E. L. Doctorow’s works of fiction include Welcome to Hard Times, The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, Loon Lake, World’s Fair, Billy Bathgate, The Waterworks, City of God, The March, Homer & Langley, and Andrew’s Brain. Among his honors are the National Book Award, three National Book Critics Circle awards, two PEN/Faulkner awards, and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, honoring a writer’s lifetime achievement in fiction, and in 2012 he won the PEN/ Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, given to an author whose “scale of achievement over a sustained career places him in the highest rank of American literature.” In 2013 the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him the Gold Medal for Fiction. In 2014 he was honored with the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.
Welcome to Hard Timesby E. L. Doctorow
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.”
“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
- Random House Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.19(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.48(d)
Meet the Author
- Sag Harbor, New York, and New York, New York
- Date of Birth:
- January 6, 1931
- Place of Birth:
- New York, New York
- A.B., Kenyon College, 1952; postgraduate study, Columbia University, 1952-53
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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We'll written story of the boom / bust towns in the old west Well drawn characters with an unexpected ending
This is Doctorow's first novel, and after reading it, you see from the very beginning he was a great writer. It's an ambitious treatment of evil, cowardice, love and family, wrapped up in an great western tale (of the spaghetti type). The Bad Man destroys the town and everyone in it in the first few pages. After that the human spirit thrives (sort of) as a few attempt to rebuild the town and their lives. And look for redemption.
I'm not partial to westerns, this is the first I've read, by force because it was a school assignment. To my suprise, the book was actually quite good and griped my attention enough for me to finish it 3 days.If you've never read a western, this may be a good book for you to try.