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The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren

The Man with the Golden Arm (1949)

by Nelson Algren

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
536826,899 (3.82)53
  1. 20
    Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison (echo2)
    echo2: These books are both epic, heartbreaking novels that explore the impact of poverty and addiction on families -- albeit they seem nothing alike in any other respect.
  2. 10
    Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (andomck)
  3. 00
    A Million Little Pieces by James Frey (GYKM)
    GYKM: The 21st century's phony, bubblegum version of Algren's classic novel, which sold over 5 million copies and was translated into 29 languages.
  4. 00
    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (andomck)

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» See also 53 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
The book has been staring at me for some time and finally I got to reading it.

Unfortunately can't get through. I've tried, putbit away, tried again, but the result is the same.
The language used is slang, which doesn't make it easier to follow the story, keep apart the scenes, the characters.
For now I give up.
I think I'll look for a Dutch edition, if there is one. Sometimes reading in my own language works wonders.
  BoekenTrol71 | Oct 8, 2016 |
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 vernacular hard to wade through. On top of that, Algren often writes an opaque sentence full of flourish, in which meaning gets lost, rather than just saying what's happening. But most importantly, these are ugly people who have given up even before they have come of age. I didn't like any of them, except for the prostitute Molly-O. I found that most of the time, I just didn't care what happened to them. I am not sorry I read this book, because it is important to read the classics, the books that made a mark, but if you don't share that value with me, I'd say skip it. Bleh. -cg ( )
1 vote Carissa.Green | Mar 30, 2013 |
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 watch Frankie slowly circle the drain. Lots of dialect and slang makes it difficult to know what's happening to whom. The writing may be inspired, but its just too dreary for me. ( )
  mojomomma | Jan 17, 2010 |
940 The Man with the Golden Arm, by Nelson Algren (read 8 Jan 1968) (National Book Award fiction prize for 1950) I did not enjoy this book, but since I did no post-reading note on it I cannot expatiate on my dislike. ( )
  Schmerguls | Aug 24, 2009 |
Dense and provocative, Algren's classic novel about addiction is just as relevant today as it was 60 years ago. Although I found it difficult at first, especially with the slang, I decided to try and read while the soundtrack to the film version played in the background. Immediately, I found that I understood the book better and felt a part of the time period. Can't wait to check out the film and compare the two. ( )
  jenniferthomp75 | Jul 11, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I’m still amazed that this dark and risky novel, The Man with the Golden Arm—it ends with a poem/epitaph!—won such high canonical praise (perhaps making way for descendents like Cormac McCarthy’s Suttree, and Denis Johnson’s Angels?).

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nelson Algrenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gifford, BarryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kliphuis, J.F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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- -  "The old country. . .?"
      - - "Thereʻs no one left in the old country."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140045236, Paperback)

Set in Chicago's Polish-American ghetto, a novel which depicts America's 'third person society', a state where the lower classes are exploited and dehumanized, a state where what is sordid is no longer shocking as its sufferers become accustomed to their inevitable victimization. From the author of WALK ON THE WILD SIDE.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:47 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The story of Frankie Machine, a poker dealer in Chicago, and his dealings with morphine, alcohol, and his wife Sophie.

» see all 2 descriptions

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