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Publisher's Summary

When 19-year old Nicholas Nickleby is left destitute after his father's death, he appeals to his wealthy uncle to help him find work and to protect his mother and sister. But Ralph Nickleby offers little help and proves to be both hard-hearted and unscrupulous, leaving Nicholas to make his own way in the world.

Nicholas' adventures take him to Yorkshire boarding school, Dotheboys Hall, and then back to London, meeting an extraordinary gallery of rogues and eccentrics along the way. Like many of Dickens' novels, Nicholas Nickleby is characterised by his outrage at cruelty and social injustice, but it is also a flamboyantly exuberant work, revealing his comic genius.

This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 19 episodes to your Library now.

Public Domain (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Nicholas Nickleby

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  • Ms. H. J. Stephenson
  • 16-10-18

Not my usual listen...... but so good!

Brilliant listen, all 19 parts are now available despite other reviews. Well worth giving it a go!

39 people found this helpful

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  • Adam
  • 31-10-18

An epic melodrama and a wonder of character acting

This audible production of Charles Dickens's classic Victorian melodrama has been released in nineteen parts (mirroring Dickens's original print serialisation), averaging about two hours each. It has it's own epic, sweeping theme music, and a 'next time on Nicholas Nickleby' teaser trailer to the next episode, which cleverly utilises Dickens's original chapter headings.
Left Destitute after his father's death, Nicholas, his mother and sister Kate travel to London looking naturally for family help from his Uncle Ralph Nickleby. Unfortunately Ralph is anything but natural, he is a debased, scheming Usurer or money-lender, who has utterly disregarded his humanity in his quest for wealth. Ralph sets Nicholas on his apprenticeship to the schoolmaster Wackford Squeers, who with his family run a brutal boarding school regime where physical, mental and emotional abuse are the norm. Nicholas is driven to an act of rebellion that leads to him going on the run with the friendless, abused, damaged and abandoned lad, Smike. This is only the start of Nicholas's adventures, however, and through the course of the novel we shall encounter theatrical troupes, ruined dressmakers, suffering servants, heroic philanthropists and a range of heroes, villains and grotesques, moments of high comedy, incredible dramatic coincidences, edge of the seat drama, social criticism and satire that hits its mark every time.

What a joy this production is. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's narration is a wonder of character acting; from the rasping, biting tones of Ralph to the free ranging witterings of Mrs Nickleby, the wheedling whining of Squeers, the quietly spoken heroism of Nicholas, and much more. Narrator and writer seem perfectly matched,and the result is one of the happiest, most compelling listens I have found on audible. It is first class, and its production values and use of music lift the mood and atmosphere further.

My recommended audio-book of the year and definitely in my top five of all time.

51 people found this helpful

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  • A-HRLP
  • 31-10-18

Contact Audible Customer Service for missing parts

I too have had problems with Parts of this series not being downloaded to my Account: like at least one other reviewer, Part 3 was missing / not downloaded. I contacted Audible Customer Service about this, who rectified the situation by adding Part 3 to the Wishlist in my account, from where I was able to download it into my Library with no further problems. After that, all the subsequent Parts downloaded OK with no problems. So for anyone who has had the same problem with any of the Parts not downloading, I suggest you try contacting Audible Customer Service to rectify the situation. Hope this helps. I have only finished listening to Part 1 to date, but thus far the actual story and narration are both great.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Kathleen K.
  • 27-01-19

Absolutely brilliant!

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is now a hero of mine. He has brought Dickens' characters to life in a way I couldn't imagine if I'd read it to myself. It has indeed enhanced my experience a thousand-fold and I will always remember it and can't recommend it enough! I am now thoroughly addicted to Audible! Thank you for this fantastic piece of work - I'm sure Dickens himself would be thrilled.

7 people found this helpful

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  • NutwoodWanderer
  • 22-11-18

Great characterisation

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith has a distinctive husky voice which may not appeal to all. But his characterisation of all the wonderful characters in the story is second to none. He picks up well on all the subtleties and accents and classes with great variability in voice. A very enjoyable listen.

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  • chriswoodham
  • 02-10-18

Part 3 missing!!!!

I was getting into this but part 3 is missing and I can’t download it for some reason

37 people found this helpful

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  • Anna Bale
  • 22-11-18

Exceptional narration, first class!

This is a wonderful throwback to times past with a truly intoxicating use of the English language. There is a full range of exciting characters - some truly despicable - which are beautifully drawn and embellished with a rich and varied dialogue. The narration by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is all the more exceptional for this as the many dialects, accents and colloquialisms must pose a challenge for any narrator. KBH is now up there with my favourite narrator to date, Stephen Fry - level pegging, even!
Life in early 19th century London and rural England is vividly brought to life and while the plot is engaging but there are some very convenient coincidences throughout which are slightly irritating. Also, as with most of these classic novels, once one has temporally cast aside all feminist and social injustice sensibilities, this is a hugely enjoyable listen.

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  • Fergal Sherlock
  • 16-11-18

Utterly amazing...

Narrated perfectly with great accents and infection's, and a story that is well paced, funny 'as Dickens', and as relevent today as the news.

Making my holiday.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-10-18

Last Part Missing

I loved this version of Nicholas Nickleby. Mr Holdbrook-Smith is an excellent narrator. However, like other reviewers I stopped listening halfway through when I realised that last 8 episodes wont download.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Ginger
  • 20-08-19

Narration

Did not like the character voices put on by the narrator, incredibly annoying and daft

2 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew Lehan
  • 09-08-20

spoilt

as in I have been..
After listening to Stephen Fry, I'm afraid I had to shut this off after 3 chapters

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  • ELIZABETH HAYES
  • 21-12-19

narrator

narrator was remarkable! story is classic Dickens and lots of lovely twists and turns to keep the interest going.

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  • Bondfan1972
  • 24-02-19

A masterpiece brought to life

The novel is a masterpiece. That’s obvious. However the narrator did a superb job. Truly recommended.

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  • thereadaholic
  • 14-12-18

The original soap opera

This is an enraging and entertaining book with all the depth, improbable plot twists, melodrama and occasional nauseous sop of a long running soap opera. Great fun but makes me wonder if the writers of Neighbours will be hailed as literary giants 100 years from now.

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  • Lynnette
  • 03-01-21

A must read.....money is still the root of evil

Here I am in my late 60s and listening to the classics. I don’t think reading the physical book could give the same pleasure as Kobna’s acting. He managed a huge range of characters with faultless acting. To hear thke lost language and nuances shows up a past time of obvious heirachy and dignified people. I love the way Dickens uses names (Mrs Whititelly) so far fetched to make light of the toffs and creates analogies to highlight human kind’s still too prevalent flaws. It ends a bit mushy and gushy, but what the heck, don’t most stories end with love or money?
I’ve read this over several weeks as it can get pretty heavy with the stories within stories, as Dickens tends to do. I consider us fortunate to have audio choice to soak up these wonderful classical tales.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-12-20

Brilliant

Simply the greatest English author that ever lived. A classic. Dickens at his best. Simply brilliant!

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  • Ray Smith
  • 31-10-20

A wonderful narration of a timeless story

I really enjoyed the story and narrator’s presentation. I cannot think how it could have been improved.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-08-20

The Heart Of Man

Charles Dickens so captures the good and evil of his times. The narration though at times long drums up a thorough picture and evokes such emotion as to allow oneself to be transported to that day and time so as to become a silent bystander as opposed to a reader.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-08-20

Highly recommendable

Fabulous narration, absolutely loved every minute of it! Did not want the story to end.

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  • Ingrid Braun
  • 23-07-20

Brilliantly read.

Kobna Holdbrook - Smith does an amazing job bringing this engrossing and humorous take to life. Highly recommended.