Hard Times by Charles Dickens
Recommended for: Teen to Adult (for reading difficulty and interest level)
Classic 1845 novel offers a powerful indictment of the dehumanizing effects of mid-19th-century industrialization. Thomas Gradgrind raises his children, Tom and Louisa, in a sterile atmosphere of strict practicality. With no guiding principles, the young Gradgrinds sink into lives of desperation and despair, played out against the grim backdrop of Coketown, a wretched industrial community.
Hard Times by Charles Dickens is an interesting book. It has an interesting concept, and it is overall a good read if you are looking for a lesser-known classic.
The writing of the book is wordy and a little difficult to get through, as are all Dickens books. No typographical errors were noticed, however, there may be some I didn't notice. Descriptions were good, just enough to give the reader a clear picture of what the thing described looks like, and not too much to be burdensome. The story itself was told well, and the dialogue was clear, if a little lengthy at times.
The setting was a small industrial town in London during the 19th century. It was well done and believable. Very vivid.
The plot was well-done. There were no holes or inconsistencies. While it wasn't exactly a happily-ever-after ending, it was fairly satisfactory. The plot was not too drawn-out. Very thought-out.
Character Development: 5/5
The characters were well-developed. None of them were flat and they each had their own personality, along with that Dickens charm that makes his books so popular even today.
I enjoyed this book despite the hard writing style. I think this would make a good classic read.