Don Carpenter's Hard Rain Falling is a tough as nails account of being down and out, but not quite down for good; a Dostoevskian tale of crime, punishment, and the pursuit of an ever-elusive redemption. The novel follows the adventures of Jack Leavitt, an orphan and teenager living off his wits in the fleabag hotels and seedy pool halls of Portland, Oregon. Leavitt befriends Billy Lansing, a young black runaway and pool hustler extraordinaire. A heist gone wrong gets Jack sent to reform school, from which he emerges embittered by years of abuse and solitary confinement. Billy in the meantime has joined the bourgeoisie-married, fathered a son, acquired a business and a mistress. But neither Jack nor Billy can escape their misfit pasts, and they will meet again in San Quentin, before their strange double drama comes to a violent and revelatory end.
Don Carpenter was a writer of searing honesty and deep compassion. This reprint of his most famous novel reintroduces one of postwar American literature's most distinctive and gripping voices.