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Web of the Cityby Harlan Ellison
Synopses & Reviews
"Get it straight right now: these aren't kids playing games of war. They mean business. They are junior-grade killers and public enemies one through five thousand..."
In Rusty Santoro's neighborhood, the kids carry knives, chains, bricks. Broken glass. And when they fight, they fight dirty, leaving the streets littered with the bodies of the injured and the dead. Rusty wants out - but you can't just walk away from a New York street gang. And his decision may leave his family to pay a terrible price.
First published more than half a century ago and inspired by the author's real-life experience going undercover inside a street gang, Web of the City was Harlan Ellison's first novel and marked the long-form debut of one of the most electrifying, unforgettable, and controversial voices of 20th century letters.
Appearing here for the first time together with three thematically related short stories Ellison wrote for the pulp magazines of the 1950s, Web of the City offers both a snapshot of a lost era and a portrait of violence and grief as timely as today's most brutal headlines.
"Originally published in 1958 under the title Rumble, Edgar-winner Ellison's first novel — about a Brooklyn street gang — bears some plot parallels to the musical West Side Story. Rusty Santoro has stepped down as leader of the Cougars, but, unsurprisingly, finds that ending his connection with them and starting fresh is not so simple. His successor, Candle, is looking to send a message by administering a beating to Santoro, forcing Santoro to defend himself — and get back into the world of violence he is trying to escape. The ugliness only escalates from there, ultimately claiming a life. Readers should be prepared for a neophyte writer's occasional awkward phrasing (e.g., 'The spoor of conquest was high in Rusty now') and action that's pretty tame by today's standards of urban crime fiction. 'No Way Out' and two other short stories published in 1950s magazines round out the volume." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Harlan Ellison is a pop culture legend now fully entered in the Encyclopedia Britannica. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1934. He has written over 1,700 stories, essays, and newspaper columns, more than 70 books, and 100 films and TV episodes, and has won countless awards. He has written stories in bookshop windows, toured with the Rolling Stones, and worked as a voiceover artist. He now lives with his wife in Los Angeles.
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