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ISBN: 5066

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Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
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reviewed HARD TIMES on + 287 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The first time that I read this, I did not really like it. I reread it a few years later and got something completely different out of it (all the ideas about education) and enjoyed it very much.
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reviewed HARD TIMES on + 67 more book reviews
Signet Classic--Charles Dickens-what can I say?
reviewed HARD TIMES on + 45 more book reviews
A classic by Dickens, just not quite my cup of tea.
"Murdering the innocent! Facts, Facts. Teach these children facts, not fancies. Sense, not sentimentality. Conformity, not curiosity. Proof and demonstration, not poetry and drama. . . On this bleak tenet is run the Gradgrind model day school."
reviewed HARD TIMES on + 55 more book reviews
A classic.
reviewed HARD TIMES on + 206 more book reviews
From the back cover: No other work of Dickens presents so relentless an indictment against the callous greed of the Victorian industrial society and its misapplied utilitarian philosophy a ths fiercest of his novels. With savage bitterness Dickens unmasks the hellish industries that imprisoned the bodies of the helpless labor class and the equally satanic institutions that shackled the development of their minds.
Aubs avatar reviewed HARD TIMES on + 15 more book reviews
Another book I read in college. Made me want to do my Masters work on the corelations between History and Literature.
perryfran avatar reviewed HARD TIMES on + 1182 more book reviews
Over the years I have read a few Dickens novels and stories including OLIVER TWIST, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, and A CHRISTMAS CAROL. But I always seem to put off reading his more ponderous works because of the length of them. I have had HARD TIMES sitting on my shelves for several years and finally got around to reading it. It is one of Dickens slighter works but I did enjoy it.

It is filled with some memorable characters as only Dickens can portray them. These include Mr. Gradgrind who runs a school according to strict principles: "Now what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else." When his pupils are asked whether you should paper a room with representations of horses, the answer is of course no because you would never see horses walking up wallsâyou don't have a fact. Gradgrind uses these principles not only on his pupils but also his children, Tom and Louisa. Then there is the industrialist, Mr. Bounderby, who brags of his humble beginnings and that he was able to pull himself out of the gutter. One of Bounderby's employees is Stephen Blackpool, a weaver in a loveless marriage who loses his job and is framed for a robbery committed by Gradgrind's son, Tom. Tom is referred to throughout the novel as the Whelp. Louisa agrees to a loveless marriage to Bounderby at the encouragement of Tom who sees the marriage as a way into favor with Bounderby. At the end, Louisa's misery along with Tom's deceit leads Gradgrind to see the error of his ways and he turns more compassionate.

The story is told against the backdrop of Coketown, a fictional northern industrial town. The novel does somewhat convey the dehumanizing nature of factory work but doesn't dwell too much on these issues or the labor movement of the time. I did enjoy this novelâit was poignant but also filled with humor. I of course have seen and enjoyed many movie and TV versions of Dickens' other novels including DAVID COPPERFIELD, BLEAK HOUSE, NICHOLAS NICKLEBY, and GREAT EXPECTATIONS. I have several of these other works on my shelves and I really hope to read them at some point.
reviewed HARD TIMES on + 3 more book reviews
One of Dickens' lesser known books, but good nonetheless. This is about a small town and is mostly a social commentary.