Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hard Times

by Charles Dickens

It's my second Dickens novel of 2008! Here goes. . .

In this outing, we meet the Gradgrinds: Mr. Gradgrind is all reason and practicality and has raised his children to be the same; young Thomas Gradgrind is his troubled son, who has rebelled against his upbringing and is often referred to as "the whelp"; and Louisa is his dutiful daughter, who, of course, lacks emotion.

Enter Josiah Bounderby, wealthy industrialist and aging bachelor. After Louisa is persuaded (by her father) to marry Bounderby, the tragedy begins.

This is typical Dickens in its portrayal of the good poor people and the evil rich people. It is atypical Dickens in its lack of humor and colorful characters. In fact, only the circus owner could be described as truly Dickensian (he's got a fabulous lisp).

This wasn't long or hard to read; I just didn't love it. 2/23/08

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