Can a man find something he realizes too late that he’s lost?
Harold Hardscrabble is the story of a quintessential Everyman. Harold is a quiet, charming, hardworking husband living in the suburbs with his wife and dog and the requisite number of children. He is an idealist, a dreamer, like Walter Mitty. But somewhere in the numbing everyday world of work, school meetings, dentist appointments, and chasing the American Dream, Harold starts to suspect he might have made a wrong turn somewhere along the way.
We follow Harold’s transformation from a dreamer to a man of action as he struggles to discover how to live a meaningful life in a materialistic world. As the illusion of his perfect, successful life crumbles, Harold finds himself increasingly disenchanted, frustrated, and isolated. Although he manages to cope admirably for some time, Harold comes to see that the American dream, is just that, a dream. When he is finally overcome by circumstances beyond his control, he feels forced to take matters into his own hands to attain justice for the misfortunes he has been made to suffer.
Harold Hardscrabble unfolds slowly as it builds to its explosive climax. A frightening but endearing examination of what can happen to an ordinary man who is driven to the edge.
Praise for Harold Hardscrabble:
“Harold Hardscrabble reveals author, essayist, and critic of contemporary literature, G. D. Dess as a novelist with a natural flair for engaging storytelling and an impressive ability to bring the reader into a fictional world with real world identifications. Unfailingly entertaining from cover to cover, Harold Hardscrabble is unreservedly recommended, especially for community and academic library Literary Fiction collections.”
–Midwest Book Review
“Crisply literary and reminiscent of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in tone and circumstance, the happenstance and sweet resilience of [Harold] are what anchors Dess’s winning fable and make it every bit as entrancing, quirky, sad, and darkly humorous from start to finish.
—Booklife Prize in Fiction
“Harold Hardscrabble is a sympathetic novel filled with philosophical musings on the state of society and our place within it, on balancing intellectualism with everyday success, and on overcoming the sense of simply being a cog in the machine.”
—Foreward Clarion Reviews
“Harold Hardscrabble is smartly written, informed by the philosophies and ideas of various documents and writers, including Karl Marx, David Foster Wallace and Noam Chomsky.”
—Blue Ink Review
“Harold Hardscrabble is a thoughtful and well-written observation of the human condition. Dess pushes members of the modern world to question many things and consider that maybe even something unlikely could come to be true.”
—Red City Review