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The Man with the Golden Arm | [Nelson Algren]

The Man with the Golden Arm

A novel of rare genius, The Man with the Golden Arm recounts the life of Francis Majcinek, "Frankie Machine," who returned from World War II with a Purple Heart and a morphine habit. He relies on morphine to numb the pain of a war injury and the guilt he feels for a drunken spree that put his wife Sophie in a wheelchair. Frankie, a card-dealer in an illicit poker game, has now come back to Chicago's West Side after detoxing in the federal prison for narcotics addicts, being exposed again to all the pressures, anxieties, and temptations that put him there in the first place.
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Publisher's Summary

A novel of rare genius, The Man with the Golden Arm recounts the life of Francis Majcinek, "Frankie Machine," who returned from World War II with a Purple Heart and a morphine habit. He relies on morphine to numb the pain of a war injury and the guilt he feels for a drunken spree that put his wife Sophie in a wheelchair. Frankie, a card-dealer in an illicit poker game, has now come back to Chicago's West Side after detoxing in the federal prison for narcotics addicts, being exposed again to all the pressures, anxieties, and temptations that put him there in the first place.

©1976 Nelson Algren; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A thriller that packs more of a punch than pulp fiction and more grittiness than either Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett." (Scotsman)
"A true novelist's triumph." (Time)

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    Andrew Chicago, IL, United States 11-20-10
    Andrew Chicago, IL, United States 11-20-10
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    "...but it's "paul-I-nah"!"

    Great performance of a wonderful book, but I was snapped out of its trance when the narrator mispronounced Paulina. Minor quibble, you should check it out!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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    Kate Houston, TX, United States 03-26-14
    Kate Houston, TX, United States 03-26-14 Member Since 2005

    My eyes are going bad, and without audible, my mind would certainly go next...

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    "Gloomy, unengaging"

    The dialogue/prose is terribly dated and distracting. To redeem such a bleak story, there needed to be at least one genuinely likable character. It doesn't seem to know what it's about; I didn't get it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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