Hard Times

by Charles Dickens

Supposedly I read this in high school. What I mean by that is that I have a vague recollection of borrowing the book from a friend and reading it for an English class. The only thing I really remembered from the book was something about a circus – and, since that occurs within the first 25 pages, I doubt I read much beyond that.

But we read it for my Intro to Sociology class to take a look at the changing class makeup of England during the Industrial Revolution. I liked that we used the book to understand the social effects of industrialization, and it was worked nicely into our lecture material. What’s more, I found Dickens to be a very amusing author; I couldn’t understand why my classmates complained that the book was boring – they must have missed all the humor. Now I’ve bought a copy of Oliver Twist in hopes that it will be just as good.