1895. Vice reigns supreme in Denver, plagued by poverty and violence. Sam and Cora, two young orphans, take care of a band of abandoned children and proudly defend their home — a deserted factory — against the adult tramps who surround them. During one of their attacks, a disfigured colossus brings unexpected aid to the children, at the cost of serious injuries that Cora heals as best she can. Mute, the man-monster communicates only by words scribbled on a notebook. Sam, the only one who can read, finds himself embarked into Denver's underworld. Punitive expeditions, lynchings and explosions precipitate the teenager into the hated universe of adults, which both fascinates and repels him.
The Dynamiters is filled with an unconditional tenderness towards those left behind. This intense novel tells the brutal end of childhood dynamited by the corruption of the adult world.
French translation by Jacques Mailhos.
"The story will end in fire, blood and eternal regret. How could it be otherwise with the goldsmith of the noir novel? From book to book, Benjamin Whitmer never disappoints. The admiration aroused by his romantic virtuosity and his art of cutting, the science he demonstrates in the literary western through the ages, in no way inhibits the tenderness inspired by his characters." — Macha Séry, Le Monde
"Hell is a city much like Denver." — Francois Angelier, Le Monde
"Whitmer is an exceptional stylist and a genius of the noir novel. The Dynamiters goes even further: it is his masterpiece." — Le Figaro Magazine
"The Dynamiters is a very dark, very violent book. The evocative power of certain scenes makes them unforgettable. A heartbreaking, distraught love story, which the author observes with infinite tenderness, a reverse story of the American dream, that of Sam and Cora, to whom society has left no chance." — Michel Abescat, Radio France
"The problem with Benjamin Whitmer is that I think to myself, 'That’s great, but the next one can’t be as good as what I just read,' and in fact, it is." — Elise Lépine, France Culture
"Superbly paints the beginnings of America as the beginning of the fall." — Julie Malaure, Le Point
"Adorned with the attributes of a dreamlike tale, carried by the romantic verve of Whitmer and shaken by a few horrific scenes, The Dynamiters offers several levels of interpretation. The love story between Cora and Sam is not the least captivating and only remotely evokes the Harlequin collection." — Marianne
"A dry and precise writing that recounts the hopes and disillusions of a nation in the process of being built in the class struggle. Already." — Eric Libiot, Lire
"The Dynamiters is a great sprawling noir novel through its universal themes (corruption in all its forms, initiation, resilience, love too) conveyed by the prism of the unique pen of its author." — Philippe Manche, Le Vif / L'Express
"The master of the noir novel and remarkable stylist recounts the painful transition to adulthood of a group of children from the Denver slums at the end of the 19th century. It's empathetic and tender for the little ones, very political too. An American Dickens." — La Croix
"Far from the myth of the West, it is America saying goodbye to its innocence that Benjamin Whitmer recounts with an incandescent pen." — François Montpezat, Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace
"Conductor of this opera of blood and ashes, Benjamin Whitmer immerses us in a world where less-than-nothings survive in contempt of the adults who are called Fuckheads. Horror is around every corner, love is an illusion and whiskey tastes like nitroglycerin." — Thierry Boillot, L'Alsace
"Disturbing and trying, the novel is also full of tenderness for the excluded. They are on the edge of the abyss but their hearts still beat. Like that of the reader, drawn in by this magnificent story." — La Dépêche
"This intense novel tells the brutal end of childhood dynamited by the corruption of the adult world." — Biblioteca
"Clubbing, shooting and even lynching, the author knows like no other how to write the violence of the West. The one that needs no justification, the violence of the border, to survive, to defend its property. Almost western, surely noir, Benjamin Whitmer continues to amaze the reader with this strong writing, this pen immersed in the wounds of American history." — Corse Matin
"A lively and rhythmic noir western that is not afraid to portray violence without detour while being capable of a beautiful tenderness towards its characters." — La Libre Belgique
"This new novel, powerfully and subtly evoking the end of childhood, shines perhaps even more than the previous ones with a sparkling and fascinating darkness." — Philip White, Rolling Stone