David's Reviews > Hard Rain Falling

Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter
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's review
Jan 23, 2010

it was amazing
Read in January, 2010

This is the straight stuff; the sort of hard, beautiful book about losers losing, where you know people are going to get hurt and hurt others because that is life in America. The book is hard, but not cold: you feel desperately for the doomed hero, Jack Levitt, born to a father kicked to death by a horse and a mother who took her own life, set on his crooked path after busting out of an orphanage and falling in with a rough set. Drinking, committing less and less petty crimes, Jack matriculates through reform school and a mental ward, until graduating to San Quentin, where his unrealized, inarticulate needs find one answer in the love of a fellow convict. Yet there is also great danger, and another darker urge that calls out to Jack as well – a consummation not at all to be wished, but perhaps inevitable. Carpenter’s writing is (my idea of) perfect. Matter-of-fact doesn’t quite capture it: assured, terse, undeniable, unprettily poetic, and revelatory of a world that is almost too real, too brutally solid. I would compare him – if not liken him – to Nelson Algren, Jim Tully, Charles Bukowski, Chester Himes or Hubert Selby Jr. I won’t say any more about where Levitt’s sordid journey leads, since ultimately he is a character who remains locked in the here and now. Yet what he finds there may surprise you.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Robin (new)

Robin I remember when I was but a young sprout picking this up at a drugstore for 95 cents (new paperback). I also remember reading it, most likely for the dirty parts (that was during my Harold Robbins stage), but I also remember liking it. Are there still dirty parts or am I just imagining there were? I did buy this for the library so need to read it again.

message 2: by Keri (new) - added it

Keri Thanks for the review!

Brad great book!

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