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Publisher's Summary

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."
©1956 renewed 1984 by the Estate of Nelson Algren ; (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"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." (Nelson Algren)
"Deserves to be read by every Catch-22 and Cuckoo's Nest freak just so they can find out what opened the door for [these] two novels....It's not only that before Heller and Kesey there was Algren. It's that Algren is where they come from." (Rolling Stone)
"The intensity of his feeling, the accuracy of his thought, make me wonder if any other writer of our time has shown us more exactly the human basis of our democracy. Though Algren often defines his positive values by showing us what happens in their absence, his hell burns with passion for heaven." (New York Times Book Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Beryl on 02-07-15

Evcellent Story

If you could sum up A Walk on the Wild Side in three words, what would they be?

Interesting Compelling Authentic. Very little resemblance to the film with Jane Fonda, Laurence Harvey and Anne Baxter. Still a great book. Narrator is superb.

What did you like best about this story?

There wasn;t any part of the book that dragged or was boring or used as filler

If you could take any character from A Walk on the Wild Side out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Halle seemed to have the best moral compass.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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