The Man With the Golden Arm

The Man With the Golden Arm

3.88 (2,523 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Afterword by  , Foreword by 

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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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 29mm | 330g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1841955612
  • 9781841955612
  • 175,002

Review quote

America's finest, yet most neglected writer...Nelson Algren's enduring love for the Windy City and its struggling immigrants fired his hauntingly brilliant prose....Thanks to Rebel Inc, The Man with the Golden Arm may now be remembered as Algren's work. It would be only a fragment of what he deserved. * * Bizarre * * What Runyon did for New York with Guys and Dolls, Algren does for the 'windy city'....On its last page The Man with the Golden Arm lapses into - or should that be achieves - the condition of poetry, something Algren's writing was always close to. * * The Herald * * 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 * * 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
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About Nelson Algren

Nelson Algren was born in 1909 in Detroit and lived mostly in Chicago. His published works include 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.
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Rating details

2,523 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 33% (826)
4 35% (895)
3 22% (560)
2 7% (180)
1 2% (62)
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