Hard Rain Falling

Front Cover
New York Review of Books, 2009 - Fiction - 308 pages
5 Reviews
Don Carpenter's Hard Rain Falling is a tough as nails account of being down and out, but not quite down for good-a Dostoyevskian tale of crime, punishment, and the pursuit of an ever-elusive redemption. The novel follows the adventures of Jack Leavitt, an orphaned teenager living off his wits in the fleabag hotels and seedy pool halls of Portland, Oregon. Leavitt befriends Billy Lansing, a young black runaway and pool hustler extraordinaire. A heist gone wrong gets Jack sent to reform school, from which he emerges embittered by years of abuse and solitary confinement. In the meantime Billy has joined the bourgeoisie- married, fathered a son, acquired a business and a mistress. But neither Jack nor Billy can escape their misfit pasts, and they will meet again in San Quentin before their strange double drama comes to a violent and revelatory end. Carpenter was a writer of searing honesty and deep compassion. This reprint of his most famous novel reintroduces one of the most distinctive and gripping voices of postwar American literature.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ktp50 - LibraryThing

Reminded me of Kerouac meets Holden Caulfield meets Edward Bunker. Terriffic book. Teriffic writer. Great representation of the genre. Wish I had been turned on earlier. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - CBJames - LibraryThing

The main character, Jack Leavitt, deserves no sympathy. True, he was born into a terrible situation, orphaned by his mother who abandoned him to the state in secret just to keep his father from ever ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Don Carpenter (1931–1995) was born in Berkeley, California, and grew up on the West Coast. He served in the air force during the Korean War, attended the University of Portland, and received a B.S. from Portland State College and an M.A. from San Francisco State College. Carpenter, his wife, Martha, and their two daughters settled in Mill Valley, near San Francisco, and he became good friends with the local writers Evan Connell and, especially, Richard Brautigan. His first book, Hard Rain Falling, was published in 1966 and was followed by nine other novels as well as several collections of short stories. Carpenter also wrote for the movies and television and spent a good deal of time in Hollywood, the subject of several of his novels. Plagued by poor health in his later years, he committed suicide at the age of sixty-four.

George Pelecanos is the author of sixteen novels and was a writer, story editor, and producer on the HBO series The Wire.

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