Hard Rain Falling, By Don Carpenter

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The Independent Culture

The New York Review Books list of resurrected clasics motors from stength to strength, and here it delivers an explosive find.

First published in 1966, Don Carpenter's hard-boiled existential tale of young hustlers Jack (white) and Billy (black) on the run and in jail in Oregon and California earns justified applause from Wire stalwarts Richard Price and George Pelecanos - whose preface salutes "the most unheralded important American novel of the 196os".

Tarmac-tough dialogue and road-novel delinquent action is customised with a tender intensity about both friendship and sexual passion. Often savage, never cynical, Carpenter brings gold to the grit.