Hard Twisted
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Hard Twisted

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3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  183 ratings  ·  46 reviews
In May of 1934, outside of Hugo, Oklahoma, a homeless man and his thirteen-year-old daughter are befriended by a charismatic drifter, newly released from the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. The drifter, Clint Palmer, lures father and daughter to Texas, where the father, Dillard Garrett, mysteriously disappears, and where his daughter Lucile begins a one-year o...more
Hardcover, First, 304 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA
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Tuck
very nice dust bowl noir, reminiscent of thompson Pop. 1280 and thompson and franklin Smonk among others. so desperatly poor folks, looking for a solution or at least a square meal perhaps let their hunger twist right and wrong, and if you eat when you are hungry, what's wrong with that, even if you have to hoodwink, rob, murder, for your beans. so pyschopath, his 13 year old "wife", and on the lam, end up in evertt ruess country, herding sheep, of all things. Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Myst...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Hard Twisted by C. Joseph Greaves is an impressive fictional account of the real people Clint Palmer and Lottie Garrett. It is 1934 when 13 year old Lottie and her father, Dillard, meet Clint, a charming drifter, they both end up moving to Texas with him where Dillard suddenly disappears and Lottie is essentially kidnapped and left to depend on Clint, a psychopathic killer and sexual predator, during a year long ordeal. The narrative is told from Lottie's point of view as she and Clint end up tr...more
Laura Zimmerman
This book was recommended to me by my fiance, who won it in a Goodreads drawing. He highly recommended it and I will pay it forward by offering my review and recommendation here.

Hard Twisted is the story of 13-year-old Lottie and her father, two people just barely scraping by in the 1930's. They have a chance encounter with Clint, who unbeknownst to Lottie and her father, has a less-than-savory past. Initially, Clint appears to be able to offer Lottie experiences that her own father can't offer...more
Rob Slaven
As usual I received this book from GoodReads as part of a giveaway. Also as usual, despite the very kind and generous consideration of getting a free book, I give my candid opinions below.

Hard Twisted is a wonderfully dark, gritty and true-to-life portrait of a young girl fallen in with the wrong crowd in the 1930s west. She is taken on a forced trip from town to town, one step ahead of the law until.... the ultimate resolution which I will not be so unkind as to reveal.

Greaves' novel combines s...more
Stephen Campbell
Hard Twisted, by C. Joseph Greaves, is the riveting tale of a young girl and an amoral older man set during the depression era. The story takes place in desolate small towns, camps and outposts in the southwest and west and is told through a combination of trial transcripts and through the eyes of the different characters in the story.

The book is a work of fiction, but it's based on actual events. The author's haunting writing style lays out the story slowly and the horror of the events the boo...more
Vashtaylamiria
Greaves writes very descriptively of the Depression and the historical figures associated with it. What he seems to lack is an empathy for his own characters. This makes sense since he was a lawyer and parts of the book are written in trial format. It is a bit too harsh for me but then again that reflects the time it is supposed to be depicting! I can see why it won an award for historical novel however the main characters of Lucille, Dillard Garrett are not fleshed out enough for me. The ruthle...more
Karen
The Great Depression is one of those eras in history that has been depicted in books and movies over and over again. Perhaps it's the obvious case of the more dire the circumstances in which people must find a way to survive, the more opportunity there is to explore those extremes, to consider how it is that the best and worst in people can emerge at times of great distress. It's also a period that lends itself to a certain style of cinematic portrayal, dark, dirty, deprived, depressed, it's har...more
Apollinaire
Hmm....This happens with a lot of novels, I've been noticing: they start out with force, a distinctive voice, an intriguing story and characters, then stall. The plot isn't the problem but whatever inspired the author to put these story and characters together--whatever world he wanted to invoke. He doesn't entirely.
"Hard Twisted" mixes the 1930s outlaw story (a la Bonnie and Clyde) with "Lolita." The love between the girl Lottie and her "protector"-abductor Palmer is occasionally touching. It...more
Shawn
Nov 19, 2013 Shawn rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: readers of fiction.
I really liked Hard Twisted; it's a cross between Egan, The Worst Hard Time (a great book about the 30s Dust Bowl) and when Zach De La Rocha in Rage Against the Machine sings, The Ghost of Tom Joad, because there are so many levels going on here.
In real life, the author found some skulls lying in the desert, and then after years of research, he based this book on his retelling of the facts of a 1935 murder case.
Mostly, this story is the story of the life of a young woman. In that sense, it remin...more
Emily
I liked this book- if it were possible to give a 3.5 stars, I would. C. Joseph Greaves is a talented writer, and I had never heard an account of the true story this book is based on.

The only thing I really felt lacking was the exploration of the feelings the characters had for each other. In the end, the heroine gives testimony against her captor, with whom she had conceived and lost a child. Was she kidnapped? Held against her will? Did she love him? None of that really ever felt very clear to...more
Walt
Dec 08, 2012 Walt rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Walt by: GOODREADS
RECEIVED FREE FROM GOODREADS. this impressive fictional recounting of Depression-era drifter Clint Palmer's real-life killing spree, told largely from the limited perspective of his 13-year-old girlfriend, Lottie Lucile Garret. Soon after the homeless Lottie meets him on the road in Oklahoma, her father disappears, and Lottie finds herself traveling alone with Clint through the American Southwest, gradually realizing that the ex-con is not just a charismatic, amoral hustler but a murderous psych...more
Jessica Walker - Stier
I'm a descendant of the men who were killed in Utah. I read this book, knowing it was fiction but very interested to put some kind of face to my great, great grandfather's murderer. I think Greaves did a fine job of creating that face. I enjoyed that the story surrounded Lottie's journey and that the story didn't really focus on Palmer's crimes.
After ruminating for a day about what I read, I've been wondering if this really was who Lottie was. It's nice to think of her as a naive, sweet, little...more
Jeri
On vacation in Durango, CO, this summer. Any small town with a book store is a great small town, and I spent some time in Marie's Bookshop, talking to staff members. When I travel west I look for western literature. The staff member directed me to a number of authors and books unfamiliar to me, but she kept coming back to Hard Twisted by Joseph Greaves. I'm glad she twisted my arm. This is a fictionalized account of a true story of kidnapping and murder in the 1930's, ranging from New Mexico, to...more
Charmain
Disturbing story based on real-life events that played out in America's dusty Four Corners area in 1934-5.

Excellent writing, although at times Lottie and Palmer's endless travelling becomes tedious. As a non-American reader I struggled with some of the references, and I really didn't enjoy the lack of quote marks to indicate dialogue.

But that was all I didn't like. America in the Great Depression was a harsh place and my heart broke for Lottie - simultaneously cowed and innocent - and her suffe...more
Janet
I received this book from Goodreads First Reads giveaway. This book was a little strange for me. The writing was different than anything I had read before. But since I had recently taken a road trip through Monument Valley, Mexican Hat, Blanding and through southern Colorado, the events really hit home with me. The setting and places in the book were very vivid in my mind. The story was very intriguing. I also agree with some of the other reviewers. It is not a "start and stop" book. The tone lo...more
Prudence
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Set in rural America during the 1920's, it is a cruel tough coming of age story told through the eyes of a 13 year old girl. The author draws you a precise picture of the landscape with his words, and captures their soul with finely tuned dialogue. It kept me riveted. Complex and heart-breaking. From the beginning I was concerned for Lottie's well being and amazed at how manipulative Clint could be. This is based on a true story of a psychotic murderer an...more
Melissa
The author was a trial lawyer, so this book is written in a way that you need to use more brain power to comprehend what is happening. Not everything is spelled out for you and if you add to it the change of the main character names, it makes it harder to scan if you don’t have a lot of time, but still want to know how the story ends.

For those who oppose language and situations true to the characters and time, you might not appreciate the story as much. With that being said, it is a great read...more
Carol Feldman
This book only caught my eye because it was set in Oklahoma. I started it, not really expecting anything and assumed I would put it down quickly. However, based on a true story from the thirties, this fictional account is so well-researched, so well-written that I read it almost without a break. (I did not realize it was based on truth until I read the author's notes at the end - which just made what I thought was simply fiction just that much better.) I knew so many of these character types fro...more
Steve Howes
This book started a bit slowly but turned out to be an enjoyable and exciting read. It became even more interesting after reading the author's notes at the end of the book and finding out that most of it is true. The book is a fictionalized account of an actual murder kidnapping case that took place during the 1930's.

One fact that was particularly interesting to me was the potential relationship of this case to the disappearance of Everett Ruess, a young artist and explorer who was never found....more
Bessie James
Based on a true story from the dirty thirties, this fictional account is so well-researched, so well-written that I recommend it highly. It concerns the crimes of one Clint Palmer and the young girl that he abducted/coerced into travelling with him throughout the west on his crime spree. Even though it is a fictionalization of their travels, it has the ring of truth throughout. You can easily imagine yourself as thirteen year old Lottie, hard-scrabble poor, alone with this psychotic killer. A ma...more
Alene
A very interesting read, historical fiction on an outlaw and the girl he kidnapped / coerced into staying with him on the run for about a year across a number of states and the murder of one very old and very highly revered sheriff and his son in Utah's John's Canyon. I want to know more about the real case, but it was back in the 1930's and very much of the story is speculation, so I liked reading this book and forming a picture of what it was like then and how it could have all possibly happen...more
Karl Kastorf
Thai is a tersely written and bleak book; references to Cormac McCarty are correct. The author draws sharp and interesting characters. The descriptions of the Four Corners area are colorful, but the listing of so many place names is tedious . You know the story will end badly but you just keep on reading because the prose is clear and the characters sharply drawn.

The failure to use quotation marks disturbs the flow of the prose.
Emily
This book tells the story of a fourteen year old girl on the run from the law with her kidnapper, in 1930s Oklahoma. The book has an interesting historical atmosphere: the Great Depression, dust bowl, immigration in the south, the last Indian uprising. However, I think it lacks suspense. It tells the story without keeping you on edge, and that's where I think it fall short.
Simon
First rate. I read it in one sitting, then went back and read it straight through again, and liked it even more the second time. The characters --- especially Lottie, but even the minor players --- are sharply etched, and the narrative drives forward remorselessly. It reminded me of Annie Proulx, Flannery O'Connor and several other writers I hold in high esteem.
Judi
Jan 02, 2013 Judi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Judi by: Guy Savage
Shelves: read-in-2013
Excellently written fiction depicting true events set in 1934-35 west about a homeless drifter and a young girl. I read this based on Guy Savage's review: http://swiftlytiltingplanet.wordpress...

The cover artwork would have pulled me to read the book even without Guy's review.
Tara
Crime novel, based on the true story of a drifter who draws a young girl into his web, and goes on the run, all set in Depression era America. Makes you realise there was more to the 30s crime wave than Bonnie & Clyde, and Dillinger. And the sheer quality of Greaves' research and writing elevates it beyond mere pastiche.
John McKenna
This is one of those super-interesting, thinly promoted gems of literature which cross my desk only once in a blue moon and is so good, in my opinion that it should be required reading for high school English classes. Simply outstanding and will be enjoyed by all those who choose to read it.
Newtown Review of Books
The story of Clint Palmer and Lucile Garret resembles that of Bonnie and Clyde in some ways but without the glamour – Clint is no Warren Beatty and Lucile is not Faye Dunaway.

To read full review: http://newtownreviewofbooks.com/2013/...
Rene Spector Johnson
An interesting and quick read...there were a few times when I felt ugly words were used for no reason, but that is just a pet peeve of mine. The author in general was able to create entire personalities of his minor characters in a sentence or two, I really like that, impressive.
Wendy
This narrative is an interesting balance between bleak and beautiful. The style is terse, but there are a lot of quite lovely and layered descriptions. The main character was compelling and the story was a heartbreaker. I didn't love it, but I don't regret reading it.
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See also Chuck Greaves

Charles Joseph Greaves is an honors graduate of both the University of Southern California and Boston College Law School who spent 25 years as a Los Angeles trial lawyer before turning his attention to fiction.

HARD TWISTED (Bloomsbury), his debut literary novel, has been called "a taut and intriguing thriller" (London Sunday Times) and "a gritty, gripping read, and one that b...more
More about C. Joseph Greaves...
Hard Twisted Hard Twisted: A Novel

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