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Hard Twisted: A Novel Paperback – October 22, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; Reprint edition (October 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620400693
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620400692
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,876,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Drawing on a famous Depression-era murder case—the 1935 “Skeleton Murder” in Greenville, Texas—Greaves extrapolates from the historical record to look inside the principals’ hearts and minds. In May 1934, 13-year-old Lottie Garrett and her father, Dillard, are homeless, standing by a dusty road in Oklahoma, when Clint Palmer, recently released from Leavenworth, picks them up with promises of work and food. So begins a one-year odyssey in which Palmer, apparently after murdering Dillard, rapes Lottie and claims her as his wife before embarking on an interstate crime spree with Lottie in tow. It culminates with the double murder that made the pair famous (trial transcripts are interspersed within the story). Lottie’s narration, a mix of naïvete and hard-won toughness, is heartbreaking in its plainspoken recounting of the facts behind a nightmare, but all the characters, even Palmer—a sociopath to his core—reveal flickerings of inner lives that confound our attempts to pigeonhole this seemingly archetypal Depression tragedy. There are echoes of Robert Altman’s great 1974 film Thieves like Us here, but most of all Lottie evokes the steely but tender heart of Ree Dolly in Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone (2006). --Bill Ott --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Mailer, Capote and Berendt, Greaves has crafted a McCarthy-esque non-fiction novelisation that is, at once, both timeless and classic. A truly extraordinary accomplishment, and a wonderful, wonderful book. I was left speechless R.J. Ellory Now and again you discover a thriller that sweeps you off your feet, it is so unexpected. This is one ... We are in the days of the dustbowls and The Grapes of Wrath ... A delicate mix of poignancy and horror, it is impossible to forget Daily Mail A taut and intriguing thriller ... The novel displays Greave's deft grasp of psychology ... Greave's fictional version of her story is a strange and unsettling read The Sunday Times A superb first novel, based on a true story ... Written in a style that is the prose equivalent of a Dorothea Lange photograph, it is, as much as anything, a coming-of-age story ... Extraordinarily moving reading Guardian Hard Twisted reads like the perfect amalgam of Cormac McCarthy and Jim Thompson: violent, hilarious, and as bracing and painful as the blow of a dog quirt across the face. Utterly irresistible. Pinckney Benedict, author of Dogs of God, The Wrecking Yard, Town Smokes, and Miracle Boy and Other Stories Hard Twisted is fictional crime, with an exceptional true story as its spine, written in a superbly innovative way. Chuck Greaves has penned a remarkably fine novel in prose as stylish and engaging as one will find...[A] compelling saga of murder, mystery, and good and evil at its rawest int he hardscrabble rural Southwest of the 1930s. Vincent Bugliosi, NYT-bestselling author of Helter Skelter, And the Sea Will Tell, and Four Days in November Greaves is the sort of formidable storyteller and mean prose-stylist that makes it look easy. With all the grit, suspense, pathos, and thrills you could ever ask for in a crime novel, Hard Twisted will leave you in knots Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here Greaves's deft prose twinkles like Okie campfires (in the night). Storytelling at its most compelling: raw, yet tender and as dangerous as warm moonshine breath on a young girl's neck Sir Alan Parker A riveting and stylistically stripped-down tale about Lucile Garrett ... subtle, seductive writing ... Greaves has in common with Hammett an ability to portray whole lives or landscapes in a few choice words, and his evocation of place is something to behold- the reader is there in the rickety old truck with the pair as they go on their crime spree, kicking up dust as they flee the scene. He's also brilliant at examining the psychology of both the main characters, adeptly drawing out the moral ambiguity of their situation. Impressive stuff Big Issue (Scotland) A much praised, gritty tale Bookseller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

C. Joseph Greaves spent 25 years as an L.A. trial lawyer before turning his attention to fiction. HARD TWISTED (Bloomsbury), his Depression-era literary debut, was honored as the Best Historical Novel of 2010 in the SouthWest Writers' International Writing Contest, and was called "a taut and intriguing thriller" (London Sunday Times) and "a gritty, gripping read, and one that begs to be put on film" (Los Angeles Times). Mr. Greaves also writes crime fiction as Chuck Greaves, and his novels include HUSH MONEY (2012), GREEN-EYED LADY (2013), and THE LAST HEIR (2014), all from St. Martin's Minotaur. He currently lives and writes near Cortez, Colorado.

Customer Reviews

I did not enjoy the writing style of C Joseph Greaves.
Julie Whittaker
The author paints the landscapes in your mind and awakens your senses with his delightfully descriptive prose.
Tracey Brown
I felt sorry for Lottie, I figured she was miserable, but it was never clear that she felt anything.
rebecca stoneking

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rob Slaven on December 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As usual I received this book from GoodReads as part of a giveaway. Also as usual, despite the very kind and generous consideration of getting a free book, I give my candid opinions below.

Hard Twisted is a wonderfully dark, gritty and true-to-life portrait of a young girl fallen in with the wrong crowd in the 1930s west. She is taken on a forced trip from town to town, one step ahead of the law until.... the ultimate resolution which I will not be so unkind as to reveal.

Greaves' novel combines several wonderful aspects of the historical novel. He is truthful as he draws from real events and paints with a brush which includes much local color and language. This all adds quite nicely to the keen and simmering hatred the reader builds for the antagonist over the book's 300 pages.

Our author's writing is, admittedly, at times very dense and I found myself starting over after 50 pages just to begin again and give the book more focused attention. This is not a novel to be read in tiny sessions. Give it two solid hours or don't bother until tomorrow. Greaves' prose is delicious, dense and satisfying but should be savored in large chunks that let you immerse yourself rather than in fits and starts.

Pondering to whom to pass this book next, I bumped it quickly to the top of the pile of books I designate as recommended to my fiancee to read next. Its delightful language and sympathetic characters are, I hope, a perfect choice for her literary tastes. Any reader who delights in deep and meaningful writing that takes a bit of effort will enjoy this work.

To summarize, Hard Twisted is a fictional account of a difficult time in American history that rings true in a way that few novels of the type do. While sometimes dense it is none the less a deeply satisfying and entertaining example of the genre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By titanicthompson on November 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you were lucky enough not to have lived through the Dust Bowl era, but somehow wanted to understand better what folks endured. This is your chance. The desperation, lust and depravity of some is in full evidence. You will be made to feel like you are onboard for this trip to hell and back. Greaves makes you sense the sights, smells and culture of the day whether you like it or not. Only thirty pages in i knew this book was going to end too soon. The best ones always do. I went back and read it again. I was wrong it's a 5 Star!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LKM on February 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
Lucile (Lottie) Garrett has a tough life. Motherless, and now homeless, she and her father live in the West in the 1930's--a tough time period for anyone to live through, but especially rough for a thirteen-year-old girl with no mother. Befriended by a drifter, they follow him to Texas, figuring they have nothing left to lose. Lucile and her father have no idea what trouble might await them though, and they discover the hard way that trusting this new-found friend might have been a deadly mistake.

I typically don't select books set in the early 1900's--it is a time period that holds little interest for me. However, I chose Hard Twisted because it looked intriguing and mysterious, and like a good change of pace for me. I found myself sympathizing with Lucile in the predicaments she gets herself into. She is such an innocent character, but because of the people she associates with, she becomes slightly guilty as the story goes on.

This book would have great appeal to mystery and western readers. Although I am neither of those particularly, I enjoyed the fast-paced reading this novel offered. It was a little dense at times, causing me to focus a little deeper on what I was reading, but it left me with some questions to ponder, which can be a nice quality in a book...or a haunting one.

www.compassbookratings
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darwin Hunt on November 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is beautifully written. Greaves has taken dusty archives of a deadly crime spree of the Great Depression era
and turned it into a very compelling and believable novel. One of the best books I have read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Torry Holt on December 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Hard Twisted was the best book I've read all year! I'm a huge fan of Cormac McCarthy and I can honestly say that Hard Twisted is as good as anything that Cormac has ever written. C. Joseph Greaves is an extremely talented writer and his novel was equally haunting and entertaining throughout. I highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ilapa on November 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This compelling, memorable story will stay with you forever. The author so vividly portrays the characters, the southwest settings, and the exciting but desperate escapades of real-life people and events that I almost felt like I was there and lived through it with them. The writing is superb, the story fascinating, and the telling of it -- though fictionalized -- makes it unforgettable. I want to see this one as a movie!
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By Richard on December 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not what I expected. Mr Greaves other works tower over this. Looking forward to his next mystery novel in the Summer of 2014.
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By Owen B Walker on November 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a descendant of Bill Oliver, and I must say that Mr. Greaves has done his research very well. I don't think he learned enough about the culture of southern Utah, as evidenced by the words he puts in Mr. Olivers mouth. I have spoken to several who knew him well and without exception they say "He would never have said that". All in all a good read and very well done for a novel that is based on a true story. By my assessment more true than novel!
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