Monday, 15 February 2016

Dickens, Charles "Hard Times"

Dickens, Charles "Hard Times" - 1854

I think I mentioned before that I love Dickens even though I haven't read all that many of his novels. I decided it was time to devour his next novel and happened upon "Hard Times". My first thought was, that could be the title of any of his novels. And I still think I was right there.

Anyway, Charles Dickens is one of the best authors that ever lived. He manages to describe people, their traits and personalities, the interaction between them, their lot in life, he does all that just wonderfully and still it sounds like it was the most normal thing in the world. As most of my friends know,  I do prefer large books, this was not THAT large but it had all the components and told a great story. Another tale of how different lives were for the rich and the poor, how hard it was to get through life if you were not born on the lucky side. And still, there is so much humour in this story, The characters are all brilliant. Every single one of them is so special, some of them quite warm hearted, others not so much.

I really enjoyed reading this story and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys classic novels and maybe even for a starter novel for those who pretend not to enjoy them.

From the back cover: "Hard Times is both a tragic story of human oppression and a dazzling work of political satire. It depicts Coketown, a typical red-brick industrial city of the north. In its schools and factories children and adults are caged and enslaved, with no personal freedom until their spirit is broken. Against this social backdrop where harsh regimes are enforced by the likes of Josiah Bounderby, the pompous self-made man, and Gradgrind, the censorious disciplinarian, the personal tragedies of Louisa Gradgrind and Stephen Blackpool are played out. Despite its vivid portrait of the horrors of the newly mechanized society, Hard Times is shot through with a wit, good humour and a conviction that entertainment is essential for human happiness, making it one of the most uplifting of Dickens's novels."

Read about the other Dickens' novels I read here.


  1. Ah, "Hard Times"... this novella is Charles Dickens's only work except "The Christmas Books" that I ever read. I loved it for its irony and amazing topicality. Indeed, he was a writer of great skill, intelligence and compassion. The description of blackened streets and houses in "Hard Times" impressed me so much that I can still see them in my mind. Nonetheless, I doubt that I'll venture at one of his more famous novels because knowing bits of their plots I fear that they would only give me nightmares.

    1. I can understand that reasoning quite well and if that's how you feel, you probably shouldn't read any other of his books, they can be quite "bleak". I like reading classic books, large books and also books about problems past and present, so Dickens is one of my ideal authors, I guess.

      I totally agree with your description, Dickens is indeed a fantastic author, very ironic and very descriptive. That's what I enjoy most abou this books.

      Thanks for adding your comment. I really enjoyed it.

      Happy Reading,