Country Hardball

steve weddle

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“Steve Weddle’s writing is downright dazzling.”
–New York Times




After over a decade spent in and out of juvenile detention, half-way houses, and jail, Roy Alison returns to his rural home town determined to do better, to be better. But what he finds is a working-class community devastated by the economic downturn—a town without anything to hold on to but the past.

Around him, families lose their sons to war, hunting accidents, drugs. A local teenager goes missing—one more good girl caught up with the wrong guy. And Roy, along with the town, falls into old patterns established generations ago.

A novel-in-stories, COUNTRY HARDBALL is a powerfully observed and devastatingly understated portrait of the American working class.


“Steve Weddle’s writing is downright dazzling.”
–New York Times

“Weddle’s debut novel is a suspenseful series of interrelated stories of tragedy, despair, and hopelessness in a rural Southern town…Weddle paints a vivid, depressing picture of a blue-collar community crushed by economic collapse and endemic substance abuse with characters, events, and dialogue that seem all too real.”
Publishers Weekly

“These skillfully wrought interconnected stories form a debut novel that is relentless in describing the lives of people who are captives not only of their environment but also of their own histories.”

“In COUNTRY HARDBALL, Steve Weddle takes us deep inside a rural Louisiana long since abandoned by the American Dream. His characters carry the weight of their bad luck and sins through a landscape of economic devastation, where bad choices and worse choices seem the only available options. And still they search for something beautiful—love, faith, a moment of grace among the ruins—as they struggle to become better people than they were the day before. Steve Weddle is a powerful, empathetic writer and COUNTRY HARDBALL is a stunning debut. Do not miss it.”
—Sean Chercover, author of The Trinity Game

Country Hardball is a searing portrait of an America most people would rather forget, where life is cheap, grudges never die, and dinner is always in the microwave. Steve Weddle’s poignant, powerful prose brings it to life in all of its desperate passion and hopeless aggression. Once I started reading, there was no way I could look away.”
—Hilary Davidson, author of Evil in All its Disguises

“Steve Weddle’s Country Hardball is a perfect combination of the broken-hearted and the just flat broke. Perfect for anybody who’s ever found themselves at the dead end of a dirt road, and decided, well, hell, there’s nothing to turn around for. Perfect for those who bear their lives like an amputated limb. Here’s hoping Weddle never stops writing, because Country Hardball is just about the perfect book.”
—Benjamin Whitmer, author of Pike“The Ravine,” a story from COUNTRY HARDBALL!

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