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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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What listeners say about The Man with the Golden Arm

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

...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!

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazingly descriptive

The most vivid book I have ever listen to on audible. I could see every backroom dark corner this novel took place in. Every character had a face and voice that I could recognize. This is a must listen.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book, good performance

Excellent, bleak tale of a West Sider after the war. Truly the Native Son or Lonigan of the Polish community. My only complaint was the way the reader pronounced Paulina, which I understand non-Chicagoans not knowing. But it's strange to hear.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Terrific narration of a true American classic

Narrator expertly employs several distinctive voices to bring to life the blues-drenched story of a doomed American young man in a wretched Chicago neighborhood post-World War II.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful