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Hard Land

Hard Land

Published by Diogenes as Hard Land
Original Title: Hard Land

Missouri, 1985: In an attempt to escape a troubled home life, fifteen-year-old Sam takes a holiday job in an old cinema. And for the duration of one magical summer, everything is turned on its head. He finds friends, falls in love and discovers the secrets of his hometown. For the first time ever, he is no longer an unremarkable outsider. Until something happens that forces him to grow up.

A homage to 1980s coming-of-age movies like The Breakfast Club and Stand By Me - the story of a summer that will never be forgotten.


General Fiction
352 pages
2021

978-3-257-07148-1

World rights are handled by Diogenes

Film rights are handled by Diogenes

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»That summer when you first fall in love can never be repeated. But this gem of a book somehow captures the sunbeams of youth and makes them shine brightly again.«

Katja Kraft / Münchner Merkur, Munich

»Page by page, the reader grows more and more fond of the characters, sighing with the first-person narrator and wanting to give him a helping hand.«

Stefan Hauck / Börsenblatt, Frankfurt

»Outstanding dialogue, razor-sharp sentences, unspent stories within the story, and precisely detailed observations follow one after the other, unfurling with precision.«

Ulrich Steinmetzger / Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Essen

»This book contains stunning truthfulness.«

Stefan Gohlisch / Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, Hannover

»A book so natural in its abundance, it’s as though it wrote itself.«

Hartmut Wilmes / Kölnische Rundschau, Cologne

»This novel sends the reader into the aforementioned state of euphancholy.«

Peter Zander / Berliner Morgenpost, Berlin

»Sam’s development from inconspicuous nobody to self-determined young man is delicately drawn.«

Markus Schramek / Tiroler Tageszeitung, Innsbruck

»The ›wonderful years‹ of which Truman Capote wrote are captured here with all their magic. We suffer, love, hope with Sam.«

Manfred Papst / Neue Zürcher Zeitung am Sonntag, Zurich

»All the characters in the novel are lovingly and precisely depicted.«

Dorothea Westphal / Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Cologne

»Benedict Wells is an experienced writer with a feel for bipolar emotional worlds, for big dreams and subtle tragedy.«

Bernhard Blöchl / Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich

»If it leaves you cold, you've obviously never been young.«

Theresa Hübner / WDR 5, Cologne

»This is wonderfully written. You live and suffer, cry and cheer with him. Outstanding!«

Express, Cologne

»But above all, with the tone of this novel Benedict Wells also summons the Americans’ high art of storytelling: cool, light-footed, laconic, passionate.«

Doris Kraus / Die Presse am Sonntag, Vienna

»It [Hard Land] will bring many people comfort, laughter and tears. The fact that it’s great literature is actually irrelevant.«

Uli Kreikebaum / Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Cologne

»A wonderful coming-of-age novel, emotionally gripping and full of courage.«

Lilo Solcher / Augsburger Allgemeine, Augsburg

»Anyone who doesn’t have a fridge where their heart should be will be captivated.«

Arno Orzessek / rbb Kultur, Berlin

»If one didn’t know better, one could think Hard Land was a centuries-old classic of coming-of-age literature.«

Oliver Pfohlmann / Der Tagesspiegel, Berlin

»A phase of life that is often mocked is given new value here, through sublimely talented characterisation.«

Julian Melichar / Kleine Zeitung, Graz

»Benedict Wells proves himself to be one of the best contemporary German-language authors.«

Juliane Fischer / Salzburger Nachrichten, Salzburg

»There can be no doubt that, with this title, Benedict Wells has become the successor to the world’s greatest coming-of-age novel, Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.«

Lothar Schröder / Rheinische Post, Düsseldorf

»With Hard Land, Benedict Wells has once again achieved a moving blend of humour and emotion, as universally impressive as the genre promises.«

Tanja Ochs / Heilbronner Stimme, Heilbronn

»This book is carefully narrated, and despite the sometimes tough themes, there are no heavy collisions; many goose bumps, but no barrage of effects.«

Torsten Unger / MDR Thüringen, Leipzig

»Sam, familiar with the tones of fear and pain, learns what thoughtfulness, trust, and respect sound like.«

Sonntag, Hannover

»Wells' latest creation tells a coming-of-age story in such a way that you would think the author is American.«

Peer Teuwsen / NZZ am Sonntag, Zurich

»That summer when you first fall in love can never be repeated. But this gem of a book somehow captures the sunbeams of youth and makes them shine brightly again.«

Katja Kraft / Münchner Merkur, Munich

»Page by page, the reader grows more and more fond of the characters, sighing with the first-person narrator and wanting to give him a helping hand.«

Stefan Hauck / Börsenblatt, Frankfurt

»Outstanding dialogue, razor-sharp sentences, unspent stories within the story, and precisely detailed observations follow one after the other, unfurling with precision.«

Ulrich Steinmetzger / Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Essen

»This book contains stunning truthfulness.«

Stefan Gohlisch / Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, Hannover

»A book so natural in its abundance, it’s as though it wrote itself.«

Hartmut Wilmes / Kölnische Rundschau, Cologne

»This novel sends the reader into the aforementioned state of euphancholy.«

Peter Zander / Berliner Morgenpost, Berlin

»Sam’s development from inconspicuous nobody to self-determined young man is delicately drawn.«

Markus Schramek / Tiroler Tageszeitung, Innsbruck

»The ›wonderful years‹ of which Truman Capote wrote are captured here with all their magic. We suffer, love, hope with Sam.«

Manfred Papst / Neue Zürcher Zeitung am Sonntag, Zurich

»All the characters in the novel are lovingly and precisely depicted.«

Dorothea Westphal / Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Cologne

»Benedict Wells is an experienced writer with a feel for bipolar emotional worlds, for big dreams and subtle tragedy.«

Bernhard Blöchl / Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich

»If it leaves you cold, you've obviously never been young.«

Theresa Hübner / WDR 5, Cologne

»This is wonderfully written. You live and suffer, cry and cheer with him. Outstanding!«

Express, Cologne

»But above all, with the tone of this novel Benedict Wells also summons the Americans’ high art of storytelling: cool, light-footed, laconic, passionate.«

Doris Kraus / Die Presse am Sonntag, Vienna

»It [Hard Land] will bring many people comfort, laughter and tears. The fact that it’s great literature is actually irrelevant.«

Uli Kreikebaum / Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Cologne

»A wonderful coming-of-age novel, emotionally gripping and full of courage.«

Lilo Solcher / Augsburger Allgemeine, Augsburg

»Anyone who doesn’t have a fridge where their heart should be will be captivated.«

Arno Orzessek / rbb Kultur, Berlin

»If one didn’t know better, one could think Hard Land was a centuries-old classic of coming-of-age literature.«

Oliver Pfohlmann / Der Tagesspiegel, Berlin

»A phase of life that is often mocked is given new value here, through sublimely talented characterisation.«

Julian Melichar / Kleine Zeitung, Graz

»Benedict Wells proves himself to be one of the best contemporary German-language authors.«

Juliane Fischer / Salzburger Nachrichten, Salzburg

»There can be no doubt that, with this title, Benedict Wells has become the successor to the world’s greatest coming-of-age novel, Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.«

Lothar Schröder / Rheinische Post, Düsseldorf

»With Hard Land, Benedict Wells has once again achieved a moving blend of humour and emotion, as universally impressive as the genre promises.«

Tanja Ochs / Heilbronner Stimme, Heilbronn

»This book is carefully narrated, and despite the sometimes tough themes, there are no heavy collisions; many goose bumps, but no barrage of effects.«

Torsten Unger / MDR Thüringen, Leipzig

»Sam, familiar with the tones of fear and pain, learns what thoughtfulness, trust, and respect sound like.«

Sonntag, Hannover

»Wells' latest creation tells a coming-of-age story in such a way that you would think the author is American.«

Peer Teuwsen / NZZ am Sonntag, Zurich
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