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Hard Times

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  41,306 Ratings  ·  2,053 Reviews
"My satire is against those who see figures and averages, and nothing else," proclaimed Charles Dickens in explaining the theme of this classic novel. Published in 1854, the story concerns one Thomas Gradgrind, a "fanatic of the demonstrable fact," who raises his children, Tom and Louisa, in a stifling and arid atmosphere of grim practicality.
Without a moral compass to gui
Paperback, 223 pages
Published August 22nd 2001 by Dover Publications (first published 1854)
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Jenny I don't think she's meant to be a 'representative character for Victorian women' - for one thing, Dickens wouldn't have thought of her as a…moreI don't think she's meant to be a 'representative character for Victorian women' - for one thing, Dickens wouldn't have thought of her as a 'Victorian' woman because he was a Victorian himself.
I think Rachael is there as a contrast to Louisa - a good, sensible woman, but one who hasn't been subjected to Louisa's terrible education and isn't afraid to let herself feel.(less)
Nicola Muzsla Whilst there are no purely adult themes, it's a hard read so I'd say adult
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Community Reviews

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Henry Avila
Jun 27, 2014 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Thomas Gradgrind , a very wealthy, former merchant, now retired, only believes in facts, and mathematics, two plus two, is four... facts are important, facts will lift you into prosperity, facts are what to live by, they are the only thing that matters, everything else is worthless ... knowing. He sets up a model school, were the terrorized students, will learn this, ( and other subjects that are unfortunately, also taught) the eminently practical man, teaches his five children at birth ... ...more
Jun 16, 2008 Rhiannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is, for me, Dickens' best. I loved every second of it, the darkness of Tom's steady descent into drinking and gambling were brilliant and there were several times I found myself simply rereading a few paragraphs over and over, in awe at them. (The end of Chapter XIX, The Whelp, is something I hold in very high regard as possibly one of his best pieces of writing ever.) I want to deal with the characters individually from here, since I feel they are all very important.

Mr Gradgrind - Fac
Jul 18, 2011 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hard Times is Dickens’s novel set in the fictional Coketown and centering around utilitarian and industrial influences on Victorian society.

Dickens’s brilliant use of characterization can be seen in high form here and as always, his naming of his story’s populace is entertaining by itself. The best is without a doubt Mr. McChokumchild, a teacher.

Louisa Gradgrind is a thinly disguised fictionalization of John Stuart Mill. One of the great things about reading literature from the 1800s or earlie
“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. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts; nothing else will ever be of any service to them.”

So begins Hard Times, and what an opening this is! We know instantly from this, some of what the novel will be about, and the character of the man who says these words. He is plain-speaking in his “inflexible, dry, and dictatorial” v
Jun 15, 2014 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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. You can only form the mind of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them."
Mr. Gradgrind, Hard Times

"We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control"

Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) - Roger Waters, Pink Floyd
Roger Waters' lyrics could almost be a direct response to Mr. Gradgrind's ridiculo
ربما تحمل بعض الروايات الأجنبية فكرة، حكمة ما؛
تضيق وتتسع بحسب أثرها على القاريء وما تلمسه من نبضات تكوينه .

لكن إبداع اللغة يتجلّى لي في الأدب العربيّ
من جمال أساليبها أحب أن أنهل، وفي روعة بلاغتها أشتاق للإبحار
لا مثيل للحرف العربي في إسعادي وإطرابي ..

“ إنّ الذي ملأ اللغات محاسناً .. جعل الجمال و سرّه في الضّاد ”
- أحمد شوقي
Bryce Wilson
Sep 04, 2008 Bryce Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-lit
Not Dicken's best work, but still, ya know, Dickens.

It's pretty much "Lets light some straw men on fire!" day in Dickens land. Presumably Hard Times was chosen as the title because "Let's Kick Some Deserving Fuckers In The Teeth" was already taken.

Still I don't know anyone I'd rather watch burn people and deliver teeth kicks then Dickens.
helen the bookowl
This book is another evidence of Charles Dickens' brilliancy when it comes to writing. He starts with one person and her destiny, but gradually the story becomes more and more intricate and complex, and in the end you end up with a completely different story from what you started out with.
I have quite an ambivalent relationship to Charles Dickens and his books. Some of them I love, some of them confuse me or end up disappointing me. "Hard Times" was a good story, but I was mildly disappointed w
May 25, 2016 Raghad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ولد تشارلز جون .لأبوين هما جون وإليزابيث ديكنز وكان ثاني أخوته الثمانية, وعاش طفولة بائسة لأن أباه كان يعمل في وظيفة متواضعه ويعول أسرته كبيرة العدد لهذا اضطر إلى السلف والدين ولم يستطع السداد فدخل السجن، لهذا اضطر لترك المدرسة وهو صغير وألحقه أهله بعمل شاق بأجر قليل حتى يشارك في نفقة الأسرة، وكانت تجارب هذه الطفولة التعسة ذات تأثير في نفسه فتركت انطباعات إنسانية عميقة في حسه والتي انعكست بالتالي على أعماله فيما بعد.
تميز تشارلز بموهبة أدبية كبيرة وتنوع أدبه مابين السخرية والحزن
95px Charles Dickens Project Gutenberg e Text 1

عاش ديكنز طفولة
Hard Times: For These Times
Penguin edition with intro & notes by Kate Flint

Beyond the Brontes, there aren't many classic novels set in the North of England, and for years I'd been kind-of-meaning to read a few more, especially about workers and heavy industry, Mary Barton, Sons & Lovers, and Hard Times. (As per comment below, North and South was off the table because I'd already seen the TV series and didn't love the plot, and it's also the story of a middle-class southerner moving north
This novel actually really surprised me. Many reviews on Goodreads liken the title to the reading experience, one of pushing through long details and descriptions. Actually, this book has done the opposite for me. My reading of Victorian books has been few and far between. Middlemarch was a great novel, one which I am glad I read, and I recently bought a 16-book Dickens Collection in an attempt to get some more of his under my belt.

Having only read A Tale of Two Cities previously, I was aware th
MJ Nicholls
Hard Times opens with the usual Dickens comic brio and sabre-toothed satire. Mr Gradgrind’s pursuit of Facts, Facts, Facts deadens his daughter Louisa’s sense of Fancy and humour, until she relents to a marriage to Mr. Bounderby—surely the progenitor of this Monty Python sketch. As the novel moves into its second half, the melodramatic and laboured Steven Blackpool narrative distracts from the more poignant story of circus orphan Sissy and the Gradgrinds. Steven’s phonetic Lancastrian dialect is ...more
Feb 08, 2017 Maryame rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can someone please explain to me why this has low ratings on Goodreads??? I mean seriously, just 3.5/5 !!!!!!!!!!!!
What's wrong with you people? This story is a piece of art! It's BRILLIANT in every sense of the word!
Ana Carvalheira
Dec 09, 2016 Ana Carvalheira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Se um dia, alguém me perguntar porque gosto tanto de ler autores novecentistas, não terei a menor hesitação em responder: o sentido de ordem, de conduta moral (algo que se fosse recuperado hoje em dia, tornaria a nossa sociedade em algo sublime) mas, fundamentalmente, diria, a atualidade das situações, das emoções, das paixões, das respostas às nossas mais variegadas interrogações.

Há muito que Charles Dickens fazia parte da minha lista de escritores obrigatórios, aquela em que elencamos os indis
Apr 05, 2017 Pink rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alright, so I was quite prejudiced going into this. I read and disliked A Christmas Carol and in my head I feel like I'm not a Dickens fan. Despite this being the first novel of his I've tried. It's his shortest finished book and depicts the social structures of the time, which I'm interested in reading. So it made sense to start here.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't like all of the characters and at times I was frustrated with the plot, but I enjoyed listening to it on audiobook a
Aug 06, 2007 Cori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: audio book lovers
From my blog:

NOTE: I listened to the audio version.

For some reason, I could never get into Dickens. I was an English major, for goodness' sake. I tried David Copperfield. I tried the Pickwick Papers. I tried Oliver Twist. All meh, and I didn't finish any of them. I have, however, enjoyed many a film adaptation of his novels, including Bleak House (fan. tas. tic.) and Nicholas Nickleby, so I knew that it couldn't be that bad. Anyway, my friend Hillary has recommended Hard Times for a long time,
Craig Robb
Aug 13, 2013 Craig Robb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 12-08-2013
They say no-one reads a book to get to the middle. Well, for Hard Times, perhaps they should, so disappointing the end turns out to be, this is one of the examples of how literature has improved over the years. Having read Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol and A Tale of Two Cities and enjoying them all immensely I tried Hard Times, having read here and elsewhere that the book represented Dickens at his best. It does not, and to say that it does devalues his other work. The book is filled with shal ...more
الرواية من روايات الأدب الإنجليزي القليلة
اللِّي شدتني .. بعكس (قصة مدينتين) مثلًا ! رغم إنها لم تكن سيئة..
حياة تشارلز ديكنز وطفولتُه البائسة
اثرها ظاهر بِشكل كبير علي شخصياته اللِّي بيرسمها بإحترافية
التجارب الأليمة التي يمر بها كُل شخص هي التي تصنعه بالتأكيد وبالتالي تترك تأثير عظيم
فى نفسه،
رواية تترك بصمة إنسانية عميقة ف الوجدان.
تتضمن الرواية حديث عن الأطفال الصغار الَّذين عانوا الكثير من العذاب والقهر والضياع بسبب
الظروف الاجتماعية السائدة ف مجتمعاتهِم.
البعض يختار الظروف لتكون عونًا له علي
Ibrahim Saad

بعد أن انتهيت من قراءة هذه الرواية ، تأكدت من حقيقة مهمة جداً .. وهي "ما أشقى الإنسان الذي لا يرى من هذا العالم إلا ما تبصره عيناه " حقاً ما أشقى هذا الإنسان ..
ماذا تعني الحياة ، ما هو مقياس الحياة ؟ أهي كل ما نراه من حقائق فقط ؟ العمل ، المال، المكانة ، العقل والتفكير المنطقي البعيد عن العواطف والشعور ؟ أنرى هذه الحياة في الإنسان الآلة ، الدائم الحركة والنشاط والعمل ولا وقت لديه ليفكر في مشاعر وحب وما شابه ذلك من -ترهات- في نظره ، أم نرى ذلك في الهدوء والسكون والبعد عن الحركة والناس وال
May 29, 2012 midnightfaerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Click here for Charles Dickens Disclaimer

I'm not even sure where to start with this book. First of all, Hard Times is one of the shorter, and lesser known of the Dickens novels. At only around four hundred pages, it almost seems like a novella compared to his other tomes of one thousand pages or more. The book has some interesting characters. We have Thomas Gradgrind, the obstinate disciplinarian, who raises his children to use their head and facts in all things and to never "wonder" because th
Jan 02, 2009 Rashaan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A slim and compact tale whose characters and story packs a powerful punch, Dickens’ Hard Times is as vitriolic an indictment against the institutionalized teaching model Paolo Friere scathingly criticized as the “banking concept” in his Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Josiah Bounderby is delectably drawn, as is the crooked and colorful characters of James Harthouse, Mrs. Sparsit, and our cold and calculated heroine, Louisa Gradgrind. Dickens, at first, seems to forgo his typical habit of idealizing w ...more
حنان لاشين
«أوقات صعبة» لتشارلس ديكنز
كتبت الرواية في زمن الثورة الصناعية زمن الفوارق الطبقية والانتفاضات العمالية والشعبية.
و في إمكاننا أن نقول إن تشارلز ديكنز، الكاتب الإنكليزي الكبير والذي كان من أكثرهم شهرة وتأثيراً في القراء الأوروبيين عموماً بكتاباته تلك التي من النوع الشخصيّ جداً كان رائعًا في هذه الرواية.
ديكنز لم يعش الفقر والصراعات الطبقية نظرياً، عبر التأمل والقراءة، بل عاشها بنفسه ميدانياً، هو الذي كان منذ طفولته يعاني غرق أهله في الديون ووصول أبيه إلى السجن أحياناً بسبب تلك الديون. ومن هنا، فإن
Jan 04, 2016 Suzy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Suzy by: The Pickwick Club group read
Shelves: listened-to, classics
This is my first Dickens outside of A Christmas Carol. I really enjoyed it, although I have nothing to compare it to in terms of his writing. Published in 1854, it is set in Coketown, a fictitious factory town in England. The central premise of this book is established early on (p. 11) when Thomas Gradgrind is alarmed to find two of his children peeking in on a circus. This after he has delivered his philosophy on the main point of life to the local teacher, Mr. M'Choakumchild:

"Now what I want i
Ana  Vlădescu
Dickens becomes a very hard author to read once you move past his childhood-centered works. Suddenly, everything is about morality or politics. I enjoy his writing, but you do need both patience and an ability to change the register in which you're reading his work. "Hard Times" was first published in 1854 - few readers of contemporary or modern literature can truly adjust to the sort of language used in his books.

Dickens is truly timeless, timeless through his themes and approach, as well as t
Mohammed Arabey
I study it At my last High School year...
It was seriously Hard Times :)
I loved the story and lived in my head the places,the characters ... I even create a cast for the novel to live it :)
Ahmad Sharabiani
Hard times, Charles Dickens
عنوان: روزگار سخت؛ نویسنده: چارلز دیکنز؛ مترجم: حسین اعرابی؛ تهران، نگاه، 1364، در 446 ص؛
عنوان: روزگار سخت؛ مترجم: الهام دانش نژاد؛ تلخیص برای نوجوانان، در 71 ص در تهران، دبیر، 1389؛
عنوان دیگر کتاب : دوران سخت؛ مترجم: سید جلیل شاهرودی لنگرودی؛ تهران، نشر سخن، مجید، 1394، در 416 ص؛ شابک: 978600941263؛
Marwa Eletriby
يمكن كانت ممكن تطلع بصوره أفضل
Aliaa Mohamed
" أوقات عصيبة " جميلة بلا شك بس حسيت ف لحظة ان مش ده اسلوب ديكنز او ممكن تكون مكتوبة ف اول عهده
انا معتبراها قصة مش رواية وملاحظة ان ناس كتير درسوها ف المدرسة إلا انا معرفش ليه ؟!
اللى استفزنى من القصة اولا اسمها اللى مش شايفة ليه علاقة اوى بمضمونها .. وكمان النهاية العجيبة ان كل واحد وحش ف الاول بقى كويس ف الاخر فجأة كده مع ان اللى اعرفه ان من شب ع شئ شاب عليه وبالتالى صعب ان الانسان يغير طباعه ف يوم وليلة فحسيت انى قدام فيلم مصرى قديم وهابط كمان !
كمان من عيوب القصة تهميش دور " سيسى " ف اغلب المض
Dillwynia Peter
While this is Dickens' shortest novel, it certainly isn't one of his best. Sadly, it is very uneven and if his works weren't so well publicised you would have thought this was his first, rather in the middle. I have to clarify in that I enjoyed the early chapters and the last 3rd, but the rest is drier than a 10 year drought in the desert.

The themes focused here are institutionalised education, worker's rights and keeping up appearances. There are few comic characters and where normally one woul
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
So here's the thing: I love Dickens. Like, a lot. But his short books tend to fall flat for me, while I adore his mammoth tomes full of segues and paid-by-the-word ridiculousness more than I can say. And this one is definitely full of the wonderful characters that Dickens created so well.


As far as a story set in an industrial town goes? This one, for me at least, pales in comparison to Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South.

Dickens DOES deal with a lot of hard hitting issues here - child aba
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Pickwick Club: Part I Chapters 01 - 03 94 44 Apr 22, 2017 03:11AM  
The Not-So-Hypoth...: Hard Times (spoilers) 4 24 Apr 11, 2017 08:50AM  
Catching up on Cl...: Hard Times - SPOILERS 26 68 Apr 02, 2017 08:56AM  
The Pickwick Club: Part I Chapters 04-05 101 29 May 12, 2016 12:35PM  
The Pickwick Club: Reflexions upon the Novel as a Whole 33 19 Apr 13, 2016 05:01PM  
The Pickwick Club: Part II Chapters 11 - 12 40 15 Apr 10, 2016 03:41PM  
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Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and sho ...more
More about Charles Dickens...

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“There is a wisdom of the head, and... there is a wisdom of the heart.” 491 likes
“She was the most wonderful woman for prowling about the house. How she got from one story to another was a mystery beyond solution. A lady so decorous in herself, and so highly connected, was not to be suspected of dropping over the banisters or sliding down them, yet her extraordinary facility of locomotion suggested the wild idea.” 67 likes
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