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The Harder They Come (Hardback)
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The Harder They Come (Hardback)

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£18.99
Hardback 400 Pages / Published: 07/05/2015
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Sten Stenson, Vietnam veteran and retired school principal, and his wife, Carolee, are on a cruise in Costa Rica when their coach excursion is hijacked. Sten's military training overtakes him and within moments one of the attackers lies dead. The rest flee and Sten finds himself hailed a hero by the tour group and everyone back home. Meanwhile, in the redwood forests north of San Francisco, Sara - a farrier who refuses to recognize the authority of the government - is arrested after failing to cooperate with police at a routine stop. A chance meeting with twenty-five-year-old Adam, Sten and Carolee's unstable son, sparks a strange but passionate relationship fuelled by a mutual hatred of the law. Adam, an angry and misunderstood outsider, perennially dressed in camouflage and with his head shaved to the bone, has an unhealthy obsession with nineteenth-century mountain man John Colter. As Adam's views and behaviour become steadily more extreme, he descends into a spiral of fanatical violence that is impossible for his family or Sara to halt. The latest novel by internationally bestselling author T. C. Boyle, The Harder They Come is as timely as it is provocative. A deep and disturbing meditation on the roots of American gun violence, it explores the fine line between heroism and savagery, and just how far a parent can be held accountable for the actions of his child.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
ISBN: 9781408859926
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 727 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Boyle describes the evolution of pioneer to truther with an energy that is wholly seductive. He keeps you turning the pages even on the rare occasions when not much is happening (like the brilliant Karl Ove Knausgaard, he can make the cooking of a pork chop so exciting that you find yourself on the edge of your seat, devouring every detail of the salt being sprinkled into the pan). But where he really excels is in combining hearty helpings of sex and adventure with a considerable understanding of his country's ingrained problems. His vision of America's inevitable descent into moral and material starvation might be dark but the way he tells it is so gloriously, cheekily, full of colour that you can only sit back and applaud a master at work * The Times *
Thomas Coraghessan Boyle isn't the first writer to probe the American malaise, but he makes a two-fisted, Technicolor job of it in this violent saga of Vietnam veteran Sten Stenson and his son Adam ... Nobody who sees America as a nation of gun-toting, survivalist nutters (soothed by golf) will find much in his impressive novel to challenge that view, as he digs away at the cultural overlap between being a rugged individualist and being a psycho * Sunday Times *
An intense and strangely beautiful observation of the country's inherent relationship with gun violence and anti-authoritarianism * Shortlist *
One of modern America's most indefatigable chroniclers * Metro *
Opens with headlong force ... T C Boyle's Adam nods to R W B Lewis's The American Adam, a famous examination of US fiction which argues that the heroes of the early masterpieces echo de Crevecoeur's belief that Americans are the "new man" in a New World, innocent of European sinfulness * Literary Review *
A raw, uncompromising novel with a powerful grip * Mail on Sunday *
My reading year began and almost-ends with T C Boyle. Taut and revelatory, his novel The Harder They Come deals with gun violence, anti-authoritarianism and environmental issues. His latest, The Terranauts, has just come out. It's an engrossing take on the Biosphere II experiment in the 1990s. If you don't know Boyle's work, you're in for a treat -- Regi Clarie * Herald *

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Reviews

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“A compelling read”

Carolee and Sten are cruise passengers on an outing from the ship in a bus driven fast and erratically by a local driver.

At a much needed rest stop a horrific incident terrifies the bus passengers, and Sten takes... More

Hardback edition
8th August 2015
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