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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.