Hard Times (version 2 dramatic reading)


Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.4 stars; 19 reviews)

Charles Dickens' 1854 novel opens with the philosophy of education espoused by the eminently practical Mr. Gradgrind, who prizes "facts and calculations." He raises his children, most prominently Louisa and Tom, to eschew imagination and emotion and embrace order and reason. The results are disastrous: Louisa marries out of duty to the supposed self-made man Mr. Bounderby, while Tom grows up dissolute, ultimately commits theft and blames it on an unfortunate laborer, Stephen Blackpool. Set in the fictional Coketown, a mill town in the north of England, Dickens' novel satirizes capitalism, social mobility, class stratification, and Utilitarianism. This dramatic reading of the novel features a full cast of LibriVox volunteers, who lend their voices to Dickens' vibrant comic characters. (Summary by Elizabeth Klett)

Cast
Narrator: Bob Neufeld
Mr. Gradgrind: Marty Kris
Sissy Jupe: J L Raimundo
Bitzer: mb
Gentleman: Tom Crawford
Louisa Gradgrind: Arielle Lipshaw
Mr. Bounderby: Andy Minter
Mrs. Gradgrind: Beth Thomas
Tom Gradgrind: Max Korlinge
Mr. E. W. B. Childers: David Lawrence
Master Kidderminster: Elizabeth Klett
Mr. Sleary: Ron Altman
Mrs. Sparsit: Elizabeth Klett
Stephen Blackpool: Nigel Boydell
Rachael: Karen Savage
Mrs. Blackpool: Bev J. Stevens
Mrs. Pegler: Sally McConnell
James Harthouse: Algy Pug
Slackbridge: John Steigerwald
Voice 1: sylly
Voice 2: J L Raimundo
Jane Gradgrind: Goldfish
Waiter: Nigel Boydell
Man: Algy Pug
Clown: Bev J. Stevens

Text prepared by Arielle Lipshaw and Elizabeth Klett
Audio edited by Elizabeth Klett


(12 hr 0 min)

Chapters

Book 1, Chapter 01, The One Thing Needful 4:36 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 1, Chapter 02, Murdering the Innocents 15:12 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 1, Chapter 03, A Loophole 13:07 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 1, Chapter 04, Mr. Bounderby 18:11 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 1, Chapter 05, The Keynote 14:36 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 1, Chapter 06, Sleary's Horsemanship 33:01 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 1, Chapter 07, Mrs. Sparsit 16:52 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 1, Chapter 08, Never Wonder 13:38 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 1, Chapter 09, Sissy's Progress 16:57 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 1, Chapter 10, Stephen Blackpool 13:52 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 1, Chapter 11, No Way Out 17:50 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 1, Chapter 12, The Old Woman 13:31 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 1, Chapter 13, Rachael 20:07 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 1, Chapter 14, The Great Manufacturer 12:35 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 1, Chapter 15, Father and Daughter 19:45 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 1, Chapter 16, Husband and Wife 15:04 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 2, Chapter 01, Effects in the Bank 34:15 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 2, Chapter 02, Mr. James Harthouse 21:23 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 2, Chapter 03, The Whelp 12:40 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 2, Chapter 04, Men and Brothers 21:11 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 2, Chapter 05, Men and Masters 16:31 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 2, Chapter 06, Fading Away 30:46 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 2, Chapter 07, Gunpowder 31:01 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 2, Chapter 08, Explosion 32:25 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 2, Chapter 09, Hearing the Last of It 21:23 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 2, Chapter 10, Mrs. Sparsit's Staircase 11:44 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 2, Chapter 11, Lower and Lower 23:01 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 2, Chapter 12, Down 10:41 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 3, Chapter 01, Another Thing Needful 15:42 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 3, Chapter 02, Very Ridiculous 22:38 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 3, Chapter 03, Very Decided 21:54 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 3, Chapter 04, Lost 24:34 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 3, Chapter 05, Found 23:21 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 3, Chapter 06, The Starlight 26:33 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 3, Chapter 07, Whelp-Hunting 29:39 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 3, Chapter 08, Philosophical 16:58 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Book 3, Chapter 09, Final 13:29 Read by LibriVox Volunteers

Reviews

Great cast

(4 stars)

Great cast! Well told! There was only one reader whose accent I struggled to understand. Interesting Dickens tale. Not one of my favorites.

fantastic

(5 stars)

Readers were all excellent, very clear and concise. Great story a well!

Awesome. Still true today!

(5 stars)

great book . i wrote a similar story in College. People are still robbed of common sense and ignorant of soul. ...tge true meaning of salvation.

Not Bad!

(3 stars)

It's really good with all the different voices and all. Great job with the compilation of all the voices. Kudos! However, some chapters were incomplete (not too much but still! ) and also they could increase their pace a little bit. But, all in all as the title might suggest not bad, acceptable.