Synopses & Reviews
The Man with the Golden Arm
tells the story of Frankie Machine, the golden arm dealer at a back street Chicago gambling den. Frankie reckons he's a tough guy in the Chicago underworld but finds that he's not tough enough to kick his heroin addiction. With consummate skill and a finely-tuned ear for the authentic dialogue of the backstreets, Algren lays bare the tragedy and humour of Frankie's world.
Features the first UK publication of a foreword by Kurt Vonnegut and an afterword by Studs Terkel.
"Algren's skill brings his city to life; his writing carries you into his heart and his outraged compassion ensures that his story is as relevant now as ever." The Observer (UK)
"This is a man writing and you should not read it if you cannot take a punch Mr Algren can hit with both hands and move around and he will kill you if you are not awfully careful...Mr Algren, boy, you are good." Ernest Hemingway
"A true novelist's triumph." Time
"Powerful, grisly, antic, horrifying, poetic, compassionate there is virtually nothing more that one could ask." New York Times Book Review
"Algren is an artist whose sympathy is as large as Victor Hugo's, an artist who ranks, with this novel, among our best American authors." Chicago Sun Times
"[I]mmortalised in film...in print the hyperbolic, rhythmic style of Algren delivers a far more powerful body blow to the imagination." The Scotsman
"[A] stirring hard-boiled read." Maxim
About the Author
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. He also had a passionate love affair with French feminist Simone de Beauvoir.
Algren died in 1981, shortly after being appointed as a fellow of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.