Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

The Harder They Come

by Michael Thelwell

“The most authentic and evocative portrait of the Jamaican poor–the rich and sustaining vernacular of their culture, the sheer heroism of their economic existence–that I have seen.” –Jarvis Anderson, The New Republic

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 400
  • Publication Date April 01, 1980
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-3138-6
  • Dimensions 5.38" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00

About The Book

Like the acclaimed film of the same title, this lyrical, lilting, densely textured novel is based on the exploits of the legendary Jamaican folk hero and reggae star Rhygin. With passion and precision, Michael Thelwell recounts Rhygin’s journey from a morally coherent rural universe to the teeming, predatory slums of Kingston, his rebellion against the poverty and corruption of postcolonial Jamaica, his blazing, simultaneous rise to the top of the charts and the Most Wanted list.

Praise

“A magnificent achievement–moving, eloquent, defiant. It is a major milestone in the cultural history of black people. Mr. Thelwell has put us all in his debt.” –Chinua Achebe

‘masterly. . . . One of the very few novels worthy of the black experience in our age.” –Harold Bloom

“Thelwell’s writing is lush, his imagery powerful, his characters full of depth, his attention to detail admirable.” –Los Angeles Times

“An authentic and exceedingly rich portrait of Jamaican life beyond the tourist hotels.” –The New York Times

‘destined to become a classic, and one that our children can be proud of.” –The Black Scholar

“A fine novel, rich in language, deep in characterization, compelling in action, and provocative in it vision. In its way, it is a kind of novelized reggae.” –The Boston Globe

“The most authentic and evocative portrait of the Jamaican poor–the rich and sustaining vernacular of their culture, the sheer heroism of their economic existence–that I have seen.” –Jarvis Anderson, The New Republic