A Walk on the Wild Side

A Walk on the Wild Side

Book - 1998
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With its depictions of the downtrodden prostitutes, bootleggers, and hustlers of Perdido Street in the old French Quarter of 1930s New Orleans, A Walk in the Wild Side has found a place in the imaginations of all generations since it first appeared. As Algren admitted, the book "wasn't written until long after it had been walked . . . I found my way to the streets on the other side of the Southern Pacific station, where the big jukes were singing something called 'Walking the Wild Side of Life.' I've stayed pretty much on that side of the curb ever since."

Perhaps the author's own words describe this classic work 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."

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998.
Edition: First Farrar, Straus and Giroux pbk. edition
ISBN: 0374525323
0938410806
Branch Call Number: ALGREN N 1998
Characteristics: xi, 346 pages ; 22 cm.

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lukasevansherman
Jan 16, 2014

"And all the colored girls go 'Doo do doo do doo do do doo."

A two star average? What's wrong with you people?? Even if it had only provided the title for one of Lou Reed's immortal songs, that would have been enough. I think the story goes that Reed was going to write a musical or some songs based on the book, but never did. You can see how it would be right up his alley, as its populated by members of the demimonde: prostitutes, pimps, drunks, hustlers and bums. Algren may have come out of the realist tradition, but his books are tougher, funnier and more readable than say Crane's or Dreiser's. So, come on, talk a walk on the wild side with him.

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