Summary and book reviews of Hard Revolution by George Pelecanos

Hard Revolution

A Novel

by George Pelecanos

Hard Revolution by George Pelecanos X
Hard Revolution by George Pelecanos
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2004, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2005, 464 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

'Written in rich, observant prose, this is a brilliant study of a society tearing apart as racial tensions escalate after the King killing.' Publishers Weekly

Derek Strange is a rookie cop, the job he's dreamed of since he was a boy. His brother, Dennis, has not been as fortunate; home from the service with a disability pension and zero prospects, he is man with good intentions but bad habits. Derek has always looked out for Dennis, but no amount of brotherly love can save him from the dangerous world of Alvin Jones, a local bottom-feeder, hustler, and stone killer who draws him into his web of violence.

While the rookie cop navigates the rocky terrain of a city in turmoil, a family in crisis, and his love for a woman he has driven away, Frank Vaughn, a cop at the opposite end of his career, investigates the vicious hit and run of a young black man. Vaughn's personal life is a shambles, but he's good police; he pursues the killers with sharklike intent. Meanwhile, in Memphis, a prophet is murdered, igniting a volcanic chain of events that will leave the nation's capital burned, divided, and decimated, forever changing the lives of its working-class inhabitants.

Chapter One

DEREK STRANGE GOT down in a three-point stance. He breathed evenly, as his father had instructed him to do, and took in the pleasant smell of April. Magnolias, dogwoods, and cherry trees were in bloom around the city. The scent of their flowers, and the heavy fragrance of a nearby lilac bush growing against a residential fence, filled the air.

"You keep your back straight," said Derek, "like you're gonna set a dinner up on it. You ain't want your butt up in the air, either. That way you're ready. You just blow right out, like, and hit the holes. Bust on through."

Derek and his Saturday companion, Billy Georgelakos, were in an alley that ran behind the Three-Star Diner on a single-number block of Kennedy Street, at the eastern edge of Northwest D.C. Both were twelve years old.

"Like your man," said Billy, sitting on a milk crate, an Our Army at War comic book rolled tightly in his meaty hand.

"Yeah," said Derek. "Here go Jim Brown right here." ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Washington Post
George Pelecanos writes with intelligence and complexity, as well as with a sober recognition of the evil at large in the world.

Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS) - JC Patterson
Pelecanos has brought forth a street-tough humanity as tangible as a drive-by shooting and as passionate as a Shakespearian tragedy…. Do yourself a favor, pick up a Pelecanos today.

Esquire Magazine
Two cops struggling to do their jobs against the backdrop of a violent uprising Their paths collide in the middle of a full-fury revolution, in an electrifying climax to the most powerful book yet from George Pelecanos, the poet laureate of the D.C. crime world.

Newsweek - Malcolm Jones
Pelecanos has the first-rate writer's ability to entertain you and break your heart on the same page.

USA Today - Carol Memmott
Pelecanos's writing is as polished and exquisitely honed as the guns that wreak havoc in the neighborhoods where his novels are set.

Washington Post Book World - Maureen Corrigan
Pelecanos writes with intelligence and complexity, as well as with a sober recognition of the evil at large in the world.

Publishers Weekly
Written in rich, observant prose, the novel is a brilliant study of a society tearing apart as racial tensions escalate after the King killing; no wonder some observers have pointed to Pelecanos as the kind of thriller writer who should be nominated for a National Book Award.

Kirkus Reviews
The most conventionally ambitious of Pelecanos's sprawling studies of D.C. crime pat in its sociological determinism, harrowing in its portraits of each hopeless loser and the few ex-losers who escape.

Booklist - Bill Ott
Starred Review. Pelecanos has been justly celebrated for his noir sensibility and his gritty portraits of the streets of Washington, D.C., but he hasn't been recognized for what may be his greatest achievement redefining the art of writing serial fiction

Library Journal - Craig L Shufelt
As with the previous Strange works, this is a superior crime novel from one of the genre's outstanding writers.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by George Pelecanos

If you liked Hard Revolution, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    by Patrick Ness
    Patrick Ness has developed a reputation for experimental literature executed well, and his latest, ...
  • Book Jacket: Let It Bang
    Let It Bang
    by RJ Young
    Every interracial love story is an exercise in complications. R.J. Young and Lizzie Stafford's ...
  • Book Jacket: A Spark of Light
    A Spark of Light
    by Jodi Picoult
    The central premise of A Spark of Light involves a gunman holding hostages within the confines of a ...
  • Book Jacket: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    by Hank Green
    As one half of the extremely popular YouTube duo "Vlogbrothers" (the other half being his brother ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Paris Echo
    by Sebastian Faulks

    A story of resistance, complicity, and an unlikely, transformative friendship.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Severance

Severance by Ling Ma

An offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire that is featured on more than twenty 2018 "Must Read" lists!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Ain't O U T F L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.