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From the Publisher"The deepest significance of Rhodes's prose is its spring-fed clarity. He writes: 'My unconscious early prose-it was largely unconscious in those days because I thought the only way I could write was to get drunk first-screens a predicament I struggled desperately to steady at [school] and continue to work forty years later to resolve: how to calm and to rescue the lurching monster of overwhelming, intractable, involuntary rage that my mother's suicide, my father's neglect and my stepmother's violence installed in me.' To judge from the simplicity with which he has woven his memories into narrative, and from it constructed his identity, the monster of rage has been laid to rest."—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times
"Unlike too much of what is offered for public edification (and titillation) in this our age of confession, A Hole in the World comes straight from the heart with no apparent self-serving motives. Richard Rhodes is here to tell us three things, all of them important and useful. The first is that it is dangerous and self-deluding to sentimentalize a myth of idyllic American childhood. The second is that a child caught in a hell not of his own making must devise strategies for survival and must cry out for help; there are others, outsiders, ready to provide it. The third—and to those caught in their own torment the most important—is that it is possible to escape, to rise above hurt and rage, to live a life that is useful and good. A timely contribution to the literature of a problem we are only beginning to understand."—Jonathan
Yardley, Washington Post.
"A Hole in the World must be read through tears—the reader's and the writer's—and it must be acknowledged as powerful a bearing of witness, as dark a story of cruelty, as redemptive a proclamation of the soul's strength as we have been given in a very long time. Nothing by the prolific and talented Rhodes prepares us for this shattering testimony."—Frederick Busch, Los Angeles Times