Hard City

( 4 )

Overview

Clark Howard is an award winning and acclaimed mystery writer. In 1981, his story The Horn Man won the Edgar Allan Poe award for best short story of the year from the Mystery Writers of America. In 2009, Howard won the Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Short Fiction Mystery Society.

A professional writer for over 40 years, he has written sixteen novels, six books of non-fiction, and has two ...

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Hard City

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Overview

Clark Howard is an award winning and acclaimed mystery writer. In 1981, his story The Horn Man won the Edgar Allan Poe award for best short story of the year from the Mystery Writers of America. In 2009, Howard won the Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Short Fiction Mystery Society.

A professional writer for over 40 years, he has written sixteen novels, six books of non-fiction, and has two published collections of short stories, in addition to more than 200 uncollected short stories.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps at 17 and served as a rocket launcher gunner in the Punchbowl in Korea. He was one of eight survivors in a platoon that survived the battle of the high ground north of the Punchbowl. He was discharged from the marines at age 20.
In 1990, Dutton published Howard's novel Hard City in hardback. Hard City was never published in paperback, and the book is now hard to find even on the shelves of used bookstores.

Hard City was Howard's most personal novel. The semi-autobiographical novel features Richie, a young boy from a troubled family, who lives on the streets of 1940s Chicago at age 12 while sleeping in a bowling alley every night. Eventually, Richie's love of reading is key to Richie's surviving, and eventually leaving, the street life.

Writing about Hard City in a new Author's Preface for the publication of Hard City as an ebook, Howard writes, "Because much of it is based on my life as a wayward boy on the mean streets of Chicago's lower West Side, a life frequently fueled by truancy, petty thievery, gang membership, and other disreputable behavior, I had, as a respectable adult, left those bleak days far behind and buried them deep in my memory. The things I had done back then, the life I had experienced, as well as vivid recollections of my mother's drug addiction and my father's incarceration in federal prison and subsequent disappearance, had all melded together into some dark recess of my mind and, I thought, been locked away forever."

Originally published in 1990. Hard City is now available again. You now have the chance to share Richie's life on the streets of Chicago, and his ultimate redemption via books, reading, and writing.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Richie, a 12-year-old runaway, cries himself to sleep every night in the bowling alley where he lives. His mother is a junkie, his dad, a bootlegging ex-con. His chaotic life, in Howard's ( Dirt Rich ) overwritten semi-autobiographical novel, is a jumble of street thievery, teen gangs, sex with peers and older women, reform school, boxing, foster homes, sadistic punishments and sexual abuse. These are the lower depths, 1950s Chicago-style. Rescued by his grandmother who brings him to Tennessee, Richie joins the Marines and fights in Korea. A library card helps him gain a sense of directon. Despite the gritty realism and a searing portrayal of a youth's terrible burden in having a heroin addict for a mother, Howard is not in control of his material here. Tightening a flaccid story line and pruning by half might have turned this self-indulgent catharsis into a moving novel. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Howard's 19th book is a tour de force. Based on his own life, it tells the story of Richie, a street kid with a junkie mother and bootlegger father in Chicago in the years following Prohibition. Unsentimental, hard-driving, and beautifully crafted, this novel chronicles Richie's coming of age: his life as a runaway, sleeping in a bowling alley and stealing money from gumball machines to pay for food; brutal foster homes; learning to fight; and, always, his search for his father, who disappeared one day without a trace. Richie's struggle to find his way, to overcome the hardness and horrific circumstances of street life, is engrossing and emotionally satisfying. Howard captures the inner life of Richie and his friends with compassion, humor, and unblinking honesty. This excellent novel is highly recommended.-- Linda Rome, Mentor, Ohio
Linda Rome
Howard's 19th book is a tour de force. Based on his own life, it tells the story of Richie, a street kid with a junkie mother and bootlegger father in Chicago in the years following Prohibition. Unsentimental, hard-driving, and beautifully crafted, this novel chronicles Richie's coming of age: his life as a runaway, sleeping in a bowling alley and stealing money from gumball machines to pay for food; brutal foster homes; learning to fight; and, always, his search for his father.
Ed Gorman's blog - Ed Gorman
"Clark Howard is one of my all-time favorite writers. And this, I think, is his most important novel. Truly a magnificent achievement of the kind few genre writers ever attempt let alone master." Ed Gorman, award-winning novelist and short story writer
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780982924761
  • Publisher: Delabarre Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/8/2013
  • Pages: 666
  • Sales rank: 1,051,330
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Clark Howard
Born in Ripley, Tennessee in 1932, Clark Howard is one of the most honored mystery writers in America and has long been a favorite of readers of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and numerous other publications.

A professional writer for over 40 years, he has written sixteen novels, six books of non-fiction, and has two published collections of short stories, in addition to more than 200 uncollected short stories. While versed in many genres, he is best known for his crime fiction and mystery stories which have won the prestigious Edgar Alan Poe Award, five Ellery Queen Readers Award, the Derringer Award, and have been nominated for the Anthony, Shamus and Spur Awards.

His stories have been adapted for film (The Big Town was based on his novel THE ARM) and television, which included the Alfred Hitchcock Presents series. His original screen play Last of the Good Guys was a featured Movie of the Week on CBS, and his non-fiction book SIX AGAINST THE ROCK was also a television movie.

His work has been translated into numerous languages and he has a large following of faithful readers in several countries, particularly in China and Japan where his writing appears regularly.

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Customer Reviews

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