Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Because the Rain

Because the Rain

A Novel

Daniel Buckman

St. Martin's Press




"A new Hemingway" (San Francisco Chronicle) weaves together the stories of two men and the Vietnamese call girl who unites them.

Set on the rain-slicked streets of Chicago, critically acclaimed author Daniel Buckman explores the unfocused longing and unfulfilled expectations of two men balanced precariously on the edge.

Mike Spence is an unsatisfied writer with nothing left to write about. He lives in Chicago with his wife and an enormous burden of unrealized expectations hanging over his head. To escape he concocts elaborate fantasies about travel and career and how his life will be different once he gets this job, takes that vacation, marries a different girl. He ends each evening staring out his darkened window and into the apartment of a beautiful Vietnamese girl who lives in the two-flat across the street.

Donald Goetzler is a Vietnam Vet who made it through, spent the last thirty years of his life riding a desk at Weber Industrial Supply, and is now retiring with a bad Mexican buffet and a gold Rolex. He's got nothing to look forward to but his weekly session with the Vietnamese call girl who takes him back through his memories of when he was young and his life was real.

As the two men construct their elaborate fantasy worlds around the same woman, these three souls are unaware of the shocking and explosive consequences that the intersection of their lives will bring

In a beautifully crafted novel, Daniel Buckman demonstrates the prodigious talent that informs repeated comparisons to Hemingway, Faulkner, Mailer, and O'Brien, and once again tantalizes with the possibility that his name will one day be etched in American literature alongside the masters.


Chapter One

The rain streamed off the porch roof and the black sheets dissolved Chicago and they thought themselves behind a waterfall. Mike put his hand on Susan's cheek, her hair windblown against his knuckles. She held her breath...


Praise for Because the Rain

“Overstuffed with detail, but always the right ones: a messy kind of perfect.” —Kirkus Reviews on MORNING DARK

“Buckman is a master of character development and interpersonal analysis, and his slice-of-life tale of family dysfunction is right on target. Many men will identify with this family as they struggle to save themselves from the war still raging within. Highly recommended.” —Thomas L. Kilpatrick on MORNING DARK, Library Journal (starred review)

“In the tradition of Tim O'Brien and Larry Brown... [an] intense effort.” —Publishers Weekly on MORNING DARK

“The terrifying and wonderful achievement of Buckman's novel is its willingness to dramatize a hard but rarely acknowledged truth…the hysterical fear and hatred of the racial other…is as American as apple pie and the smart bomb.” —Jeffery Renard Allen on MORNING DARK, Chicago Tribune

“William Faulkner…would have found much to recognize and admire in Daniel Buckman's MORNING DARK.” —Tom Nolan, San Francisco Chronicle

“Let the word go out: There's a new Hemingway loose in America. THE NAMES OF RIVERS is a stunning look into the dark violence at the root of men's souls. It will leave you sickened like a gut-punch, but it will also make you want to come back for more.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Buckman's intensely written second novel…displays a remarkably exacting touch with his lead characters and supporting cast [and] surefooted storytelling skills.” —Publishers Weekly on THE NAMES OF RIVERS

“Austerely beautiful prose. An elliptical, memorable read.” —Booklist on THE NAMES OF RIVERS

“Another episode of the literature of Crane and Bierce, Hemingway and Faulkner, Jones and Mailer, Heinemann and O'Brien, a literature that has its own sort of redemptive power that comes from setting down what is never carved in marble or celebrated on national holidays.” —Chicago Tribune on THE NAMES OF RIVERS

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Daniel Buckman

DANIEL BUCKMAN served as a paratrooper with the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division. Because the Rain is his fourth novel.

Daniel Buckman

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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