Dickens se penche sur la condition des travailleurs dans les usines. Certains personnages sont puissants, et certaines scènes fortes de symboles. On retrouve l'habileté de Dickens à reproduire les accents , la langue parlée (à lire à voix haute pour mieux saisir les nuances) . Etrangement, ce n'est qu'après avoir fermé le livre que je m'en suis régalée ! La lecture me paraissait inégale, mais en fait c'est ,comme souvent chez cet auteur, habilement construit et merveilleusement décrit.
J'ai recu le livre dans un delai tres correct et en bon etat a part un des angles du livre qui a ete abime car l'emballage n'était pas "en dur" mais cela reste tres correct. Je suis satisfaite de cet achat.
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62 internautes sur 68 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
More Than Facts31 mars 2003
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I initially lamented the fact that Hard Times was assigned to me in my British lit. class. I had read some of Dickens's melodramas like A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist and enjoyed them, but everything I heard about Hard Times said this was nothing like those. This was supposedly just strictly social commentary. My interpretation of that: BORING. But then I read it. Hard Times isn't like Dickens's other novels, but I don't think that it has any less heart than those masterpieces. In fact, Dickens endured himself much further to me with this novel as he has his characters perform Thomas Carlyle's enduring philosophy. The novel follows the Gradgrind family who is raised adhering to FACTS and living in a society which worships the manufacturing machine. As the novel progresses, connections are made and broken, and the characters come to the realization that there is much more to reality than the material facts. Hard Times is told so compassionately. The reader cares for these people and their tragic lives. The story is also told with biting humor that still cuts at today's society (this novel feels really modern), and the underlying philosophy is one which is so needed in our post-modern world. I would certainly recommend this novel to fans of Dickens and to fans of the truly literary novel.
58 internautes sur 64 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Hardly a masterpiece, but brilliant at times21 février 2004
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"Hard Times" belongs to the second half of Dickens's writing career, in which his work becomes rather more somber and, by common critical assent, more mature and satisfying. Personally, I prefer his earlier work and his very first novel, "Pickwick Papers", is to my mind his greatest. Surprisingly, "Hard Times", despite its title and reputation, contains some brilliant flashes of Dickens humour, especially in the earlier part. The descriptions of Bounderby and Gradgrind, and the early dialogue with the circus folk, are genuinely hilarious.
This is Dickens's shortest novel, about a third of the length of each of his previous four. Themes, subplots and characters are introduced without being fully explored. The author was perhaps feeling the constraints of writing in installments for a periodical, although he was well used to doing that. This relative brevity, together with the youth of some of the central characters, make this book a good introduction to Dickens for young readers.
There are the large dollops of Victorian melodrama and the reliance on unlikely coincidences that mar much of Dickens's work. Also the usual tendency for characters to become caricatures and to have names that are a little too apt (a teacher called Mr. McChoakumchild?).
The respected critic F.R. Leavis considered "Hard Times" to be Dickens's masterpiece and "only serious work of art". This seems to me wildly wrong, but such an extreme opinion may prompt you to read the book, just so that you can form your own opinion.
I read it because I had just finished "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair, which deals with the plight of Chicago factory workers, and I wanted to compare the two. Sinclair's book has greater immediacy. It takes you much closer to the suffering of the workers. In the Dickens novel, the mill workers and their plight are distanced; they are relegated to being the background to a family drama, which is what really interests the author. A third, and still greater work, that examines the same themes, is Zola's "Germinal". I recommend all three. Together, they give real insight into the social conditions that led to the proletarian political and revolutionary movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
25 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
CERTAINLY ONE OF MY FAVORITES. There have been so many readings, this one is like an old friend.7 février 2010
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Arguably, Dickens could be classified as the greatest of all English speaking novelists...of all times. There are very few writers that can offer his consistency, novel after novel, story after story. Yes, many have written works that perhaps equal any of his given works, but few if any have been able to turn out such a volume of pure quality. Very, very few authors have had such a large portion of their work pass the test of time. Dickens gains new readers year in and year out and there is a reason for this!
Over the past 50 or so years I have heard this particular work referred to as "not Dickens' best," and "A minor work by Dickens," and other comments along those lines. I am really not in a position, nor do I have the ability to proclaim or rank this author's work one way or the other. Dickens for me is like any other author...I either like it or I do not like it; it either is a joy to read or it is not. Now I have read this short novel at least five times over the years and listen to several versions on CD and Tape. The best, minor Dickens' work, timeless classic, not pertinent in today's world, a mere political rant? Well I don't know. I do know that it is one of my favorites and do look forwarded to reading it again down the road. I am one of those horrid and probably misguided individuals who sort of make their own mind up about anything I read, and more or less ignore the pontifications of those that are suppose to know about such things. All that being said though, I cannot look you in the eye and state that I have ever read one story; one word by this author that I did not enjoy right down to the tip of my toes. He delights me.
The setting of course is in Victorian England and the Industrial Revolution is in full tilt. Make no mistake; Dickens makes no pretenses of not being of the extreme left ilk...a good little Socialist through and through. This work, like many others make his feeling well known. Like much of his work, there is no in-between here. The characters portrayed here are either very, very evil or they are very, very good. The author handles social situations in much the same way he handles his characters in this work. All are exaggerated to a certain extent, all are black and white and there is little middle ground to be found. The Capitalists are truly pigs and the working classes, the proletariat, are all Saint like creatures. For what the author is attempting here, this is quite appropriate.
Now let it be know right here that I have spent a lifetime trying my best of completely ignore the effete yammering from the left and the bellicose braying from the right in all matters. I am one of those creatures who simply do not care and more or less chose my own road. I read this story and others like it, for the sheer joy of soaking in the written words of a maters story teller. While the political and social message here is not lost on me, I simply choose to ignore it. That is just me though and it certainly makes me feel nothing less of those that take the political message and run with, or reject it... more power to them.
As with all of his other work, Dickens has created some unforgettable, if exaggerated characters in this work; my favorite Gradgrind (who, I must admit, sort of reminding me of my own father), his children Tom and Louisa, the young girl Grangrind has taken to raise, Sissy Jupe and of course the completely obnoxious cad Bounderby. Even the location; the city of Coketown is more like a character than a place displaying many of the characteristics of a human, rather than that of a town or village. Dickens is able to describe these people and places in such a way that they become close friends...even the evil ones, soon after they are introduced....well, maybe not friends, but certainly people you know and will want to revisit from time to time at the very least.
The term "hard times," while a good title for this work is a bit misleading in a way, as there is plenty of humor injected throughout the book. Seldom does a chapter pass that I find myself not chuckling over the bits of ironic humor and scathing satire the author inserts here and there. The opening tirade of Bounderby is an absolute hoot even to this day, as it certainly was at the time it was written.
And the plot! While it is simple at first glance in this work, there is never-the -less many little side plots going constantly, with personalities created an thrown in here and there to add flavor and spice to the overall story. The author skillfully blends these side paths he takes us upon and before the end of the story, brings us back to the main road. I like this! In many ways simple; in many ways so complex. I suppose the reader will find what they want.
As with all of Dickens' work, the reader must at all times keep in mind when, where and why it was written. Time and place are quite important in the understanding of this particular author and to not consider these things, much will be lost to the modern mind.
Highly recommend this one and I hope it brings others the same reading joy it has brought to be over the years.
Don Blankenship The Ozarks
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Memorable Characters From Dickens3 mai 2008
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"Hard Times" is a minor Charles Dickens classic. Like all Charles Dickens' novels it features some great, memorable characters. The setting of the industrial city of Coketown is vividly described as a miserable, polluted town. There are some strong themes of class struggles between the working men in the factories and the harsh upper classes who seek to exploit them. Nearly all of the upper class characters are depicted in a negative light while the real heroes of the story are from the working class. As always, Dickens finds an entertaining way to shine a bright light on the social problems of Victorian-era England. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it. However, if you are choosing your first introduction to Charles Dickens, then you should pick one of his better-known novels.
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Decent, But... Keep This Away From the Kids24 octobre 2005
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This is Charles Dickens.
Charles. Frikken. Dickens.
There's no way that any self-respecting booklover, as I style myself to be, can take a Charles Dicken's novel and tell you that it's <shudder> boring, or even not all that great. Unless the book lover in question happens to be a particularly honest one who doesn't mind the Dicken's squad clicking "unhelpful" over and over again...
Hard Times begins promisingly, as it slams the education system about as hard as I've ever seen (and almost as hard as it deserves), as teachers Gradgrind and Choakumchild (yeah, I know) try to throttle the imaginations of their charges and fill them instead with sand-dry "Facts." But then, Hard Times loses the trail of its narrative, following one of the school kids for a while, then another couple of kids, then another character, then another.... It skips around so often for so long, introducing one character or another (and pausing for social commentary) that it seems as though it might never develop a plot.
Near the end, it does take on a plot utilizing all of its developed characters, and the energy of the novel picks up considerably, but less-hearty readers will likely have given up long before then. One of the current "Spotlight Reviews" for this novel currently states: "[The] relative brevity, together with the youth of some of the central characters, make this book a good introduction to Dickens for young readers." No, no, no. A million times no! It's not that the novel is awful--it's decent, despite the dismal pacing of the first three quarters, and some of the comedy is gold (Josiah Bounderby of Coketown is precious!)--but this is *not* a good novel for children, most of whom won't have had enough experience with real-life Bounderbys or perspective on formal education to fully enjoy the satire. This is not the novel to use as an introduction to Dickens for just about anyone, let alone a young reader.
Unless, of course, you have sympathy with M. Choakumchild's pedagogical philosophy.
In the hands of a child, this novel will likely stifle any appreciation for classic literature, Charles Dickens, and perhaps reading, itself, that might otherwise develop. Start with A Christmas Carol--it has ghosts--and then move on to A Tale of Two Cities--all around better book (and it has decapitations!). Hard Times is for mature, well-read individuals who want to see "what else Charles Dickens wrote."
A decent novel with some genuinely great moments, but on the whole fairly dry. As with medication, a blessing and a boon to mankind, it's best to keep this out of the reach of young children.