Welcome to Hard Times

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Overview

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 ...
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Welcome to Hard Times: A Novel

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Overview

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.”
–Newsweek

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

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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812978223
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/11/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 636,925
  • Product dimensions: 5.23 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

E. L. Doctorow
E. L. Doctorow
Few writers have succeeded as E. L. Doctorow has at creating stories (largely based in 1930s New York) that evoke both warm, personal memory and a grander national portrait. Doctorow doesn't always promise historical veracity, but he captures our imagination of the past flawlessly.

Biography

E. L. Doctorow, one of America's preeminent authors, has received the National Book Critics Circle Award (twice), the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Edith Wharton Citation For Fiction, and the William Dean Howells medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has also published a volume of selected essays Jack London, Hemingway, and the Constitution, and a play, Drinks Before Dinner, which was produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival. He resides in New Rochelle, New York.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

Good To Know

Doctorow began his career as a reader for Columbia Pictures. He went on to work as an editor for New American Library in the early 1960s, and then served as chief editor at Dial Press from 1964 to 1969.

Critics assailed Doctorow for delivering a commencement address critical of President George W. Bush at Hofstra University in May 2004.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Edgar Lawrence Doctorow (full name; named for Edgar Allan Poe)
      Edgar Laurence Doctorow
    2. Hometown:
      Sag Harbor, New York, and New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 6, 1931
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      A.B., Kenyon College, 1952; postgraduate study, Columbia University, 1952-53
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Good book on boom and bust town in old west

    We'll written story of the boom / bust towns in the old west
    Well drawn characters with an unexpected ending

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2002

    It's a great story

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2000

    Not bad for a western....

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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