A NEWSWEEK BEST NOVEL OF THE YEAR
A TOP 10 BOOK OF 2015 (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times)
Set in contemporary Northern California, The Harder They Come explores the volatile connections between three damaged people an aging 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 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. As his mental state fractures, he becomes increasingly delusional until a schizophrenic breakdown leads him to shoot two people, 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."e;