Customer Reviews


8 Reviews
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WELCOME TO A CLASSIC, 1 Sept. 2010
By 
Alexander Bryce (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Welcome to Hard Times (Paperback)
For fans of Doctorow this , his debut novel , is a must . I don't know why I didn't read it years ago . It is a gripping tale of the real western frontier after which many subsequent classics followed .

Well researched and utterly believable set in the Dakota Territory . The main character Blue tries to establish a township . All the nice named towns go bust so he called it Hard Times and indeed they were. Raided by the outlaw Bad Man who rapes , robs , slaughters and burns with impunity , Blue with his adopted survivors Molly the prostitute and the kid Jimmy strives to attract and keep new citizens whatever their past . While Blue hopes for a peaceful old age , Molly awaits and desires the return of Bad Man to wreak her revenge for his rape and mutilation of her . Add to the main characters a Russian trader in anything from gold to women , a stoic native American healer and many more fascinating settlers and drifters who populate Hard Times and you have a masterpiece of this genre.

It is raw , rough and real , but none the less a beautifully written fast moving piece of literature .
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like the West, like my life., 17 April 2010
This review is from: Welcome to Hard Times (Paperback)
Tell me your name, and I'll tell you who you are. If this is true, we certainly can't expect anything good from a place, far in the West, called "Hard Times". Despite that, it's amazing to see how much effort a bunch of men and women put in order to see this tiny little place on the map, to make it become a prosperous town. The leader of this struggle for survival is Blue, a man everyone calls "Mayor" not because of a formal election, but simply for his fondness of writing and keeping the ledgers. And that's exactly the reason that pushes so many people to follow the western dream... In the West you can be whoever you want, whatever you want. You can start afresh. Do you fancy papers and ledgers? Well, be our mayor. The only problem you'll always have to face the fact that, sooner or later, some man from Bodie, some scoundrel with no scruples, will come and menace all you've worked for... And under this constant menace, life can be very though.

"Welcome to Hard Times" deals with the well known myth of the American West in a very unusual and questioning way. Is that really possible, after all, to start new, to have a new beginning? And you'll be surprised to find out how deeply involving this little book is. Doctorow is a hell of a writer, and he succeeds in depicting things so vividly you actually end up feeling part of them too. Blue's struggle is not very far from our own daily struggle to build our "town"...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Minor key - Major novel, 6 Jun. 2012
By 
Bluecashmere. (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Welcome to Hard Times (Paperback)
This is my first acquaintance with E.L.Doctorow, not knowing even that it was his first novel. I found it utterly engrossing from its explosive opening as the Bad Man of Bodie wreaks havoc in a tiny settlement in Dakota, its metamorphosis into a commercially thriving community and all that that brings - good and ill, to the equally dramatic climax. Through the eyes of an ordinary but intelligent and involved man, who grows in vision and moral stature as the novel develops, we come not only to inhabit this emerging township but to share his tolerant understanding of his fellows, many damaged in very different ways, and to feel the biting cold, the plains dust invade our nostrils and the suffocating heat in which a kind of phoenix rises from the ashes - all under the constant threat of what might return. In microcosm it is as powerful a story of the west as some fine novels that work on a much larger canvas. I look forward to reading more by this author.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you liked The Sisters Brothers you'll like this, 15 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Welcome to Hard Times (Paperback)
Was recommended this book after reading The Sisters Brothers, a recently published western. I'm glad I followed the advice of the person who recommended it to me as the book was a cracking read. Based around the rebuilding of a town after its forefather was razed to the ground by a Bad Man, the story flows really well and is a real page turner. Doctorow doesn't linger around any one scene for too long and his characters are varied and interesting which keeps the reader engaged and the book enjoyable.

I'll definitely pick up other books by Doctorow in the future.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Hard Times indeed, 31 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Welcome to Hard Times (Paperback)
I watched the film of the book years ago, but the novel beats the cinematic version hands down. You know long before you reach the end that it isn't going to end well, no happy ever after, but though it is a downbeat book it doesn't take anything away from its brilliance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Western, 6 July 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Welcome to Hard Times (Paperback)
I am not well-versed in the Western genre, but this story is outstanding among the few that I have read. Believable and interesting characters populate this slim volume -- a single night's read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 21 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Welcome to Hard Times (Paperback)
Brilliant book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 July 2014
This review is from: Welcome to Hard Times (Paperback)
Excellent
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Welcome to Hard Times
Welcome to Hard Times by E. L. Doctorow (Paperback - 25 July 1996)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews