Hard Times

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Hard Times

by Charles Dickens
Editor Paul Schlicke

Oxford University Press | June 8, 2008 | Trade Paperback

Hard Times is rated 4 out of 5 by 2.
Hard Times is Dickens''s shortest novel, and arguably his greatest triumph. A useful appendix of the author''s working notes, together with an enlightening introduction and full explanatory notes, will ensure that this edition becomes the obvious choice for anyone studying the novel. Paul Schlike is Lecturer in English at the University of Aberdeen.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 352 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.63 in

Published: June 8, 2008

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0199536279

ISBN - 13: 9780199536276

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from More of the same There is a character that appears in all of Charles Dickens' books whom I can't stand. He is the noble worker, the lower class moral compass, and he is consistently a source of Dickens' naive idealism, which, for a jaded soul like me, is a constant impediment to full enjoyment of Dickens' excellent prose. Bob Cratchett, Scrooge's clerk in A Christmas Carol, is the most insufferable of his kind, Joe Gargery, Pip's Uncle in Great Expectations, is the most sufferable of his kind, and Stephen Blackpool, Mr. Bounderby's weaver in Hard Times, falls somewhere in between. Blackpool is morally perfect throughout Hard Times, the man we are to gauge ourselves and everyone in the book against. Blackpool actually believes in justice to such an extent -- despite evidence in his own life to the contrary -- that he would put himself in danger of imprisonment "to clear his name." Further, he believes in the "goodness" of social conventions so completely that he withholds any chance of full happiness with Rachael so that he won't become a "bad" man. I am not sure what I find more annoying, the fact that Dickens believes that people like this exist in such seeming numbers, or the belief that they are somehow people we should aspire to be like? I will concede that people like this do exist, but these people are, I reiterate, insufferable, and they are generally people who are incapable of truly thinking for themselves. And all of this reveals Dickens as that most painful, wishy washy, and dangerous of people -- the bleeding heart liberal. The kind of person who believes, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that if we all just talk about things and complain peaceably the world will change for the better. I proudly declare myself for the left of the political scale, but I'll be damned if I will get my permit to protest and go home with a happy glow in my heart that I've done the "right" thing, when I know full well that I changed absolutely nothing. For a guy like me Dickens is a tough read. Still, Hard Times was one of Dickens' better ones, and at the very least I recognize and admire the strength of Dickens' prose. He is, politics aside, a beautiful writer.
Date published: 2008-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hard Times This novel, unique to Dickens in that it is the only one set in a ficticious town, take a fascinating look at what mechanical, unimaginative and unemotional approaches to life and family may lead. Outlining a somewhat distorted "objectivistic" attitude in his hard-nosed characters, Dickens compliments them beautifully with fun-loving, carefree characters, such as Cissy and Rachael. This novel has an underlying moral buried beneath, should you choose to find it, and leaves the reader feeling a little bit better about themselves.
Date published: 2000-10-05

– More About This Product –

Hard Times

by Charles Dickens
Editor Paul Schlicke

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 352 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.63 in

Published: June 8, 2008

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0199536279

ISBN - 13: 9780199536276

About the Book

A scathing portrait of Victorian industrial society and its misapplied utilitarian philosophy, "Hard Times" is a daring novel of ideas--and ultimately a celebration of love, hope, and limitless possibilities of the imagination. Revised reissue.

From the Publisher

Hard Times is Dickens''s shortest novel, and arguably his greatest triumph. A useful appendix of the author''s working notes, together with an enlightening introduction and full explanatory notes, will ensure that this edition becomes the obvious choice for anyone studying the novel. Paul Schlike is Lecturer in English at the University of Aberdeen.

About the Author

Paul Schlicke is lecturer in English at the University of Aberdeen.
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