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The Man With the Golden Arm

Algren, Nelson, 1909-

(Book - 1999)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Man With the Golden Arm
Random House, Inc.
The Man with the Golden Arm is Nelson Algren's most powerful and enduring work. On the 50th anniversary of its publication in November 1949, for which Algren was honored with the first National Book Award (which he received from none other than Eleanor Roosevelt at a ceremony in March 1950), Seven Stories is proud to release the first critical edition of an Algren work.
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.
Special contributions by Russell Banks, Bettina Drew, James R. Giles, Carlo Rotella, William Savage, Lee Stringer, Studs Terkel, Kurt Vonnegut, and others.

Baker & Taylor
Critical essays accompany the story of gambler Frankie Machine as he struggles to stay alive amid the corruption and drug addiction of Chicago's slums and underworld.

Publisher: New York : Seven Stories Press ; [Emeryville, CA] : Distributed by Publishers Group West, [1999]
Edition: 50th anniversary critical ed
ISBN: 1583220070
Characteristics: viii, 454 p., [4] p. of plates : ill. ; 23 cm.


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Dec 24, 2013
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

If he had contributed nothing else to American pop culture, the title "Walk on the Wild Side," which later became an immortal Lou Reed (R.I.P.) song would insure that we remember Nelson Algren. But he also wrote a few books that are ripe for rediscovery. Probably his best and most famous (it was turned into a Frank Sinatra movie), "The Man with the Golden Arm" has a good claim as a key link between the social realism of Dreiser and Crane and the freewheelin' demimonde of the Beats. He's less preachy than the former and less mystical/optimistic than the latter. This deluxe edition includes reviews, criticism, photographs and appreciations from Kurt Vonnegut and Studs Terkel, among others.

1950 National Book Award - Fiction


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Algren, Nelson, 1909-
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