The Harder They Come
2017 Longlist

The Harder They Come

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

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.

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.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR T.C.
Boyle

T. C. Boyle is the author of eleven novels, including World’s End (winner of the PEN/FaulknerAward), Drop City (a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the National Book Award), and The Inner Circle. His most recent story collections are Tooth and Claw and The Human Fly and Other Stories.

T. C. Boyle is the author of eleven novels, including World’s End (winner of the PEN/FaulknerAward), Drop City (a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the National Book Award), and The Inner Circle. His most recent story collections are Tooth and Claw and The Human Fly and Other Stories.

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NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

T.C. Boyle explores the American psyche and its complex mix of heroism, violence and paranoia. Powerful, exciting and unsettling.

A book that begins with a justified homicide and ends with outright murder. The Harder They Come maps the fine lines between the social and the anti-social, and the not-so-fine lines between sanity and madness, all written with T.C. Boyle’s trademark kinetic prose that can explode the most mundane moment into white-knuckle suspense.

Chosen by our readers.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
12/03/2015
Author
Publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing

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