NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Friday, January 9, 2009

NICHOLAS NICKLEBY

by Charles Dickens



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!



22 comments:

Jo-Jo said...

That does sound good and you are right...very imaginitive. Goodness-a cadaverous face-yikes!

BooksPlease said...

I must read this, and more Dickens - soon. Great review!

zetor said...

Hi Lezlie, I live near a place called Bowes in Co. Durham. It has links with Dickens and Nicholas Nickelby. Thought you might be interested in the following, http://www.teesdalehistory.com/page5.htm http://www.francisfrith.com/search/england/county+durham/bowes/photos/bowes_photos.htm

The latter shows Dotheboys Hall which Dickens supposedly used for the story and the real 'Smike' is buried in Bowes churchyard.

Lezlie said...

Jo-Jo ~ You can just see it, can't you? :-)

Books Please ~ Thank you! I don't know if this is one of his more popular works or not, but I loved it!

Zetor ~ Thank you so much!! I'm going to check them out right now!

Lezlie

Dar said...

I'll have to keep this one in my mind for the Classics Challenge this year. I didn't mind the Dickens I read so this would likely be a good choice, it sounds good.

Lezlie said...

Dar ~ You could use it for the Chunkster Challenge, too! :-)

Lezlie

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

I love Dickens, but I haven't read this one yet....I might just have to join that classics challenge!

Charley said...

Masterpiece Theatre is showing Dickens soon. As much as I enjoy reading, I'm looking forward to relaxing with a little PBS!

Chain Reader said...

I'm so happy today--this is the second pro-Dickens post I've read today! I have been reading about a lot of people who hate Dickens, which is fine, it's just nice to know there are others who appreciate his writing. For the Themed Reading Challenge my theme is Dickens. I'm going to try to read four this year, and NN is one of them. I'm excited!

Danielle said...

I like Dickens as well and must get on with Bleak House. And on occasion I myself have had a crush on a literary character.... :)

Kay said...

You sound like me enthusing over Jane Austen! You know, I've never read any Dickens except maybe A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Hmmm...I'll think about including something this year. Do you have a suggestion for where I would start?

Lezlie said...

Michele ~ You should!

Charley ~ I'll be PBS does a great job with Dickens' stories. I'd look forward to it also!

Chain Reader ~ I can't wait to see what you think of it! I can see why some wouldn't enjoy his writing, but I'm definitely not in that catagory either.

Danielle ~ It was hard to not love Nicholas. He's just so darn nice and ethical! :-)

Kay ~ Confession: I've never read Jane Austen. I plan on remedying that this year. As far as suggestions for Dickens, I'm a newbie to him and have only read three: This one, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities, which had a far darker atmosphere to it than NN. Speaking for only those, if you're looking for something more upbeat, I'd go with Nicholas Nickleby. But I also loved Two Cities. It may have been my favorite book I read last year.

Lezlie

Rose City Reader said...

I've been on a Dickens kick for the past year of so, I don't know why. 19th Century lit in general and Dickens in particular. Not that I've read a lot of them, but I've been musing a lot. I read Hard Times last year, and his "Christmas Stories" and teed up a couple more for upcoming reads.

A Tale of Two Cities may still be my favorite. But I will turn to NN next. Hubby gave me a pretty matching set because I am so keen right now. So NN it will be.

PS -- No judgment, but I am shocked that you have not read Austin. (There are so many "great books" that I have not read, that I can't even think of passing judgment.) A couple of years ago, I read them all in order (thanks to another matching set gift from Hubby -- he likes to return to the same well) and was wowed all over again. Really, really great stuff.

Lezlie said...

Rose City Reader ~ Matching sets! Nice! I think I'll try to fix that Jane Austen thing this year. I have two on the shelf right now! Like you said, there are so many great classics out there, I suppose we're all missing *something* we should have read by now. :-) I can't wait to see what you think of NN!

Lezlie

literatehousewife said...

I've never even given this novel a thought. If you're in love with NN, then this is a must read in my book. I'm going to hunt for a copy.

Lezlie said...

Literate Housewife ~ It wasn't on my radar either. I only picked it up because I needed a new audiobook, and it happened to be sitting there. I'm so glad I did! I hope you like it!

Lezlie

Andi said...

LOL! I love Dickens for all the reasons you mentioned. I haven't read this one, but that passage you included is enough to make me want to mooch it right away!

Lezlie said...

Andi ~ That line was just too funny not to share. I can't wait to see what you'll have to say about NN!

Lezlie

Ali said...

I can relate--I'm gradually making my way through David Copperfield right now (about 100 pages a week; I post about it on Sundays) and enjoying it much more than I expected to. Dickens definitely has a way with words and is often very funny!

Lezlie said...

Ali ~ David Copperfield is one of the ones I considered reading next. I'll have to come over to your blog and check out what you have to say!

Lezlie

Ladytink_534 said...

Besides A Christmas Carol recently, I haven't read Dickens in years. I remember really loving Great Expectations though.

Lezlie said...

Ladytink ~ That one is high on my list of ones I need to get to soon.

Lezlie