Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Hour of the Innocents

The Hour of the Innocents

Robert Paston

Forge Books




1968. Vietnam. Social turmoil. Drugs. Music.

Four young musicians are determined to escape a ravaged industrial landscape by playing rock and roll...and they play it with a passion and brilliance that contrasts with their poverty. Music is the only hope they have.

Set against a fleeting age when music seemed about to change the world, Robert Paston's The Hour of the Innocents tells the story of the band known as The Innocents and captures the true drama of the late 1960s—not the glitter of famous names, but the yearning of the heartland guitarists and drummers who believed…and the lovers, friends, and lives crushed along the way.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.



The Army gave him a last fuck-you haircut on the way out. It made him look out of place even in the American Legion.
The vets who returned that year were different. I witnessed the change from the bandstand, week...


Praise for The Hour of the Innocents

“Paston's ode to this heady era of sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll is deep and wide-reaching. Energetic and referential music scenes contrast starkly with the intense flashbacks to Vietnam. And through it all, his characters' struggles to keep their dream alive depict harsh realities about poverty and class disparity. Evocative and engrossing, this story will leave readers deeply affected.” —Booklist

“Blue-collar rock & roll...Bruce [Springsteen] built his house on such a foundation. It all plays out in The Hour of the Innocents: the love, the hurt, the sweet pain and exhilaration of being in a band when there was still a dream to die for.” —Larry Kirwan, of the band Black 47

“A moving and evocative tale that resonates with the truth of having lived through a turbulent time. Its belief in music as a way of redemption is deeply felt and exhilarating, and the Vietnam scenes are vivid and heart-pounding.” —Don Scardino, producer and director of 30 Rock

“This is about so much more than 1960's Rock--the War, drugs, family, all brought together in a band that never got the break it deserved. For at least one of the characters, Vietnam was easy. The dangerous place was Schuylkill County.” —Larry Bond, New York Times bestselling author of Shattered Trident

“Robert Paston's first novel The Hour of the Innocents is so smooth, so assured and so beautifully written that from the first couple of paragraphs you are back in the post-Vietnam sixties, smack dab in the middle of the Golden Age of Rock 'N Roll. I lived it as a young ex-GI, and I lived it again reading Innocents. Hate to use tour de force--but damn, this book nails it!” —David Hagberg, New York Times betselling author of Castro's Daughter

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Robert Paston

A self-described "psychedelic relic," ROBERT PASTON has pursued a varied, adventurous, and satisfying life (and was sometimes pursued himself along the way). He now lives and writes under tall trees with his saintly wife and a few good guitars—including an old Les Paul.

Robert Paston

Robert Paston

From the Publisher

Forge Books

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