abclaret's Reviews > Hard Times

Hard Times by Charles Dickens
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's review
Mar 20, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read from March 20 to April 21, 2011

Loosely based on a town I have had a long last relationship with; Preston, Lancashire. Hard Times also happens to be my first Dickens novel.

The books scope clearly has a bit of a state of the nation feel to it, with a few fateful nods towards things Dickens has problems with, be they Utilitarian's, workhouses, industrial profiteers etc.. etc.. Despite comments of 'sullen socialism' being levelled at the piece, I found the story to be lacking in anything remotely socialist and was instead full of the worse kind of paternalism and class collaboration themes. For example, the character of Stephen Blackpool, if taken on an allegorical level, could tell you loads about what is wrong with the depiction of working people in the book. Better characters can be gleamed from Alexander Cordell's cannon.

That being said, I liked how the plots and subsequent sub-plots played out, and there are a few memorable characters abound.

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03/23/2011 page 14
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