Welcome to Hard Times is the debut 1960 novel by American author E.L. Doctorow. It is about a small settlement in the Dakota Territory that is 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 rebuild. A major theme throughout the short novel is the relationship of the characters and evil, represented by their fear of the Bad Man from Bodie.
A review by the New York Times relates the book to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness:
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.
Famous quotes containing the words hard and/or times:
“Lovers remain in the dark, working hard to keep out daylight.”
—Mason Cooley (b. 1927)
“The Times are the masquerade of the eternities; trivial to the dull, tokens of noble and majestic agents to the wise; the receptacle in which the Past leaves its history; the quarry out of which the genius of today is building up the Future.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)