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Nicholas Nickleby; or, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby is a novel by Charles Dickens. Originally published as a serial from 1838 to 1839, it was Dickens' third novel.
Mr Dickens tells a wonderful tale of young Nicholas, a nice, honourable, well brought up young man and his kid sister who is also jolly decent. Their widowed mother is cut from the same cloth as Mrs Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, self-obsessed and way too verbose. They fall on hard times and throw themselves at the mercy of greedy Uncle Ralph. He is obsessed with money. Nicholas gets a job with pantomime villain Wackford Squeers at Dotheboys Hall in Yorkshire, where the boys are starved and beaten. And so it goes on, at a breathless pace, from comedy to tragedy, until the conspiracies unravel and everybody gets their just desserts in a satisfying outcome.
This book lies, in tone, somewhere between The Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist. It has the larger than life characters in contrived situations as in Pickwick and the social deprivation as portrayed in Oliver Twist. The plot has a lot of coincidences and convenient last minute interventions but the story is beautifully constructed and it is a thoroughly good read. Wholly recommended.