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George Pelecanos in The Rumpus on Hard Rain Falling

November 4, 2009

Washington, D.C. crime novelist George Pelecanos has an excellent consideration of Don Carpenter’s Hard Rain Falling in the increasingly marvellous The Rumpus:

While many debut novels boil and sometimes overboil with a voice edging towards manifesto, few hit their mark with such assuredness, maturity, and authority as Hard Rain Falling. It is not, as it has been often described, a crime novel, though it does concern itself peripherally with criminals and their milieu. I hesitate to call it either a literary or genre work because I’m not sure Mr. Carpenter would have cared about the distinction. By his own admission he aimed to write cleanly, with his intended audience the general public rather than the gatekeepers of academia. Hard Rain Falling is populist fiction at its best. It is not just a good novel. It might be the most unheralded important American novel of the 1960s.

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