It is the brutal winter of 1978 on Chicago’s West Side, a season of blizzards, disco, and John Wayne Gacy. Andy’s the owner of a dive bar in the North Austin neighborhood. For years he’s been slinging beer to cops and factory workers. On the West Side, bribery, skimming the take, and juice loans are all part of doing business. But business is bad and getting worse. The Zenith television manufacturing plant is shedding workers. The neighborhood is in a chaotic freefall of violence and crime. Adding to the chaos is Andy’s Huntington’s, the disease that robbed him of his parents. He only has a few years before, as he puts it, “I won’t even know my fucking name.” He’s desperate to spend the time he has left with Rita, the wife of his best friend, and he’ll do anything to make that happen.

  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Noir, Tragedy
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
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Writer Biography

Bob Hartley was raised on the West Side of Chicago. He holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Pittsburgh. His second novel, North and Central, was published in 2017 by Chicago's Tortoise Books. His first novel, Following Tommy, was published in 2012 by Cervena Barva Press. Both novels received extremely favorable reviews, including from Rick Kogan ( Chicago Tribune/WGN) who called North and Central a "...terrific, terrific novel." Shortly after publication, North and Central caught the eye of Ed Blatchford, co-founder of American Blues Theater. Bob is currently collaborating with Ed in adapting the book for the stage and screen. Bob has been, among other things, a writer, actor, singer, teacher, bartender, mail room clerk, and washer of soap molds. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and two children.

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