I laughed out loud several times.
I read somewhere how someone thought Nicholas was boring, I didn't think so, but at the end I got annoyed with him about the whole "honor" issue with himself and Madeline and then also Frank and Kate. The description of the maiden lady and bachelor brother is ridiculous. I get something of his problem, but he should have known the brothers Cheeryble better than that, and I am sorry, even if it is the 19th century I am sure he didn't have to be quite so extreme . . . but that is Nicholas for you.
I had watched one of the film versions (2002) a couple year ago, and for some reason expected Smike to feature a bit more, I guess when you see him more it feels that way. He was always there in the book but not mentioned as doing anything. Why did it seem as if he lost his lameness?
I like that the book followed all the several interesting plot lines and mini plots. I could feel a bit more in this book how Dickens dragged out the story for the serial, but I think all this back and forth helped keep my attention. I either read or heard something about Dickens and personal stuff in Nicholas Nickleby, and so I noticed a lot of the references to writers' trials, like the one part when Nicholas gets into an argument with a stranger . . . which seemed totally out of character. He got angry about his family but didn't pick petty fights.
You know how I mentioned in my Great Expectations review how I didn't like the stupid good characters? Yeah, I didn't like Mrs. Nickleby at. all. She needed a good smack. I found it a bit ridiculous how Nicholas defended her, I mean I know he should and would, but it was soooo ironic. She was the stupider version of Mrs. Dashwood whom I also do not like.
I was surprised at the depth of Ralph's hostility and evilness. I guess the movie didn't give a strong enough impression, or I just didn't pay attention to that aspect. He want Nicholas dead, he said he would kill him if he could and let him be eaten by dogs, and he said this not as a figure of speech, but in all truth. I knew he wasn't nice, but I guess I expected him to soften although I realized the ending and it seemed familiar. I think I am just used to crotchety old men who soften up rather than truly hardened characters. But his nephew!
I cannot wait to pick up the film/television adaptations of this book and Great Expectations from the library.
Labels: Classics Club, Literature Reviews