Amazon.com: Hard City eBook: Clark Howard: Kindle Store: Hard City was Howard's most personal novel. The semi-autobiographical novel features Richie, a young boy from a troubled family, who lives on the streets of 1940s Chicago at age 12 while sleeping in a bowling alley every night. Eventually, Richie's love of reading is key to Richie's surviving, and eventually leaving, the street life.
Writing about Hard City in a new Author's Preface for the publication of Hard City as an ebook, Howard writes, "Because much of it is based on my life as a wayward boy on the mean streets of Chicago's lower West Side, a life frequently fueled by truancy, petty thievery, gang membership, and other disreputable behavior, I had, as a respectable adult, left those bleak days far behind and buried them deep in my memory. The things I had done back then, the life I had experienced, as well as vivid recollections of my mother's drug addiction and my father's incarceration in federal prison and subsequent disappearance, had all melded together into some dark recess of my mind and, I thought, been locked away forever."