I have a literary crush on Nicholas Nickleby! And on his creator, Charles Dickens. Those of you who are veterans of Dickens' writing will please forgive the silly gushing of a neophyte. He is such a joy to read! His characters are beyond memorable and his descriptions are so creative that I'm constantly thinking I would never in a million years have written something so imaginative. Here is just one tiny example that had me smiling for hours:
Mrs. Sliderskew was in an ecstasy of delight, rolling her head about, drawing up her skinny shoulders, and wrinkling her cadaverous face into so many and such complicated forms of ugliness, as awakened the unbounded astonishment and disgust even of Mr. Squeers.How great is that? So simple, so vivid and so clever! And for the entire portion of the book that took place at Mr. Squeers' school for boys, I had visions of Pink Floyd's "The Wall". (Note to self: Must watch that film again soon.)
Good Nicholas Nickleby, villainous Ralph Nickleby and Mr. Wackford Squeers, down-trodden but gallant Newman Noggs, loyal Smike, the comic relief of the verbose but muddled Mrs. Nickleby, every one of the many characters seems to be drawn to perfection and come to be people you know. And while the book is a long one, they make every page a pleasure. Considering the large cast of characters, I was thrilled when the book ended with one of my favorite things -- A quick summary of where each of them ended up after "The End". This will not be the end, however, of my time with Charles Dickens. I'm so glad there is much more for me to discover!