Posts Tagged ‘Hard Rain’

Football Returns!


September 8th, 2022 Posted 7:13 am

First NFL game of the season is tonight. Football comes up from time to time in my work, going all the way back to Hard Rain, and it’s central to the plot of Reality Check, my YA novel that won an Edgar award. There’s also football in the Chet and Bernie series, in Bark To The Future, the most recent C&B, and in Heart of Barkness, and elsewhere I can’t remember at the moment. This is from Heart of Barkness:

We walked onto the field, mostly dirt with tufts of grass here and there. Coach Flowers had moved out from between the two rows of players, now stood to the side. We stopped nearby. Coach Flowers put the whistle in his mouth, sort of nudging the stogie to one side, and talked around them.

“On the whistle, potato heads. Not before, not after. All set?”

He blew the whistle, a sound I hate, but at least I’d known it was coming. The two rows charged each other, thumping together with lots of grunts and shouts, none of the shouts actual words, more like the kind of noise you hear on Animal Planet. The kids finished knocking each other around, picked themselves up, dusted themselves off.

“What the heck?” said Coach Flowers. Or something like that – he wasn’t easy to understand with the whistle and stogie in his mouth. “Call that hitting? Don’t look like hitting to me. Looked like hugging your sister.”

One of the kids said, “I’m a sister, coach.”

Coach Flowers turned to her. “Did I ask for your opinion, Taneeka?”

“Not yet, coach.”

“Take a lap.”


Hard Rain


May 18th, 2022 Posted 7:03 am

Hard Rain, which I think of as the first of my college novels (with Revolution #9 and Crying Wolf) – mostly because they all have some or a lot of scenes on campus – is on sale for $1.99 until 5/22. $1.99! With inflation that isn’t even money! Hard Rain is almost certainly the first time the first Woodstock music festival was an important plot element in a novel. Here’s the author photo from the original back cover (thanks to MM).




January 22nd, 2022 Posted 8:09 am

This is a big football weekend. Football comes up in my work from time to time, going all the way back to Hard  Rain, and it’s central to the plot of Reality Check (my YA novel that won an Edgar award). But there’s some in the Chet and Bernie series as well. This is from Heart of Barkness and I’ll post another snippet, a bit longer, next Saturday:

We kept running. And what a nice sight – Bernie was running as fast as I’d ever seen him. Which isn’t at all fast, not even for a human, probably on account of his leg wound in the war, but it made me so happy to see him back to running not fast. As for me and my running, let’s put it this way: I was delighted that the dart player turned out to be one of those humans who could really motor, especially after his flip flops flew off. Why hadn’t he gone into football or track instead of robbery? I wondered about that as I loped along behind him, trying not to catch up too soon and spoil the fun.


Beginnings (More)


February 3rd, 2019 Posted 8:01 am

On Sunday we’ve been doing beginnings – all the Peter Abrahams novels including those written under the Spencer Quinn pen name. Here, from 1992 – REVOLUTION #9 (second of the ’60’s novels, after HARD RAIN).

[“…Charlie’s hunt through the past is an often painful but always gripping story. Abrahams weaves in and out of time and temperament with considerable skill, and reminds us with each plot twist of the damage Vietnam did to the soul of America.” – Chicago Tribune]

The boy was named Ronnie. The only surviving photograph shows him in his batting stance. What can we tell from it? That he hit from the left side. That he wore his hair long, in the style of the time. That he had a solid-looking body, and a reliable-looking face. That there was nothing particularly cute about him – Norman Rockwell would never have put him in the front of a picture. But Ronnie might have appeared in the background, diving into the old fishing hole. And he might have grown up to be quite handsome. Going beyond that would be pure speculation. How much character can be read in the face of an eleven-year-old boy?


The Books

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