The Man with the Golden Arm

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Seven Stories Press, Jan 4, 2011 - Fiction - 368 pages
3 Reviews
A novel of rare genius, The Man with the Golden Arm describes the dissolution of a card-dealing WWII veteran named Frankie Machine, caught in the act of slowly cutting his own heart into wafer-thin slices. For Frankie, a murder committed may be the least of his problems.
The literary critic Malcolm Cowley called The Man with the Golden Arm "Algren's defense of the individual," while Carl Sandburg wrote of its "strange midnight dignity." A literary tour de force, here is a novel unlike any other, one in which drug addiction, poverty, and human failure somehow suggest a defense of human dignity and a reason for hope.
 

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User Review  - Carissa.Green - LibraryThing

I understand why this book is considered a classic of a sorts. I understand that it was groundbreaking, and there still are not a lot of books like it. But I wasn't crazy about it. I found the ... Read full review

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User Review  - mojomomma - LibraryThing

Here's a feel-good book that will restore your faith in humanity. Not! Algren's tale of hustler Frankie Majcinek (or Machine) in post WWII Chicago is utterly bleak and depressing. All you can do is ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

One of the most neglected of modern American authors and also one of the best loved, NELSON ALGREN (1909–1981) believed that “literature is made upon any occasion that a challenge is put to the legal apparatus by conscience in touch with humanity.” His own voluminous body of work stands up to that belief. Algren’s powerful voice rose from the urban wilderness of postwar Chicago, and it is to that city of hustlers, addicts and scamps that he returned again and again, eventually raising Chicago’s “lower depths” up onto a stage for the whole world to behold. Recipient of the first National Book Award for fiction and lauded by Hemingway as “one of the two best authors in America,” Algren remains among our most defiant and enduring novelists. His work includes five major novels, two short fiction collections, a book-length poem and several collections of reportage. A source of inspiration to artists as diverse as Kurt Vonnegut and Donald Barthelme, Studs Terkel and Lou Reed, Algren died on May 9, 1981, within days of his appointment as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.




From the Trade Paperback edition.

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