It’s here! Your Black Friday ad has arrived. Preview ad
Your Black Friday ad has arrived.
Generated at Fri, 15 Nov 2019 02:07:12 GMT exp-ck: undefined; xpa: ;
Electrode, Comp-701333030, DC-prod-dfw02, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-19.1.31, SHA-771c9ce79737366b1d5f53d21cad4086bf722e21, CID-edb67e73-635-16e6cd07985fe3, Generated: Fri, 15 Nov 2019 02:07:12 GMT

Hard Times by Charles Dickens, Fiction, Classics

$34.43$34.43
Free delivery

Arrives by Thursday, Nov 21

Or get it by Tue, Nov 19 with faster delivery

Pickup not available

Sold & shipped byBooks Direct
Hard Times is the tenth novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1854. The book appraises English society and highlights the social and economic pressures of the times.

Customer Review Snapshot

3.5 out of 5 stars
57 total reviews
5 stars
7
4 stars
25
3 stars
17
2 stars
6
1 star
2
Most helpful positive review
I was assigned Hard Times in high school, and actually remembered it as one of the few works by Dickens I had enjoyed. Rereading it, I did still enjoy it on the whole, but I still found in it so many of the qualities that put me off in Dickens--although often they're closely associated with qualities I do like. What I do like is the humor. Dickens can be witty and sharp, and this satire of utilitarianism comes off in bright primary colors, and his distaste for the Industrial Revolution and Industrialists and members of Unions alike in sooty black. Yet in terms of this picture of the Industrial North of England I couldn't help contrasting it in my mind--unfavorably--to Gaskell's North and South. There are ways in which I do find Dickens the superior writer. He had the humor I remember lacking from Gaskell and goodness, Dickens can turn a memorable phrase. But Gaskell's is a much more nuanced portrait of the Industrial Revolution. She shows its dark side--she can't be accused, unlike Dickens' character Bounderby, of trying to claim the smoky, grimy air is good for your health! Or that factory work is "light" and "pleasant." But Gaskell also shows the dynamism of the new forces at work that empowered workers compared to what had come before or to the more agricultural, class-bound South. Dickens' industrialist Bounderby is no more than a caricature--Gaskell's industrialist Thornton is a rounded figure, with virtues and flaws and a point of view that doesn't represent a straw man. On the other side of the class divide, Gaskell's workingman Nicholas Higgins to me represents a much stronger figure than either Slackbridge or the sentimentalized Blackwell in Hard Times. And I hate how Dickens represents the speech of the working class, though he's hardly alone in that in his era or ours. But it was a trial trying to make out Blackwell's speech: "I ha' hed what's been spok'n o' me, and tis' lickly that I shan't mend it." It's not as if educated speakers of English don't drop sounds. How would you pronounce "thought?" But it's not as if Dickens resorts to that kind of phonetic spelling above for upper class characters. Those caricatures, over-the-top characterizations and the hectoring polemics extend even to one of Dickens' most notable characteristics--the use of character names as tags for one-sided qualities--even if I do have to smile at names such as "Gradgrind" or "Bounderby" or "Harthouse." If my rating doesn't fall below a three (and I didn't hesitate to give A Tale of Two Cities lower) it's because, reading Blackwell's dialogue aside, this is so very readable. So much of this book is very, very quotable. I also found Louisa Bounderby an interesting character. She's a much less pallid character than I usually see in Dicken's women characters--including the others within this book not out and out caricatures like Mrs Sparsit. Louisa's a kind of anti-Emma Bovary. If Flaubert's title heroine was a female Don Quixote, driven to destruction by too much fanciful reading, then Louisa is the other side of the spectrum--one made emotionally arid by strangling all imagination and playfulness out of her from an early age to suit her father's utilitarian principles. And at least in this novel I can't accuse Dickens of being verbose--this one is less than 300 pages. Worth reading, despite my reservations.

About This Item

We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it.
Hard Times is the tenth novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1854. The book appraises English society and highlights the social and economic pressures of the times. HARD TIMES (9781598180794)

Specifications

Publisher
Aegypan, Alan Rodgers Books LLC
Book Format
Hardcover
Number of Pages
248
Author
Charles Dickens
ISBN-13
9781598180794
Publication Date
July, 2006
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.00 x 6.00 x 0.69 Inches

Customer Reviews

5 stars
7
4 stars
25
3 stars
17
2 stars
6
1 star
2
Most helpful positive review
3 customers found this helpful
I was assigned Hard Ti...
I was assigned Hard Times in high school, and actually remembered it as one of the few works by Dickens I had enjoyed. Rereading it, I did still enjoy it on the whole, but I still found in it so many of the qualities that put me off in Dickens--although often they're closely associated with qualities I do like. What I do like is the humor. Dickens can be witty and sharp, and this satire of utilitarianism comes off in bright primary colors, and his distaste for the Industrial Revolution and Industrialists and members of Unions alike in sooty black. Yet in terms of this picture of the Industrial North of England I couldn't help contrasting it in my mind--unfavorably--to Gaskell's North and South. There are ways in which I do find Dickens the superior writer. He had the humor I remember lacking from Gaskell and goodness, Dickens can turn a memorable phrase. But Gaskell's is a much more nuanced portrait of the Industrial Revolution. She shows its dark side--she can't be accused, unlike Dickens' character Bounderby, of trying to claim the smoky, grimy air is good for your health! Or that factory work is "light" and "pleasant." But Gaskell also shows the dynamism of the new forces at work that empowered workers compared to what had come before or to the more agricultural, class-bound South. Dickens' industrialist Bounderby is no more than a caricature--Gaskell's industrialist Thornton is a rounded figure, with virtues and flaws and a point of view that doesn't represent a straw man. On the other side of the class divide, Gaskell's workingman Nicholas Higgins to me represents a much stronger figure than either Slackbridge or the sentimentalized Blackwell in Hard Times. And I hate how Dickens represents the speech of the working class, though he's hardly alone in that in his era or ours. But it was a trial trying to make out Blackwell's speech: "I ha' hed what's been spok'n o' me, and tis' lickly that I shan't mend it." It's not as if educated speakers of English don't drop sounds. How would you pronounce "thought?" But it's not as if Dickens resorts to that kind of phonetic spelling above for upper class characters. Those caricatures, over-the-top characterizations and the hectoring polemics extend even to one of Dickens' most notable characteristics--the use of character names as tags for one-sided qualities--even if I do have to smile at names such as "Gradgrind" or "Bounderby" or "Harthouse." If my rating doesn't fall below a three (and I didn't hesitate to give A Tale of Two Cities lower) it's because, reading Blackwell's dialogue aside, this is so very readable. So much of this book is very, very quotable. I also found Louisa Bounderby an interesting character. She's a much less pallid character than I usually see in Dicken's women characters--including the others within this book not out and out caricatures like Mrs Sparsit. Louisa's a kind of anti-Emma Bovary. If Flaubert's title heroine was a female Don Quixote, driven to destruction by too much fanciful reading, then Louisa is the other side of the spectrum--one made emotionally arid by strangling all imagination and playfulness out of her from an early age to suit her father's utilitarian principles. And at least in this novel I can't accuse Dickens of being verbose--this one is less than 300 pages. Worth reading, despite my reservations.
Most helpful negative review
1 customers found this helpful
I hope not all Dickens...
I hope not all Dickens is like this. If it is, this is going to be a long project, as I keep reading anything other than the next one! The tale of the Gradgrinds - father, a schoolmaster with a very rigid idea of how children ought to be raised, free of fancy and full of "ologisms", a mother racked with nerves, a daughter Louisa, who comes to doubt the prosaic quality of her life, Thomas, a lost and petulant gambler, and the adopted daughter Sissy Jupe, whose father abandoned her to their circus colleagues and who was subsequently taken in by the Gradgrind family - had some semblance of a plot, but not much of one. The majority of page-space was occupied with long and convoluted character descriptions, often highly entertaining, but all the book's characters are caricatures. Dickens gives us too many opportunities to mock, and the humour rapidly wears thin. One might say that this is a book of redemption - all characters have come to see the error of their ways by the end - but the constant cynicism and ridicule leaves a bitter taste. There was also a superfluity of allusions to contemporary matters, which meant I spent the first twenty pages leaving back and forth to the notes and then giving up, after which I clearly missed at least a third of the jokes. Please let not all Dickens be like this.
Most helpful positive review
3 customers found this helpful
I was assigned Hard Ti...
I was assigned Hard Times in high school, and actually remembered it as one of the few works by Dickens I had enjoyed. Rereading it, I did still enjoy it on the whole, but I still found in it so many of the qualities that put me off in Dickens--although often they're closely associated with qualities I do like. What I do like is the humor. Dickens can be witty and sharp, and this satire of utilitarianism comes off in bright primary colors, and his distaste for the Industrial Revolution and Industrialists and members of Unions alike in sooty black. Yet in terms of this picture of the Industrial North of England I couldn't help contrasting it in my mind--unfavorably--to Gaskell's North and South. There are ways in which I do find Dickens the superior writer. He had the humor I remember lacking from Gaskell and goodness, Dickens can turn a memorable phrase. But Gaskell's is a much more nuanced portrait of the Industrial Revolution. She shows its dark side--she can't be accused, unlike Dickens' character Bounderby, of trying to claim the smoky, grimy air is good for your health! Or that factory work is "light" and "pleasant." But Gaskell also shows the dynamism of the new forces at work that empowered workers compared to what had come before or to the more agricultural, class-bound South. Dickens' industrialist Bounderby is no more than a caricature--Gaskell's industrialist Thornton is a rounded figure, with virtues and flaws and a point of view that doesn't represent a straw man. On the other side of the class divide, Gaskell's workingman Nicholas Higgins to me represents a much stronger figure than either Slackbridge or the sentimentalized Blackwell in Hard Times. And I hate how Dickens represents the speech of the working class, though he's hardly alone in that in his era or ours. But it was a trial trying to make out Blackwell's speech: "I ha' hed what's been spok'n o' me, and tis' lickly that I shan't mend it." It's not as if educated speakers of English don't drop sounds. How would you pronounce "thought?" But it's not as if Dickens resorts to that kind of phonetic spelling above for upper class characters. Those caricatures, over-the-top characterizations and the hectoring polemics extend even to one of Dickens' most notable characteristics--the use of character names as tags for one-sided qualities--even if I do have to smile at names such as "Gradgrind" or "Bounderby" or "Harthouse." If my rating doesn't fall below a three (and I didn't hesitate to give A Tale of Two Cities lower) it's because, reading Blackwell's dialogue aside, this is so very readable. So much of this book is very, very quotable. I also found Louisa Bounderby an interesting character. She's a much less pallid character than I usually see in Dicken's women characters--including the others within this book not out and out caricatures like Mrs Sparsit. Louisa's a kind of anti-Emma Bovary. If Flaubert's title heroine was a female Don Quixote, driven to destruction by too much fanciful reading, then Louisa is the other side of the spectrum--one made emotionally arid by strangling all imagination and playfulness out of her from an early age to suit her father's utilitarian principles. And at least in this novel I can't accuse Dickens of being verbose--this one is less than 300 pages. Worth reading, despite my reservations.
Most helpful negative review
1 customers found this helpful
I hope not all Dickens...
I hope not all Dickens is like this. If it is, this is going to be a long project, as I keep reading anything other than the next one! The tale of the Gradgrinds - father, a schoolmaster with a very rigid idea of how children ought to be raised, free of fancy and full of "ologisms", a mother racked with nerves, a daughter Louisa, who comes to doubt the prosaic quality of her life, Thomas, a lost and petulant gambler, and the adopted daughter Sissy Jupe, whose father abandoned her to their circus colleagues and who was subsequently taken in by the Gradgrind family - had some semblance of a plot, but not much of one. The majority of page-space was occupied with long and convoluted character descriptions, often highly entertaining, but all the book's characters are caricatures. Dickens gives us too many opportunities to mock, and the humour rapidly wears thin. One might say that this is a book of redemption - all characters have come to see the error of their ways by the end - but the constant cynicism and ridicule leaves a bitter taste. There was also a superfluity of allusions to contemporary matters, which meant I spent the first twenty pages leaving back and forth to the notes and then giving up, after which I clearly missed at least a third of the jokes. Please let not all Dickens be like this.
1-5 of 57 reviews

This is the version fr...

This is the version from 1834, as originally published serialized in Household Words. Highly recommended, as read by Phil Benson, who has the perfect accent and intonation for Dickens' only northern novel. I didn't realize till almost the end that "Hard" has a double meaning, not just difficult (as in the life of poor working people) but unemotional and uncaring. The children are taught to be hard, which puts Luisa in a bad marriage and Tom into an immoral lifestyle. Bounderby is hard on others. It is Gradgrind's turn away from being hard which helps save everyone, and the characters who were not hard at all (Stephen, Rachael, and Sissy) meet their various fates but always retain their integrity.

I was assigned Hard Ti...

I was assigned Hard Times in high school, and actually remembered it as one of the few works by Dickens I had enjoyed. Rereading it, I did still enjoy it on the whole, but I still found in it so many of the qualities that put me off in Dickens--although often they're closely associated with qualities I do like. What I do like is the humor. Dickens can be witty and sharp, and this satire of utilitarianism comes off in bright primary colors, and his distaste for the Industrial Revolution and Industrialists and members of Unions alike in sooty black. Yet in terms of this picture of the Industrial North of England I couldn't help contrasting it in my mind--unfavorably--to Gaskell's North and South. There are ways in which I do find Dickens the superior writer. He had the humor I remember lacking from Gaskell and goodness, Dickens can turn a memorable phrase. But Gaskell's is a much more nuanced portrait of the Industrial Revolution. She shows its dark side--she can't be accused, unlike Dickens' character Bounderby, of trying to claim the smoky, grimy air is good for your health! Or that factory work is "light" and "pleasant." But Gaskell also shows the dynamism of the new forces at work that empowered workers compared to what had come before or to the more agricultural, class-bound South. Dickens' industrialist Bounderby is no more than a caricature--Gaskell's industrialist Thornton is a rounded figure, with virtues and flaws and a point of view that doesn't represent a straw man. On the other side of the class divide, Gaskell's workingman Nicholas Higgins to me represents a much stronger figure than either Slackbridge or the sentimentalized Blackwell in Hard Times. And I hate how Dickens represents the speech of the working class, though he's hardly alone in that in his era or ours. But it was a trial trying to make out Blackwell's speech: "I ha' hed what's been spok'n o' me, and tis' lickly that I shan't mend it." It's not as if educated speakers of English don't drop sounds. How would you pronounce "thought?" But it's not as if Dickens resorts to that kind of phonetic spelling above for upper class characters. Those caricatures, over-the-top characterizations and the hectoring polemics extend even to one of Dickens' most notable characteristics--the use of character names as tags for one-sided qualities--even if I do have to smile at names such as "Gradgrind" or "Bounderby" or "Harthouse." If my rating doesn't fall below a three (and I didn't hesitate to give A Tale of Two Cities lower) it's because, reading Blackwell's dialogue aside, this is so very readable. So much of this book is very, very quotable. I also found Louisa Bounderby an interesting character. She's a much less pallid character than I usually see in Dicken's women characters--including the others within this book not out and out caricatures like Mrs Sparsit. Louisa's a kind of anti-Emma Bovary. If Flaubert's title heroine was a female Don Quixote, driven to destruction by too much fanciful reading, then Louisa is the other side of the spectrum--one made emotionally arid by strangling all imagination and playfulness out of her from an early age to suit her father's utilitarian principles. And at least in this novel I can't accuse Dickens of being verbose--this one is less than 300 pages. Worth reading, despite my reservations.

The story begins with ...

The story begins with Thomas Gradgrind, an educator raising his children on "facts, facts, facts," to the exclusion of creativity and imagination. The book follows his children as they grow and enter the world, and all the diverse individuals who feel the touch of his philosophy: those who embrace it and those who chafe at the bit. It is clear that Dickens condemns this point of view, although not Mr. Gradgrind himself, who exhibits the three-dimensional complexity of Dickens' best characters. The book is part melodrama, part satire, and especially an indictment of the worst aspects of 19th century England's industrial practices and social mores. The sense of moral outrage is powerful, and inspirational in the reading. But what rises above it all is his characters - still living and breathing more than 150 years after they were created.

Where are the graces o...

Where are the graces of my soul? Where are the sentiments of my heart? What have you done, oh, Father, What have you done with the garden that should have bloomed once, in this great wilderness here?My friend Levi Stahl once noted how reading Henry James utilized the higher gears of his brain. I have always relished that sentiment, though I fear Henry James is above my pay grade. It is a different kettle with Dickens, my maudlin thoughts drift to Cassavetes on Capra, a reworking of my already repurposed grace. Get behind me, social realism. Hard Times is an interesting collection of set pieces collected in a smelting town with a set of characters which honestly can be seen in Turgenev. The novel doesn't afford an arc much as a series of consequences. It is here where the other (evil) Scott Walker from Wisconsin finds his nocturnal emission: organized labor chokes the life out of people. It couldn't be inhaling coal dust or toiling every day bereft of Vitamin C, no, it is collective bargaining and an improper educational system. I should note that the Governor isn't a character in this novel. Only his peculiar sentiment. Siblings are raised in a Spartan pedagogic environment, one which worships facts and retention as opposed to creativity. The daughter then marries a self made Scott Pruitt, while the wayward son fancies gambling and living above his station. There is no mention of an ostrich jacket. There is an honest worker. He can't abide by the union and, before Bob's your uncle, he is fingered for a robbery. Life can only aspire to transcend self-interest. It remains but an aspiration.

Where are the graces o...

Where are the graces of my soul? Where are the sentiments of my heart? What have you done, oh, Father, What have you done with the garden that should have bloomed once, in this great wilderness here?My friend Levi Stahl once noted how reading Henry James utilized the higher gears of his brain. I have always relished that sentiment, though I fear Henry James is above my pay grade. It is a different kettle with Dickens, my maudlin thoughts drift to Cassavetes on Capra, a reworking of my already repurposed grace. Get behind me, social realism. Hard Times is an interesting collection of set pieces collected in a smelting town with a set of characters which honestly can be seen in Turgenev. The novel doesn't afford an arc much as a series of consequences. It is here where the other (evil) Scott Walker from Wisconsin finds his nocturnal emission: organized labor chokes the life out of people. It couldn't be inhaling coal dust or toiling every day bereft of Vitamin C, no, it is collective bargaining and an improper educational system. I should note that the Governor isn't a character in this novel. Only his peculiar sentiment. Siblings are raised in a Spartan pedagogic environment, one which worships facts and retention as opposed to creativity. The daughter then marries a self made Scott Pruitt, while the wayward son fancies gambling and living above his station. There is no mention of an ostrich jacket. There is an honest worker. He can't abide by the union and, before Bob's your uncle, he is fingered for a robbery. Life can only aspire to transcend self-interest. It remains but an aspiration.

Customer Q&A

Get specific details about this product from customers who own it.

Policies & Plans

Pricing policy

About our prices
We're committed to providing low prices every day, on everything. So if you find a current lower price from an online retailer on an identical, in-stock product, tell us and we'll match it. See more details atOnline Price Match.
webapp branch
Electrode, Comp-283796757, DC-prod-dfw5, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-30.0.3, SHA-fe0221a6ef49da0ab2505dfeca6fe7a05293b900, CID-b6cd4811-cb8-16e6cd9624794a, Generated: Fri, 15 Nov 2019 02:16:56 GMT