In the Course of Human Events

In the Course of Human Events

By Mike Harvkey

Soft Skull Press, Hardcover, 9781619022942, 320pp.

Publication Date: April 15, 2014

Battered, bruised, and bloodied by the economic collapse, Clyde Twitty has all but given up hope for the future. The factory has shut down, the pick-up needs repairs, and the place he calls home is the town the American Dream forgot. Right about now he could use some help. Enter Jay Smalls, a charismatic martial artist who exerts an intense magnetic pull. Under Jay’s brutal instruction, Clyde begins a series of increasingly frightening tests that draw him into a seedy underworld of bare-knuckle fighting, brazen criminal acts, homemade drugs, and homegrown extremism. Jay reshapes Clyde into a fearless fighter—and directs his burning anger at a deserving target: the government.

In this thrilling debut novel—equal parts satire and morality play—Harvkey shines a sharp light on the radical underbelly of the floundering American Midwest. As he traces the violent rebirth of a desperate man, he explores with unflinching acuity the ugly nature of hate, the mechanics of radicalization, and the atomic power of having someone believe in you.