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by Richard Flanagan (introduction) Nelson Algren
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Contemporary
  • Author:
    Richard Flanagan (introduction) Nelson Algren
  • ISBN:
    1841956805
  • ISBN13:
    978-1841956800
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    CANONGATE BOOKS (January 26, 2006)
  • Pages:
    352 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Contemporary
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1886 kb
  • ePUB format
    1180 kb
  • DJVU format
    1958 kb
  • Rating:
    4.9
  • Votes:
    519
  • Formats:
    lrf docx doc azw


Nelson Algren A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE To Elizabeth Ingersoll Introduction RICHARD FLANAGAN Nelson Algren’s life is terrifying in its proof that talent, love and a determination to speak truth to power can destroy a writer as surely as mediocrity and compromise. A Walk on the Wild Side, the last of Algren’s novels to be published in his lifetime, is in consequence a most moving achievement. In September 1953 Algren’s publisher Doubleday refused to publish a short non-fiction book he had written that in part attacked McCarthyism, an extraordinary act given that Algren was one of the best known and most popular writers in the USA at the time.

The previous owner has certainly very much enjoyed reading this book more than once, therefore please be aware there will be some creasing on the spine or slight shelf wear. If it's been in their collection for some time, say years old or more, some pages might be discoloured and there may be other minor age blemishes, but that won't affect its readability.

A Walk on the Wild Side is a 1956 novel by Nelson Algren, also adapted into the 1962 film of the same name. Algren noted, "The book asks why lost people sometimes develop into greater human beings than those who have never been lost in their whole lives.

Nelson Algren’s life is terrifying in its proof that talent, love and a determination to speak truth to power can destroy a writer as surely as mediocrity and compromise

Nelson Algren’s life is terrifying in its proof that talent, love and a determination to speak truth to power can destroy a writer as surely as mediocrity and compromise. It was an act of courage by a man no longer sure of his country, no longer certain of either his own worth or his relevance, convinced only that he had lost the woman who was the great love of his life.

Nelson Algren (March 28, 1909 – May 9, 1981) was an American writer. Best known for two of his novels, The Man with the Golden Arm (1949, National Book Award, adapted into the 1955 film) and A Walk on the Wild Side (1956, adapted into the 1962 film), Algren also wrote short stories collected in The Neon Wilderness (1947), and the book-length essays Chicago: City on the Make (1951) and Nonconformity (1953/1996).

Nelson Algren was born in 1909 in Detroit and lived mostly in Chicago. His published works including A Walk on the Wild Side (which inspired the Lou Reed song of the same name), Somebody in Boots and Never Come Morning. He was also a prolific writer of short stories, essays, travelogues and poems. In 1950 The Man with the Golden Arm earned him the first American National Book Award. His life was a succession of gambling problems, disastrous marriages and wild extremes - ranging from Texas prisons and skid-row soup-kitchens to Hollywood parties and literary celebrations.

The book is a reworking of his earlier novel Somebody in Boots (1935) Written with black humour in Algren’s characteristic tough-guy style, the novel has been called an erotic epic of bohemianism.

The book is a reworking of his earlier novel Somebody in Boots (1935). Written with black humour in Algren’s characteristic tough-guy style, the novel has been called an erotic epic of bohemianism. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: Nelson Algren. In A Walk on the Wild Side (1956; filmed 1962) Algren returned to the 1930s in a picaresque novel of New Orleans bohemian life.

With an introduction by Richard Flanagan. Dove Findhorn is a naive country boy who busts out of Hicksville, Texas in pursuit of a better life in New Orleans. Amongst the downtrodden prostitutes, bootleggers and hustlers of the old French Quarter, Dove finds only hopelessness, crime and despair. His quest uncovers a harrowing grotesque of the American Dream

Those with better sense began at the top and worked their way down, that route being faster.

Those with better sense began at the top and worked their way down, that route being faster. Al Capone was quoting Mark Twain and someone held women to be equal in aviation to men. A woman refused to answer the questions of a Senate committee and the American Legion claimed that state legislatures were handicapping sales of products turned out by the American working man.

Nelson Algren, Richard Flanagan (Introduction). Algren summed his book up best: "The book asks why lost people sometimes develop into greater human beings than those who have never been lost in their whole lives. Why men who have suffered at the hands of other men are the natural believers in humanity, while those whose part has been simply to acquire, to take all and give nothing, are the most contemptuous of mankind.

Walk on the Wild Side

Kashicage
A Walk on the Wild Side is quite chaotic, but the writing is sublime right the way through. I had read that he had begun this book as a kind of sequel to an earlier novel, but then gave up on that idea and decided to create a more farcical kind of satire. I hadn't expected to be able to actually see this change of direction in progress. It does feel like Algren began writing one book, a more sympathetic dust bowl novel, akin to Steinbeck, and then decide to switch to an adventure story like a debauched and impoverished Candide. It doesn't seem like he went back and rewrote the early sections of the book to fit with its later style. He just left it as it is. (I don't know if this is the case; it just feels that way.) In a way though, that still kind of fits with the tone of the story. Everyone in this story is flawed through and through. There are few characters, not even Dove Linkhorn whose story it essentially is, who you can genuinely root for, and yet at the same time, you do empathize with these madcap characters. So the flaws and purposelessness of the main characters is reflective of the book as a whole, but the writing alone makes it a real joy to read. It is more of a caricature of Depression-era Americana than an actual story with a plot, but it is so reckless and desperate and warmhearted (despite its bleakness) that it is still hard to put down.
Gozragore
This is reportedly Nelson Algren's most commercial book and it is a lot of work to read. He has a very disjointed, free-association writing style that had me reading back to see what I missed. However, when I quit doing this, the book got a lot more enjoyable as Algren eventually explains what's going on, such as the scheme Dove, the main character, and a pimp come up with to split $60 twice a day through a twist on the oldest profession. However, the subject matter (the seamy side of New Orleans life) makes it very interesting and he regularly turns a memorable phrase. The phrase - "Never play cards with a man named doc, eat at a place called Mom's or sleep with with a women whose troubles are worse than your own." - is extrapolated from this book (page 318). The characters are very well developed and memorable. If you want a good mental work out and a bit of titillation, this is the book.
Yozshujinn
I just finished reading Nelson Algren's, "A Walk on the Wild Side," and to quote Ernest Hemingway, "Mr. Algren, boy, you are good." It's been years since I've stuck to a novel the way I did this one. After I got past about page eighty, I couldn't put it down. Algren details the lives of hookers, hustlers and hangers on walking the wild streets of New Orleans in 1930's.
There is more colorful language and colorful characters put down on a page that can be found in the hue of a rainbow. The book asks the question why lost people sometimes develop into greater human beings than those who have never been lost, and why men who have suffered at the hands of other men are some of the most natural believers in humanity while those who have only sought to acquire, to take and take, and never give anything back are the most contemptuous of mankind.
The book, about economic hard time in the 1930's bears an eerie resemblance to the hard times of 2011. In the mixed up time of the 1930's, " ...the number of jobless rose to 8 million, two hundred thousand steelworkers took a 15% wage cut, the D.A.R. demanded that unemployed aliens be deported, a crisis in unemployment relief was imminent, and Huey Long said it was time to redistribute the wealth. The New York City Chamber of Commerce said that Prohibition was failing, the Secretary of Labor pointed out that business was resisting further decline. Self reliance for the penniless and government aid to those who already had more than they could use, was the plan. It was between prostitution and prohibition that the ancient color line was finally breached. Negro bellboys had gained a virtual monopoly on the delivery of illicit alcohol and had found white male guest either wanted a woman with the bottle or a bottle with the woman."
The book is full of charming advice such as the following: "Blow wise to this, friend, never play cards with a man named Doc, never eat at a place called Mom's, never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own. Life is hard by the yard. But you don't to do it by the yard. By the inch, it's a cinch."
Nelsen Algren wrote this novel in the 1950's, long after it was walked. He says he found his way to the streets on the other side of the Southern Pacific Station where the jukes were playing, "Walking the Wild Side of Life." He lived pretty much on that side most of his life. As I read this book, I couldn't help but be reminded that this was book was written by the man whose heart was broken by his French lover, Simone de Beauvoir. He is feature prominently in her novel, "The Mandarins."
Ishnllador
Algren paints the lower rungs on the ladder during the during the darkest days of the Great Depression as the dark clouds swirl around a coming of age story. The audiobook's actor helps the characters come alive against his flinty backdrop. A powerful story, well told.
Phobism
A tremendous work. Awesome to read. If you haven't read Algren, your American literature experience is lacking. The edition that I received from Amazon did not have the copyright page, and the introduction was missing. Even with those publisher's mistakes, it is still far above five stars.
Mr_NiCkNaMe
Country boy Dove Linkhorn, son of Fitz ( hell-fire preacher and cesspool cleaner ),defiler of women, smarter than he looks bum, leaves Texas for New Orleans where he fits right in for a while, with the depression-era cripples, prostitutes, pimps, flimflam artists,and prison-life.
Much of this book is a re-run of Somebody in Boots and Never Come Morning, with modifications. Unlike those books, the prose style is Algren at his most polished. Even so he overdoes it on many occasions where a simple statement would have sufficed. But redeems himself by pretty much avoiding the annoying switch in viewpoint within multiple character scenes that mar his other, otherwise excellent work.
Nelson Algren didn't write all that many books in his long career, a state of affairs that could be condensed into two titles: A Walk on the Wild Side and The Man with the Golden Arm.
Darkraven
A beautiful, sad, brilliantly written classic American epic. On a par with Absalom, Absalom; On the Road; or, yes, Huckleberry Finn.