Welcome to Hard Times by E.L. Doctorow
A Novel

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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.”

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

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

About E.L. Doctorow

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E. L. DOCTOROW was born in 1931 in New York City and was educated at Kenyon College and Columbia University. His earlier novels are Welcome to Hard Times and Big as Life. Formerly editor-in-chief of a prominent New York publishing house, he was most recently writer-in-residence at the University of California at Irvine. He lives in Westchester County with his wife and three children.
Published November 17, 2010 by Random House. 224 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Westerns, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Welcome to Hard Times

Kirkus Reviews

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Hard Times, a town in the Dakota Territory, becomes a cemetery after the vendetta of the Bad Man from Bodie and its few survivors await his return- spooked by the fear which immobilizes them- all except Mayor (""just come by the title"") who hopes to build up the town and bring up an orphaned you...

Sep 19 1960 | Read Full Review of Welcome to Hard Times: A Novel

The New York Times

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In Doctorow's Western novel, a small settlement in the Dakotas is destroyed by a villain.

Sep 25 1960 | Read Full Review of Welcome to Hard Times: A Novel

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