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Nicholas Nickleby
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Nicholas Nickleby, a gentleman's son fallen upon hard times, must set out to make his way in the world. Along the way various older, money-grubbing villains attempt to injure him. Eventually, with the assistance of kind patrons, he and his family achieve economic security and a happy home. Sounds rather trite, doesn't it? Not with characters written by Dickens (Hard Times, Audio Reviews, LJ 5/1/98). Schoolmaster Squeers would make a fine poster boy for child abusers. Ralph Nickleby's initial desire to injure Nicholas gradually develops into a full-blown obsession. Then there are the kind Cheeryble brothers, the gentle, much-abused Smike, and a host of other friends who provide comic relief. Martin Jarvis does an outstanding job of reading this book. His ingenues sound young (a frequent problem area for male readers) while his villains are deliciously evil. The only problems are with the abridgment. In several places, choppy editing has left brief, disconnected scenes and/or character cameos without relevance to the abridged tale. Still, this is a charming presentation and a wonderful bridge to a classic book. Recommended for public and academic libraries.ÄI. Pour-El, Iowa State Univ., Ames Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

This unabridged audio edition of Dickens's classic novel of poverty, effort, and persistence puts the emphasis on unabridged, clocking in at nearly 40 hours-but dedicated listeners will be rewarded with an engaging and entertaining reading from narrator David Horovitch. In Victorian England, Nicholas Nickleby finds himself penniless after the death of his father. Assisted by his cold and parsimonious uncle, Ralph, Nicholas undergoes an array of trials and adventures-working as a teacher and actor-before finally succeeding in providing for his family. Horovitch wisely doesn't attempt to update or revise the author's familiar world. Instead, he reads with a careful tenor and subtly shaded array of voices that perfectly capture Dickens's prose and characters. Harrumphing and stuttering and tittering, Horovitch turns in a winning performance that fans of the author are sure to enjoy. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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