PDF/EPUB Nelson Algren ò The Man with the Golden Arm ePUB ↠ Man with the ò

Nelson Algren's devastating of that savage subterranean world go gamblers junkies alcoholics prostitutes thieves and degenerates remains unsurpassed as an authentic portrait of human depravityOnly a master like Algren could create such a passionate and dramatic novel of so daring a theme as a man's struggle against dope addictionTHE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM the bestseller on which Otto Preminger based his magnificent motion picture is a true novelist's triumph TIME


10 thoughts on “The Man with the Golden Arm

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    I have read a few of the Chicagoan Nelson Algren texts most notably the bleakly beautiful Never Come Morning but I had read this novel for which he received his most recognition which also received the first National Book Award in 1950 It is basically a portrait of the underside of Chicago that he knew and loved well the world of booze and short cons and heroin and coke addiction of gambling and brothels and bars and baseballThe main character referred to in the title is Francis Majcinek known as Frankie Machine” a card dealer and drummer with the “golden arm” that also was a place where he injected morphine He got addicted in WWII to this painkiller as his leg was filled with shrapnel “He was falling between glacial walls he didn't know how anyone could fall so far away from everyone else in the world So far to fall so cold all the way so steep and dark between those morphine coloured walls”The story takes place in postwar downtown Chicago 1946 48 after which Algren returned from the war intending to write a war novel What do we know about this period? Baby making baby boomers got their start then middle class whie picket fences and economic renewal in the post war happy days are here again But as Algren makes clear this city’s underclass was still very much strugglingFrankie is married to Sophie who is wheel chair bound after a drunken accident caused by Frankie though some of her struggle with walking could be psychological Frankie’s sidekick in crime is Sparrow a thief who is his accomplice when he accidentally kills a guy Frankie also has an affair with Molly when things head even “south” The novel ends with a poem an ode to Frankie That’s a kind of quick summary of what happensThe main focus of the book is Chicago’s down and out sprinkled with contemporary music and a sort of gutter lyricism that shows his sympathy and passion for the people he meets on the streets The dialogue is pitch perfect showing a range of ethnicities in a variety of places from bars to strip clubs to jail to cramped apartments Hemingway said of the book “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”Tough guy muscular poetry that favors the lost the gone the disenfranchised This is what Hem means“If Jesus Christ treated me like you do I’d drive in the nails myself”“For way down there in a shot glass's false bottom everything was bound to turn out fine after all”“I couldn't buy the lice off a sick cat the cabbie answered from the very depths of self deprecation”“Then the wooden benches along the walls where so many outcasts had slept would be lit by a sort of slow clocked lightning til the bulb steadied and fastened its tiny feral fury upon the center of the room like a single sullen and manic eye To burn on there with a steady hate Til morning wearied and dimmed it away to nothing than some sort of little old lost gray child of a district station moon all its hatred spent”Leonard Cohen’s “Stranger Song” which features some of the novel in itO you've seen that man before his golden arm dispatching cards but now it's rusted from the elbows to the fingerI listened to a 17 minute reading by Algren himself on Hoopla of a short version of Frankie and Sophie’s story