The Man with the Golden Arm

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What to expect

Winner of the first National Book Award in 1950, this modern classic takes us into the gritty underbelly of post–World War II America. It is the story of “Frankie Machine,” a veteran, drug addict, and card-dealer in an illicit poker game being run in Chicago’s near northwest side. Frankie has just returned from the federal prison for narcotics addicts in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was exposed to all the pressures, anxieties, and temptations that had put him there in the first place.

Critics Review

  • “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
  • “A true novelist’s triumph.”

    Time
  • “A classic portrayalstylish, atmospheric and moving.”

    Independent on Sunday (London)
  • “A thriller that packs more of a punch than pulp fiction and more grittiness than either Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett.”

    Scotsman (Edinburgh)

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