Thursday, August 6, 2009

Review: Nicholas Nickleby

Nicholas Nickleby is the second novel by written by Charles Dickens that I have read. I don't have anything very profound to say about it--the novel is a 19th century melodrama. It is full of interesting characters (with interesting names, such as Wackford Squeers), and ends with surprsing revelations. Having now read several Victorian novels, it is striking how standard the whole loss of identity/stolen name plot point is.

The basic plot of novel follows the adventures of Mr. Nicholas Nickleby as he works to support his sister and mother following the untimely death of his father. His greedy and nearly heartless uncle, Mr. Ralph Nickleby, does his best to make Nicholas and his family as miserable as possible. Kate is a basic picture of moral and aesthetic perfection. Mrs. Nickleby is the comic relief--she enjoys hearing herself talk and often launches off on monologues of a preposterous nature.

Although enjoyable in a episodic manner, this novel was not a particularly engaging or edifying read.

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