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HARD ON THE ROAD by Barbara Moore



Pub Date: July 1st, 1974
Publisher: Doubleday

The only hard thing about this novel is slogging through it. It's the story of fifteen year old Pepper Fairchild's odyssey from Texas to Arizona with his older but slightly scatterbrained cousin Calvin, who is on his way to California to become a photographer. It being towards the end of the last century -- before Instamatics and Polaroids -- they plan to finance their travels by taking pix of the folk along the way; and it being towards the end of the last century, they end up with the most colorful bunch of itinerants since ""Wagon Train"" went defunct. These include a whimsical Englishman, an over-liberated molasses-and-tarred newspaper lady, a Mexican bandito, and a middle-aged dying man who has a way with women. To complicate matters, the crew is tailed by a bunch of murderers they tried to entrap for bounty money, plus two ornery murderers from Pepper's hometown out to seek revenge for various real and imagined wrongdoings. Interesting only in quick takes, here and there.