Some early words about In the Cage, my novel

As an emerging writer, I’ve been pretty fortunate to have met some established authors, many of whom I’ve admired for years. I’ve been even more fortunate to have some of those writers endanger their good name by offering up quotes or blurbs in support of my work.

Through a series of serendipitous events, I got to be friends with John Irving over the past few years, and he read and gave me a great quote for my story collection, Debris, and again for my new novel, In the Cage.

The architecture of this first novel is faultlessly conceived; the construction of the storytelling is meticulously crafted. Hardcastle has an abiding sympathy for the neglected rural poor. The characters we love will break our hearts; the low-lifes we fear are no less indelibly rendered. There is an aura of foreboding — of tragic inevitability — to the collision course of their lives. And, speaking strictly as a former wrestler, the details are true. John Irving

And, also magically, I have just recently had the new novel read by one of my favourite writers ever, Donald Ray Pollock, author of critically acclaimed, bestselling books like KnockemstiffThe Devil All the Time, and The Heavenly Table. Turns out that Mr. Pollock liked the new novel as well, and this is what he had to say about it…

“Written in taut, tough as nails prose, with a cinematic quality comparable to Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men, Hardcastle’s In The Cage, is, to say the least, a wild, unrelenting ride, filled with thugs and desperation and innocents and heartbreak. It’s a damn fine book.” – Donald Ray Pollock

You can find out what people say about my writing, from this book until way back, by checking out that part of my site here.  Otherwise, I’d just like to thank Mr. Irving and Mr. Pollock, and all of the folks at Biblioasis who worked hard to wrangle up some of these kind quotes about the new novel. It is a humbling experience to have authors of that caliber put their words down in support of yours. So I am genuinely proud and honoured to know that In the Cage has been in those hands and did not get tossed into the river…

In the Cage is out on September 12th, for all those interested. There will be a launch here in Toronto, and we’re working on a few other events for you. Keep an eye out for more news on that, later…


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