Francis Phelan, ex-ballplayer, part-time gravedigger, full-time drunk, has hit bottom. Years ago he left Albany in a hurry after killing a scab during a trolley workers' strike; he ran away again after accidentally – and fatally – dropping his infant son. Now, in 1938, Francis is back in town, roaming the old familiar streets with his hobo pal, Helen, trying to make peace with the ghosts of the past and the present.
"pulitzer prize winner for a reason"
Billy Phelan, small-time bookie, pool hustler, and poker player, becomes an unlikely go-between in the 1938 kidnapping of an Albany, New York, political boss' son.
Legs inaugurated William Kennedy's cycle of novels set in Albany, New York. True to both life and myth Legs evokes the flamboyant career of the legendary gangster Jack "Legs" Diamond, who was finally murdered in Albany. Through the equivocal eyes of Diamond's attorney, Marcus Gorman (who scraps a promising political career for the elemental excitement of the criminal underworld), we watch as Legs and his showgirl mistress, Kiki Roberts, blaze their gaudy trail across the tabloid pages of the 1920s and 1930s.
William Kennedy’s latest novel is a tale of revolutionary intrigue, heroic journalism, crooked politicians, drug-running gangsters, Albany race riots, and the improbable rise of Fidel Castro. The epic journey of Quinn carries him through the nightclubs and jungles of Cuba and into the newsrooms and racially charged streets of Albany on the day than Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in 1968. The odyssey brings Quinn and his exotic Cuban wife, Renata, face-to-face with the darkest facets of human nature.