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Entrapment and Other Writings
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Entrapment and Other Writings

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  28 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Nelson Algren sought humanity in the urban wilderness of postwar America, where his powerful voice rose from behind the billboards and down tin-can alleys, from among the marginalized and ignored, the outcasts and scapegoats, the punks and junkies, the whores and down-on-their luck gamblers, the punch-drunk boxers and skid-row drunkies and kids who knew they'd never reach ...more
Published January 4th 2011 by Seven Stories Press (first published May 1st 2009)
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Read the STOP SMILING Two Takes Review of Entrapment:

In our monthly column, we ask two reviewers to offer their perspective on the same book. The latest entry focuses on Nelson Algren's Entrapment and Other Writings.

Reviewer Beth Capper writes:

Chicago is always at the center of things in Algren's work. It is a city he both loved and despised. Algren's capacity for explaining its appeals and pitfalls is perhaps why he is so adored by its residents, and why his word on Chicago has become the final
This is a nice collection of short stories, previously unpublished works, essays and an interview. A must read for Algren fans. Included are two scenes from his unfinished novel "Entrapment." Once again we get a gritty view of dope fiends and prostitutes, based on these two snippets "Entrapment," could have been great. I particularly enjoyed "Walk Pretty All The Way," humorous story told from the perspective of a runaway fourteen year old girl. It's not often that Algren writes from the female P ...more
Truly the best book I have read so far this year. It may be a collection of Algren's stuff, but it is unlike any other work of his. Thank you to Hovrath and Simon for pulling this together. First, the title fragment is so personal and delicate. I can see Algren as the bookie. Second, his political pieces make me admire him more. He tried to live like his literary hero, Zola. This volume tied his work together for me. Unlike The Last Carousel, Who Lost an American? and Sea Diary collections, this ...more
Carly Safko
It's always strange to me that Nelson Algren isn't more famous. The Man With the Golden Arm and Never Come Morning are both excellent novels that more than hold up decades after being published. Entrapment is a collection of snippets, short fiction, and drafts of published works, so it's not his best work. But as a fan I appreciated the writing on a fragmentary basis.
This was my introduction to the work of Nelson Algren. Entrapment is a collection of the author's short stories, essays, and "Entrapment" which is billed as the author's "lost" unfinished novel. Algren was a writer who definitely knew how to tap into the pulses of the Chicago that effects the forgotten, the people that society likes to write off as "bums" "junkies" and "losers."
Algren looks at the world that America's middle class refuses to even admit exists. Here there is a Mark Twain like look at America and which is never as pretty as most would like.
Algren is a leviathan. This included some previously unpublished work.
He's always a mix of satiric and poignant.
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Born of Swedish-immigrant parents, Nelson Ahlgren Abraham moved at an early age from Detroit to Chicago. At Illinois University he studied journalism. His experiences as a migrant worker during the Depression provided the material for his first novel Somebody in Boots (1935). Throughout his life Algren identified with the American underdog. From 1936 to 1940 (the highpoint of left-wing ideas on th ...more
More about Nelson Algren...
The Man With the Golden Arm A Walk on the Wild Side Chicago: City on the Make The Neon Wilderness Never Come Morning

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“A book, a true book, is the writer's confessional. For, whether he would have it so or not, he is betrayed, directly or indirectly, by his characters, into presenting publicly his innermost feelings.” 4 likes
“For people never say anything the same way twice; no two of them ever say it the same. The greatest imaginative writer that ever brooded in a lavender robe and a mellowed briar in his teeth, couldn't tell you, though e try for a lifetime, how the simplest strap-hanger will ask the conductor to be let off at the next stop. ...
It is all for the taking. All the manuals by frustrated fictioneers on how to write can't give you the first syllable of reality, at any cot, that any common conversation can. All the classics, read and re-read, can't help you catch the ring of truth as does the word heard first-hand.”
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