Welcome to Hard Times (novel)

Welcome to Hard Times is the debut 1960 novel by American author E.L. Doctorow.[1] It is centered in a small settlement in the Dakota Territory named Hard Times. After a reckless drifter comes into Hard Times and terrorizes the town with rape, murder and arson, the survivors lead an effort to restore it. A theme throughout the novel is the nature of good and evil, represented by the townspeople's fear of "The Bad Man from Bodie".[2]The New York Times relates the book to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness:

Welcome to Hard Times
First edition
AuthorE.L. Doctorow
CountryUnited States
PublisherSimon & Schuster
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardcover)

Perhaps the primary theme of the novel is that evil can only be resisted psychically: when the rational controls that order man's existence slacken, destruction comes. Conrad said it best in Heart of Darkness, but Mr. Doctorow has said it impressively. His book is taut and dramatic, exciting and successfully symbolic.[3]

Film adaptationEdit


  1. ^ "Welcome to Hard Times". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  2. ^ Abrams, David (July 22, 2015). "Welcome to Hard Times". The Quivering Pen. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  3. ^ Williams, Wirt (September 25, 1960). "Welcome to Hard Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-07.

External linksEdit