Saturday, August 31, 2013

85. The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
Charles Dickens
1839
Around 800 pages









I am currently in bed and I fully expect this review to take a couple hours since I can't stop using tissues or coughing.  I believe that Charles Dickens inflicted this disease on me because I kept putting off reading this novel.  Yesterday all I really had the energy to do was lay in bed and finish the book once and for all.  Interestingly enough, today I feel worse than I did before.  Is there a connection?  I wouldn't bet against it.

I feel like I zoned in and out a lot with this novel.  There were some chapters that I was fully invested in and others that I read and have no memory of.  A character died once and I didn't even realize it until three chapters later.  Oops.

This is the story of Nicholas, a stand up guy who tries to protect his mother and sister from his evil uncle.  In typical Dickens fashion, there are actually lots of evil guys.  Mr. Squeers, for instance, beats children for no apparent reason.  Am I the only one who hates all of the characters' names.  There are just so cheesy.

So obviously, I did not enjoy the book.  800 pages of an extremely dull writing style was just excruciating.  All of Dickens' characters are either dirty, weeping, or both.  It is very exhausting and not at all enjoyable to read.

However, I did enjoy the character of Miss Squeers and her friend Fanny.  Miss Squeers convinces herself that Nicholas is in love with her (we have all been there girlfriend) which leads to some comical scenes and perhaps one of the harshest rejections in literature (some rejections I have received in real life could probably trump them all).

Two Dickens down, eight to go.  Oh boy.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Criticized for lack of character development.

Paul McCartney's favorite novel.

Trailer for 2002 version:
UP NEXT: The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe.  I love me some Poe.


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