Welcome to Hard Times

Welcome to Hard Times

Book - 1975
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Random House, Inc.
Hard Times is the name of a town in the barren hills of the Dakota Territory. To this town there comes one day one of the reckless sociopaths who wander the West to kill and rape and pillage. By the time he is through and has ridden off, Hard Times is a smoking ruin. The de facto mayor, Blue, takes in two survivors of the carnage–a boy, Jimmy, and a prostitute, Molly, who has suffered unspeakably–and makes them his provisional family. Blue begins to rebuild Hard Times, welcoming new settlers, while Molly waits with vengeance in her heart for the return of the outlaw. Here is E. L. Doctorow’s debut novel, a searing allegory of frontier life that sets the stage for his subsequent classics.

“A forceful, credible story of cowardice and evil.”
–The Washington Post

“We are caught up with these people as real human beings.”
–Chicago Sun-Times

“Dramatic and exciting.”
The New York Times

“Terse and powerful.”

“A taut, bloodthirsty read.”
–The Times Literary Supplement

“A superb piece of fiction.”
–The New Republic

Baker & Taylor
When an enigmatic stranger burns the small Dakota Territory town of Hard Times to the ground, leaving many of the town's inhabitants dead, Blue, a record keeper and self-appointed mayor, determinedly rallies the frightened, fed-up, and dazed townspeople to rebuild, in a new edition of the author's debut novel. Reader's Guide included. Reprint. 10,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Random House, 1975, c1960
ISBN: 9780812978223
Branch Call Number: F DOC
Characteristics: 212 p. ; 22 cm


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Lchan25 Jul 22, 2017

The main character Blue can be quite an infuriating character to read with his naivety. You would expect a guy that age that has lived in the West so long to have more sense.

jpozenel Jun 25, 2015

I have read "Ragtime", "The Book of Daniel", "Sweet Land Stories". All three were better than "Welcome to Hard Times". The writing in this book was very unclear and confusing at times (maybe it's just me?)


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