberry, turning round.
“Are we going to lie here all da-a-y?” said the lord.
“I don’t know that we’re fit for anything else,” replied Sir Mulberry; “yet awhile, at least. I haven’t a grain of life in me this morning.”
“Life!” cried Lord Verisopht. “I feel as if there would be nothing so snug and comfortable as to die at once.” (334-5)

“How is it that you, who are so kind and good to me, have nobody to be kind to you?” asked Smike. “I cannot make that out.”
“Why, it is a long story,” replied Nicholas… (376)

In exact proportion as Ralph Nickelby became conscious of a struggling and lingering regard for Kate, had his detestation of Nicholas augmented. It might be, that to atone for the weakness of inclining to any one person, he held it necessary to hate some other more intensely than before; but such had the course of his feelings. (439)

“I have been, Mrs. Snawley,” said Mr. Squeers, when he had satisfied himself upon this point, “I have been that chap’s benefactor, feeder, teacher, and clother. I have been that chap’s classical, commercial, mathematical, philosophical, and trigonomical friend. My son - my only son, Wackford - has been his (Smike) brother; Mrs Squeers has been his mother, grandmother, aunt, - Ah! and I may say uncle too, all in one… (495)

John Browdie helps Smike.
“Presently,” resumed John “he did coom. I heerd door shut doonstairs, and him a warking oop in the daark. ‘Slow and steddy,’ I says to myself, ‘tak’ your time, sir - no hurry.’ He cooms to the door, turns the key - turns the key when there warn’t nothing to hoold the lock - and ca’s oot ‘Hallo there!’ - ‘Yes,’ thinks I, ‘you may do thot agean, and not waken anybody, sir.’ ‘Hallo, there,’ he says, and then he stops. ‘Thou’d betther not aggravate me,’ says schoolmeasther, efther a little time. ‘I’ll brak’ every boan in your boddy, Smike,’ he says, efther another little time. Then all of a soodden, he sings oot for a loight, and when it cooms - ecod, such a hoorly - boorly! ‘wa’ats the matter?’ says I. ‘He’s gane,’ says he, - stark mad wi’ vengeance. ‘Have you heerd nought?’ ‘Ees,’ says I, ‘I heerd street door shut, no time at a’ ago. I heerd a person run doon there’ (pointing t’other wa’ - eh?) ‘Help’ he cries, ‘I’ll help you,’ says I; and off we set - the wrong wa’! Ho! ho! ho!” (539)

Many and many a time in after years did Nicholas look back to this period of his life, and tread again the humble quiet homely scenes that rose up of old before him. Many and many a time, in the twilight of a summer evening, or beside the flickering winter’s fire - but not so often or so sadly then - would his thoughts wander back to these old days, and dwell with a pleasant sorrow upon every slight room in which they had so often sat long after it was dark, figuring such happy futures - Kate’s cheerful voice and merry laugh… (628-9)

“She is come!” said the old gentleman, laying his hand upon his heart. “Cormoran and Blunderbore! She is come! All the wealth I have is hers if she will take me for her slave. Where are grace beauty and blandishments like those? In the Empress of Madagascar? No. In the Queen of Diamonds? No. In Mrs. Rowland who every monrning bathes in Kalydor for nothing? No. Melt all these down into one, with the three Graces, the nine Muses, and fourteen biscuit-bakers’ daughters from Oxford Street, and make a woman half as lovely. Pho! I defy you.” (638-9)

It was one of those scenes of life and animation, caught in its very brightest and freshest moments, which can scarcely fail to please; for it the eye be tired of show and glare, or the ear be weary with a ceaseless round of noise, the one may repose, turn almost where it will, on eager happy and expectant faces, and the other deaden all consciousness of more annoying sounds in those of mirth and exhilaration. Even the sunburnt faces of gipsy children, half naked though they be, suggest a drop of comfort. It is a pleasant thing to see that the sun has been there, to know that the air and light are on them every day, to feel that they are children and lead children’s lives; that if their pillows be damp, it is with the dew of Heaven, and not with tears; … that their lives are spent day to day at least among the waving trees, and not in the midst of dreadful engines which make young children old before they know what childhood is, … (642-3)

“The man that came to me last night!” whispered Gride, plucking at his elbow. “The man that came to me last night!”
“I see,” muttered Ralph, “I know! I might have guessed as much before. Across my every path, at every turn, go where I will, do what I may, he comes!” (702)

“Well, my Slider!” said Mr. Squeers, jocularly.
“Is that you?” inquired Peg.
“Ah! it’s me, and me’s the first person singular, nominative case, agreeing with the verb ’it’s,’ and governed by Squeers understood, as a acorn, a hour; but when the h is sounded, the a only is to be used, as a hand, a heart, a highway,” replied Mr. Squeers, quoting at random from the grammar, “at least if it isn’t, you don’t know any better, and if it is, I’ve done it accidentally.” (735)

“Measles, rheumatics, hooping-cough, fevers, agers, and lumbagers,” said Mr. Squeers, “is all philosophy, and the earthly bodies is philosophy. If there’s a screw loose in a heavenly body, that’s philosophy too; or it may be that sometimes there’s a little metaphysics in it, but that’s not often. Philosophy’s the chap for me. If a parent asks a question in the classical, commercial, or mathematical line, say I, gravely, ‘Why, sir, in the first place, are you a philosopher?’ - ‘No, Mr. Squeers,’ he says, ‘I an’t.’ ‘Then, sir,’ says I, “I am sorry for you, for I shan’t be able to explain it. ‘Naturally the parent goes away and wishes he was a philosopher, and equally naturally, thinks I’m one.” (736)


( )
  NewLibrary78 | Jul 22, 2023 |
This has everything one could hope for in a Dickens story. While Nicholas is the common thread that ties everyone together, there are the usual myriad relationships, deceptions, heartbreak, villainy and coincidences throughout the chapters of this book. Dicken's compassion and humor are everywhere, whether the characters be foolish, silly, vile or wise. Great story. ( )
  EntreNous | Jul 22, 2023 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 93) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (126 mahdollista)

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Dickens, Charlesensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Browne, Hablot KnightKuvittajapäätekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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Schlicke, PaulToimittajamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Slater, MichaelJohdantomuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Thorndike, Dame SybilJohdantomuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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In thy most need to go by thy side.
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There once lived, in a sequestered part of the county of Devonshire, one Mr Godfrey Nickleby: a worthy gentleman, who, taking it into his head rather late in life that he must get married, and not being young enough or rich enough to aspire to the hand of a lady of fortune, had wedded an old flame out of mere attachment, who in her turn had taken him for the same reason.
[Introduction] When Dickens started writing Nicholas Nickleby on 6 February 1838 -- the day before his twenty-sixth birthday -- he was riding the crest of a wave.
[G. K. Chesterton Introduction] Romance is perhaps the highest point of human expression, except indeed religion to which it is closely allied.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia


Nicholas Nickleby is left responsible for his mother and sister when his father dies. The novel follows his attempt to succeed in supporting them, despite his uncle Ralph's antagonistic lack of belief in him. It is one of Dickens' early comic novels.

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