Hurt People

Hurt People

Book - 2016
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"A novel about two brothers growing up in the prison town of Leavenworth, Kansas"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374535889
Branch Call Number: Fiction Smi
Characteristics: 324 pages ; 19 cm


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Aug 29, 2018

Absolutely LOVED this book! Extremely hard to put down, as all the stories relate to the main theme of the book. I can't wait for his second one!

TSCPL_Miranda Nov 20, 2017

Impossible to put down. Authentic, painful, and so well written.

MickC_KCMO Jul 27, 2017

The characters, the setting, the story. Everything about this book is created with such care and you see it on display in each sentence. Cote Smith is a real talent and I cannot wait for his next book.

Oct 25, 2016


I liked the book. It is gripping and heartfelt. Interesting setting in Leavenworth.

The brothers do not have bicycles, friends, or much of anything. So many things are broken in their home: television, air conditioner, fan, and, most of all, the family itself. Also, the town is broken—closed factory, and the council votes down a proposal for a library.

Both parents are selfish and immature. Dad drinks, sleeps around, and supplies inappropriate videos for his children. He takes them to a shooting range and a crime scene, hoping to win their admiration. Mom sells their toys, fails to provide food, and expects the children to provide her with a birthday party. Does she ever give them birthday parties?

P. 37, mother complains to father about older son: she orders him to draw a tree and instead he draws a bush. She is trying to throw her weight around.

P. 91. Narrator reminisces about a family boating trip (Smithville Lake?). This event should be a happy memory, but it is not. In the boat, Dad drinks beer and argues with Mom, while boys swim in the water. Narrator fantasizes about being left to drown.

P. 121. Older son takes narrator's favorite stuffed animal and pretends to kill it. Do older son and Chris have similar life stories?

P. 198, dad has 5 memos about MW. The abbreviation is "my wife." He is obsessed with her. In this family, everybody loves everybody, but not always in a healthy way.

P. 318. Parents agree older son needs therapy. There is hope for this family.

LPL_PolliK Mar 03, 2016

Cote Smith's debut is a photograph of your childhood, fraying edged, and tinged with a menace you hopefully don't remember. Set in nearby Leavenworth, where prisons shadow all they survey, Hurt People will keep you turning pages, and have you thinking about two young brothers long after you put it down.


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