The Harder They Come (Boyle)

The Harder They Come 
T.C. Boyle, 2015
HarperCollins
400 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780062349378



Summary
A powerful, gripping novel that explores the roots of violence and anti-authoritarianism inherent In the American character.

Set in contemporary Northern California, The Harder They Come explores the volatile connections between three damaged people—an aging ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran, his psychologically unstable son, and the son's paranoid, much-older lover—as they careen toward an explosive confrontation.

On a cruise to Central America, seventy-year-old Sten Stensen unflinchingly kills an armed robber menacing a busload of tourists. The reluctant hero is relieved to return home to Fort Bragg, California—only to find that his delusional son, Adam, has spiraled out of control.

Adam has become involved with Sara, a hardened member of a right-wing anarchist group that refuses to acknowledge the laws of the state. Adam's senior by some fifteen years, she becomes his protector and inamorata. As Adam's mental state fractures, he becomes increasingly delusional until a schizophrenic breakdown leads him to shoot two people. On the run, he takes to the woods, spurring the biggest manhunt in California history.

As T.C. Boyle explores a father's legacy of violence and his powerlessness in relating to his equally violent son, he offers unparalleled insights into the American psyche. Inspired by a true story, The Harder They Come is a devastating and indelible novel from a modern master. (From the publisher.)

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