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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (20,335 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Dickens, Simon Prebble Narrator: Simon Prebble Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2009 ISBN: 9781400180363
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Red brick, machinery, and smoke-darkened chimneys; reason, facts, and statistics: this is the world of Coketown, the depressed mill town that is the setting for one of Charles Dickens’ most powerful and unforgettable novels.

The highest priority for Thomas Gradgrind, head of the Gradgrind model day school, is his version of education—feeding the mind while starving the soul and spirit. Inflexible and unyielding, he places conformity above curiosity and sense over sentiment … only to find himself betrayed by the very standards that govern his own unhappy life.

Hard Times is Dickens’ scathing portrait of Victorian industrial society and its misapplied utilitarian philosophy. And Thomas Gradgrind is one of his most richly dimensional, memorable characters. Filled with the details and wonders of small-town life, Hard Times is also a daring novel of ideas—and ultimately a celebration of love, hope, and the limitless possibilities of the imagination.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Charles Dickens offers Simon Prebble every opportunity to show off his talent.”

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Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ari | 2/19/2014

    " I tried. I just couldn't like it. This might be a trend I'm forming toward Dickens. And I'm okay with that. I'll just watch the Mickey Mouse version of A Christmas Story if I really feel like I need some Dickens in my life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patricia | 2/17/2014

    " A classic must-read. The plot is prevalent with the time. It would probably help to know what was going on in that era to fully understand the motivations of several characters. Overall, a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roxana | 2/17/2014

    " As a literary theorist, yes, there is much that can be done with this novel; however there is very little to be had in terms of pleasure. If you want an indictment against 19th century industry and education, this is where to go, yet I can assure you in terms of pleasure this is Dickens' worst novel. You have to slog through a quagmire before you are in the least bit interested in the destinies of his flat and inpaulsable characters. It was his least popular novel (serialized) for a good reason. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet Lynch | 2/12/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this work, and found it to be the most satirical and politically charged of all the Dickens I've read thus far. I'm always amazed at Dickens plotting. Characters, it seems, are drawn then forgotten, yet come back with force. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fiona | 2/11/2014

    " This book is incredible! It's really sad though and it's sad to think that most of the things Dickens was protesting against are still going on right now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike Finn | 2/10/2014

    " Fact v fancy underlying upbringing. Marvellous. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mahmmed Dahab | 2/8/2014

    " dont judge people by their appearance ( this hs a noble but this is a beggar )the goodness and deeds are in the hearts not in the appearance "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emusam | 2/1/2014

    " Realized that I'm not a fan of Dickens. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marco | 1/31/2014

    " A powerful and captivating classic novel. It was meant to lure readers to purchase Dickens's weekly magazine. It worked, and even today it is hard to put down the book. It reminds me a little of Voltaire's Candid, a book meant to discredit a particular philosopher. Leibniz in the case of the French writer, Malthus and the materialists in this case. It is a very successful description of the Industrial English suburbs, of the horrors of the life of the "hands" and the hypocrisy of the new materialistic approach to life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Monica | 1/31/2014

    " Facts. That's what is important to Thomas Gradgrind and Josiah Bounderby in this Victorian Satire. Gradgrind doesn't allow his children to wonder, or imagine, or partake in fairy stories. He doesn't allow it of any of his students, either. Sense and reason and fact are what are pounded into their heads. When Gradgrind's eldest daughter, Louisa, is offered marriage, the decision she makes isn't based on feeling, but fact. These three are not the only characters in this short novel. Louisa's beloved brother Tom has a bit of a gambling problem and gets himself into some trouble. Sissy is taken in by the Gradgrind family after she is abandoned by her father, a circus clown. Mrs. Sparsit is Mr. Bounderby's personal assistant, of sorts, a lady of aristocracy. Then there is Stephen, who has a forbidden love for Rachael, a love that can never be recognized or acted upon. These all seem to be separate characters with separate stories, but as the book progresses all stories and characters soon find themselves entertwined. A good and interesting read, though not one of Dickens's best. Some passages I was able to glaze over without missing anything important. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Carr | 1/31/2014

    " Josiah Bounderby one of the fiction's best creations. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abi | 1/30/2014

    " Not one of his best. It seems strange to say it, but this is a Dickens novel that could have done with being a few hundred pages longer, so as to include more characterisation. There wasn't enough on Sissy Jupe or either of the Tom Gradgrinds. And of course, taking Dickens out of London is like taking a fish out of water to a certain extent. The fictional Coketown, supposed to be a generic Northern industrial town, has none of the depth of Dickens' London. I think he was just trying to work out some of the frustration he felt at Bentham, Mill et al and it is quite a powerful indictment of utilitarianism, in its way. It's just no Elizabeth Gaskell. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlotte Coleman | 1/29/2014

    " I really liked this novel despite the apparent lack of happiness and luck on the part of the characters. Again the characters are taken on a learning curve and the hard Louisa Gradgrind transforms in front of the reader. That typical happy ending is lacking but the characters are reconciled. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Muriel | 1/28/2014

    " This is a super boring book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frans | 1/27/2014

    " The characters in this novel are the flat, single-minded, exaggerated characters that could be found in today's soap operas. While I'm not a fan of this style of the grotesque, nor of the reprimanding narrator, it's not all bad and can be quite amusing at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katherine | 1/26/2014

    " "...where the piston of the steam-engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness" (65). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hannah Grippo | 1/24/2014

    " Dickens funny as ever, but also beautifully clear in reflecting the corruption and sorrow he saw in the world. So much to say, will write more on him soon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 1/23/2014

    " At times almost as windy as Mr Bounderby himself, mostly very good "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Durdles | 1/21/2014

    " I have had this book on my shelf since my wife studied it at college in 1979. I had avoided reading it (although I've enjoyed every Dickens Book I've read). I suppose I associated Hard Times with Hard Book. Who wants to read about industial strife? It's grim oop t'North etc. The way round this for me was the relatively painless outlay of 95p on a download of the book on to the MP3 to listen to while running. The skill of the narrator immediately transports you into the world of Mr Gradgrind's school and house, the travelling circus and the characters of Coketown (based on Preston but I'm not sure which end). Dickens populates this tale with a smaller cast than usual and, thankfully, it's a shorter novel - just over 11 hours running-time (literally). To get ahead of the narrator I read the novel after my run (and a bath) and found that I slowed my reading down to his pace and could hear his voice as I read. Most of the characters are more or less irritating in some way or another with the honourable exception of Sissy Jupe who, as a force for goodness, could hardly be bettered and if I'd known about her in 1979 the wife would have had to look out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Theresa Leone Davidson | 1/20/2014

    " A great Dickens story that I somehow managed to never read before, Hard Times says as much about the social conditions of England in the 1800s as A Christmas Carol does. Highly recommend! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris Collier | 1/18/2014

    " I understood most of the points that Dickens was making, and there were important and valid situations examined, but Hard Times is too dry of a read for anybody in high school or younger. That is, unless one enjoys dry British literature.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thom Walton | 1/18/2014

    " Not my favorite Dicken's, but a worthwhile read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jerome Baladad | 1/16/2014

    " i found this difficult to read; it's one of those required book readings back in high school. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Theleem | 1/16/2014

    " This was my first Dickens book, and after finishing it I can see why he is almost universally praised by literary critics. A great, if not utterly depressing, depiction of the lives of factory workers during England's industrial revolution, Dickens at once makes a compelling argument against the industrial capitalists of the time, although he never really offers a practical solution as to what can be done differently to ease the burden of the workers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carly | 1/11/2014

    " Dickens is just amazing. That is really all I have to say. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mirah W | 1/10/2014

    " I really tried but just couldn't get into this book...perhaps I will come back to it another time. I just found it hard to care about the characters and didn't really want to read about their lives. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 AJW | 1/9/2014

    " My least favourite Dickens novel so far. Fortunately his shortest novel as well so far. The most memorable character for me is Mr Bounderby who, I wonder, if he was the inspiration for Monty Python's Four Yorkshiremen sketch? It came across to me as a Dickens' paint-by-numbers: Poor misunderstood working-class man? Check. Orphaned/abandoned sweet little girl? Check. Hard man who sees the error of his ways? Check. Long hard look at the sleazy underbelly of prosperous Britain? Check. Villain who gets his comeuppance? Check. The clash of working, middle & upper classes? Check. Now these elements normally make a cracking story, such as Bleak House, but here they don't quite blend right. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sami | 1/9/2014

    " ehh... not my favorite. read it for class "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 1/7/2014

    " Not my favorite Dickens novel by far, as you can tell from the rating. It's a much simpler story than many of his works, but it does have some wonderful lines and moments that are worth reading for any Dickens fan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben Dutton | 1/6/2014

    " Considered as part of the Dickens canon, Hard Times is a more minor work. It does have its moments of exceptional beauty, and some of the characters are very well drawn - such as Stephen Blackpool (I do love that name) and Louisa Gradgrind - and there is a great denoument, but it is not enough to bring the novel to heights of true greatness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eddy Allen | 1/5/2014

    " Based on the first edition, Hard Times is informatively annotated with a lively introduction and helpful notes on cultural references, social and political mores, literary allusions, and unfamiliar word usage. In addition to a chronology coordinating Dickens' life with key historical events, the editors explore the political, economical, educational, and social state of England in the 1830s and 1840s. Many of these issues are reflected in the section of Victorian era reactions to Hard Times. A guide to further reading is provided as a service to students, scholars, and the curious. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joseph Grinton | 1/5/2014

    " When I first read this book I thought it was too heavy-handed and its targets were too easy. There are no Gradgrinds now, I thought. But encounters with real people recall this book to mind again and again. When I re-read bits of it recently, searching for certain scenes and speeches, I realised that it's a lot better than I first thought. It's one of his great books, up there with Bleak House and Little Dorrit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 1/5/2014

    " Who would have thought? I really enjoyed it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mad_Maudie | 1/5/2014

    " Dickens never disappoints. A little empathy goes a long way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mikee | 1/4/2014

    " A very good book - not the best, but in the Dickens vein of castigating the pompous, greedy and self-important. Go get 'em Charley! It was a mild distraction that some of the characters spoke in very heavy dialect that could be very hard to understand. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vaibhav | 1/3/2014

    " Did'nt like this book as much as I had anticipated, its a book about harsh realities faced by the British population during the Victorian era, found it a little too dry for my taste. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard Aitkins | 1/2/2014

    " Another Dickens masterpiece. Very moving story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb | 12/25/2013

    " So far this is my favorite Dickens. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve Shilstone | 12/25/2013

    " One of Charlie's lesser efforts still contains some pretty cool sentences and character names. I mean, I give you Sissy Jupe. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John Ellis | 12/24/2013

    " Enjoyable, yet predictable on all fronts: plot, characterization, resolution, etc. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia | 12/16/2013

    " Although is dragged somewhat in the middle, I loved the wonderful characters and the circular plot that brought the ending back around to events from the first chapter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Didi | 12/12/2013

    " It doesn't get much better than Dickens read aloud well. 4.5 stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mom | 12/10/2013

    " Actually, I listened to the recorded book and enjoyed it a lot more than I might have the written book. It's one of his shorter novels and deals with textile mill workers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tessa | 12/6/2013

    " This isn't one of Dickens's most popular books (it's probably one of his most negative--he was more of an optimistic writer), but I still really like it. It's basically the story of what happens when you leave no room for imagination in life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daimen Vauban | 12/5/2013

    " This was a fairly decent read. A bit irritating when he wrote dialog that he intended to sound like the characters spoke. But, the information was relevant and there was a bit of wit about the writing. It may have been a bit more relevant in its day from a political viewpoint, but today it seems a tad weak. He has written better works than this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Martin Mcgoey | 12/5/2013

    " Say what you want about Dickens, but I liked this one. As usual, his characters are unforgettable. This is a great satire on industrialization in rural England. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karla Kaminski | 11/29/2013

    " One of my favorites. ever ever ever. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Drucilla | 11/28/2013

    " Gosh I didn't like this book! It's so depressing and I felt I missed Dickens' message because of it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doug | 11/27/2013

    " On re-reading, this was perhaps better than I'd first rated it. Anyone believing that the invisible hand of economics, the self-interest of business, and school curricula that stick to the facts and emphasize the practical instead of the arts, could benefit from reading (or rereading) this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim Winters | 11/27/2013

    " My all-time favorite of his shorter works. It will make you laugh out loud, cry and also sit in stunned silence at the earth-shattering insight Dickens has into the human heart. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Muriel | 11/25/2013

    " This is a super boring book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 11/23/2013

    " After reading this book, I am still not a fan of Dickens. Oh, the perils of required reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlotte | 11/14/2013

    " It seemed like the right time to finally read this--it's been on my bookshelf for years. And it was really good! Even though the incredible dialect was hard to decipher. Maybe that's because I read it on a plane? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dara Young | 11/13/2013

    " Not my favorite Dickens. Definitely a harsh criticism of society at that time. Had a hard time getting through it (no pun intended). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alaric | 11/12/2013

    " Rating it for how I felt about it at the time as a child at school - mostly painful. Probably would enjoy it a lot more now. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 JoAnn | 11/5/2013

    " This was a hard one to get through, although the themes and symbolism were timeless. I was especially impressed by the symbolism connected with Stephen Blackpool's fall into the abandoned mine shaft. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cary Simowitz | 10/27/2013

    " A funny, incredibly intelligent work... if you have the constitution to get through it... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eugene | 10/24/2013

    " Charming language. Quite a sophisticated text. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Troy Martin | 10/20/2013

    " Excellent. Superb opening. Wonderful storyline, and must read for every teacher too. A bit somber of an ending for Dickens. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 GhidaP3 | 10/5/2013

    " There was a few pages I didn't read .. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ari | 10/1/2013

    " I tried. I just couldn't like it. This might be a trend I'm forming toward Dickens. And I'm okay with that. I'll just watch the Mickey Mouse version of A Christmas Story if I really feel like I need some Dickens in my life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shirl | 8/5/2013

    " Classic Dickens funny but informative of the time "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maii | 8/3/2013

    " from my best books i read it many times "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jenny | 7/2/2013

    " As to date this is the worst book I have ever read and I'm glad I gave Charles Dickens another shot, because he is a much better writer than this novel shows. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bayan | 6/27/2013

    " It seems that I'm not a Dickens person and since I'm an English Literature student, it's pretty scandalous!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kel Luken | 6/22/2013

    " The commentary against capitalists, but still relevant. The writing is very compact and demonstrates the authors skill without reading 1k pages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Derek Bridge | 6/16/2013

    " In Hard Times, Dickens' flair for comic characters is perhaps sacrificed at the service of a satire on utilitarianism. The plot unravels in a fairly predictable way, but the ending is bleaker than you might expect. In all though, this is still a great yarn from the Master. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Aseel Ameen | 5/17/2013

    " whether it sucks or i ve the worst taste ever.i hate the auther "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerri | 4/27/2013

    " Charles Dickens somehow manages to make this book completely distressing but extremely hopeful all at once. I guess that's what he does in most of his books, if not all, but it just seemed more potent in this one I guess. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn | 3/23/2013

    " Very good classic literature! Worth another read through later on down the road! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elsie Aton | 3/18/2013

    " i was dreading reading this, and found it hilarious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emma Glaisher | 2/28/2013

    " A re-read after 30 years! An atypically simple plot, for Dickens. Certainly no surprises - the end was pretty clearly signalled near the beginning. But lovely writing as usual, and thought-provoking. A good reminder for rationalists like me not to forget humanity! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeannille | 1/13/2013

    " An original piece of work, especially those who are interested in the Romantic/Victorian Era. It was hard to follow at first, but then the pieces came together and I fell in love with characters. Dickens is the man. Many valuable lessons from this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary Stevens | 1/12/2013

    " This was just too over-drawn. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlotte Gijzen | 1/11/2013

    " Reading it for my Bachelor thesis and loving it. Dickens rocks! ;) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurel | 1/11/2013

    " Interesting read and in some ways seemed to parallel today's times.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 MN | 1/7/2013

    " Finished this for the umpteenth time - such a good book; although I'm having trouble thinking of how to best use it in a seminar. And of hpw to present it in relation to Bleak House. However, this is a rather nice bundle of problems to have. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicola | 1/4/2013

    " My first Dickens. I really got into it. Though it didn't have much action to speak of, he does a good job of highlighting the class differences and attitudes. Looking forward to reading more of his work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara Zaki | 12/13/2012

    " School days :) , but i really did like it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 11/23/2012

    " I really really liked this book, recomend it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bevin | 11/4/2012

    " Well written, but overall a very dull read. I kept waiting for something to happen, and it never did. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frans | 10/4/2012

    " The characters in this novel are the flat, single-minded, exaggerated characters that could be found in today's soap operas. While I'm not a fan of this style of the grotesque, nor of the reprimanding narrator, it's not all bad and can be quite amusing at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chelsea | 9/11/2012

    " This book an interesting look into ordinary people's lives during the Industrial Revolution. I enjoyed reading it, and who doesn't love Charles Dickens?! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Didi | 9/9/2012

    " It doesn't get much better than Dickens read aloud well. 4.5 stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chelsea Nelson | 8/3/2012

    " one of my more favorite dickens' books "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alyssabenner | 6/25/2012

    " Not nearly as good as any of the other Dickens I've read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 6/22/2012

    " Ahhhh boredom! I liked a Tale of Two Cities WAY better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 seanc | 6/22/2012

    " Typical Dickens, if you have enjoyed him. Life is no picknick and he's willing to sell that to you straight. His characters have excellent dimension and his settings are rough and two-dimensional, just how he likes them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb | 5/19/2012

    " So far this is my favorite Dickens. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ashley | 4/25/2012

    " Had to read this book for a college class. I didn't hate it, but I won't say Dickens is my go to author to read. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't really one of my favorite things "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laurie | 3/9/2012

    " One of my least favorite Dickens, read for AP English in high school. Gave me a good cutting to use in a college speech class, however. A dreary book, mercifully shorter than most of Dickens, who is otherwise one of my all time favorite writers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen | 3/2/2012

    " The importance of love and the imagination! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole P | 1/28/2012

    " Go for a classic! This was my first Dickens book, and once I got into it I really enjoyed it. WARNING: Dickens was paid by the word which resulted in very wordy books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 1/16/2012

    " My favorite part about this novel was the names...Coketown, Gradgrind, blackpool, and best of all Mr. McChoakumchild. HA! Overall it was harder for me to engage in this book ( I read it for a sociology class) than others but nonetheless, a good one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Casey | 1/3/2012

    " I enjoyed reading this book but I definitely didn't love it. Hard Times provided an almost dystopian look at what would happen if people managed to purge themselves of emotion. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/9/2011

    " Dickens light and a bit preachy to be enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara | 12/8/2011

    " My favorite work by Dickens; inspiring tale of upper and lower-class during the industrial revolution. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Delona | 12/1/2011

    " I love Charles Dickens but this book was quite depressing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie Felton | 11/29/2011

    " This was a good story and I actually kinda liked it but to analyze it was a sort of torture because of the obviousness of it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise Wilkerson | 11/15/2011

    " Shorter than some of his others but probably took longer to read. There's not as much good news or lightness of spirit in this book but still skilfully written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessie | 10/20/2011

    " Not my favorite Dickens, but it was good either way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Spring | 6/28/2011

    " A must have! I marveled at the descriptive skills of Charles Dickens.a great read.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruthy | 6/25/2011

    " I've always wanted to read the real version of this story and because I've grown hearing it every Christmas, I never bothered to actually read it. There was nothing new to add but yet, I still enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlotte Coleman | 6/24/2011

    " I really liked this novel despite the apparent lack of happiness and luck on the part of the characters. Again the characters are taken on a learning curve and the hard Louisa Gradgrind transforms in front of the reader. That typical happy ending is lacking but the characters are reconciled. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dodokins | 6/24/2011

    " And every christmas, I ask myself what will I see when the spirits come? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Philip | 6/23/2011

    " Ebeneezer Scrooge - one of the best realised characters in literature :-) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zohaib | 6/23/2011

    " This is a good book as good as the film perhaps even better
    :)
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heath | 6/21/2011

    " You can't go wrong with Dickens. This is a classic that everyone should read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tj | 6/21/2011

    " Dickens is what he is - and I love it. Is it over-long? Yes. Is it overly sentimental and moralistic? Yes. Great, super, smashing! I feel better about the world after reading Dickens. Contemporary literature needs more humanity and less criticism - is that ironic? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cissi "Invisible but Invincible" | 6/20/2011

    " One of my favorites. Can't wait to see my old school perform the play next year! So exciting! :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caryl | 6/19/2011

    " I finally read the book, and loved it! If you like the classic tale, the book is a fun read. The TV and film versions I've seen all have many direct quotes from Dickens. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roseunderwater | 6/19/2011

    " i have study this at colege and it was really good novel expressing the age of machines & factorys with all of thier negative aspects on humans. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steven | 6/14/2011

    " Just delightful. Dickens is only surpassed by Disney. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 6/13/2011

    " Performed as a readers' theater in high school "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hannah | 6/9/2011

    " I think that this book was very vivid and creative because it has a moral within itself. It teaches you to be generous and kind to others, rather than be a selfish, greedy person that everybody will hate. This book is truly wonderful, almost like a classic within itself. Highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rondell | 6/8/2011

    " it was a pleasure reading this book because i think the guy at the end of all his trials learn that you cant be selfish ,greedy and mean all his life and he learn that being unselifish anf creshirish it for the best .


    p.s i spelled a word wrong correct me... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margo | 6/5/2011

    " I loved reading the original story because I have seen so many film versions of the Dickens classic. Dickens' writing style is well-crafted and entertaining as well. I found myself laughing at some of the side comments Dickens makes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 6/3/2011

    " Loved it! could read it over and over! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Drucilla | 5/25/2011

    " Gosh I didn't like this book! It's so depressing and I felt I missed Dickens' message because of it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca Podsnap | 5/19/2011

    " Hard Times is my favourite of Dickens' punishment of the false and annoying. There is not a revenge sweeter than having a life's worth of lies unpoured over tea and cakes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yolanda | 4/28/2011

    " From the title one can guess this is a bleak story, however, I was surprised and impressed by Mr. Dickens' sense of humour. "

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About the Author
Author Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens (1812–1870) was born in Landport, Portsmouth, England, the second of eight children in a family continually plagued by debt. A legacy brought release from the nightmare of debtors’ prison and child labor and afforded him a few years of formal schooling. He worked as an attorney’s clerk and newspaper reporter until his early writings brought him the amazing success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. He was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, and he remains popular, responsible for some of English literature’s most iconic characters.

About the Narrator

Simon Prebble, a British-born performer, is a stage and television actor and veteran narrator of some three hundred audiobooks. As one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices, he has received thirty-seven Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie in 2010. He lives in New York.