Click book cover above to read an excerpt from Harlow, published in the Fall 2013 issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas
Taking place over the course of three abysmally cold winter days in the late 1980s, Harlow tells the story of eighteen-year-old Leslie Somers, a boy who trudges his way through the dark Louisiana backwoods in search of his father, a man whom he has never met. As Leslie walks through the woods, making camp where he can, he thinks of the other men in his life: the ones who took him hunting and fishing, the ones who mistreated him. He can only hope that his father will be different from them, better somehow. But when Leslie finally finds Harlow, the man is not what the boy had expected. Ultimately, the two will end up on a crash course toward destruction, crime, and twisted relationships that will leave one of them dead and the other a hardly recognizable version of his former self.
"If Flannery O'Connor and Cormac McCarthy had a literary child, its name would
be David Armand. His novel Harlow combines O'Connor's Gothic violence
and sense of humor with McCarthy's unforgiving landscapes and Old
Testament themes. But while he pays homage to the icons, David Armand is
his own writer, and Harlow stands alone as an incredible look into the
oldest of stories: man's search for his father. But rarely are fathers
this wayward, sons this compelled to search, and their shared histories
this soaked in whiskey, blood, and Louisiana clay." -Wiley Cash, New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind Than Home
writing is reminiscent of Hemingway: straightforward descriptions of
manly action punctuated by laconic dialogue [....] Harlow is a tough
little novel that plunges the reader into a fully realized way of life."
-New York Journal of Books
personal journeys in Harlow are multidimensional yet believable,
with an overall economy that keeps [it]engaging to the last word." -ForeWord Reviews
"Armand writes in a comfortingly familiar literary voice that blends Ernest Hemingway’s laconic but rhythmically complicated explorations of the mysteries of masculinity with William Faulkner’s more fabulist, Southern Gothic twang. It’s a heady, seductively intoxicating combination." -Richmond Times-Dispatch
"What separates a book such as Harlow from the myriad southern novels that straddle the line between popular and literary fiction—and indeed, what makes Harlow undoubtedly literary—is the tonal maximalism, the luxuriating in evocative words and long sentences, the obvious love and care for language."
-William Wright, Shenandoah
"Set in Louisiana’s backwoods, this dark, tense, well-written
coming-of-age novel offers gritty echoes of Flannery O’Connor, Cormac
McCarthy, Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner." -Dallas Morning News