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The Washington Square Ensemble

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  65 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Madison Smartt Bell’s debut novel: a story of drifters, outcasts, junkies, and dealers surviving in the heart of 1980s New York City
Over one busy weekend, small-time heroin dealer Johnny B. Goode and his alliance of fellow pushers work their trade amidst students, businessmen, and assorted sewer rats while avoiding the law. Narrated from the separate perspectives of each
ebook, 348 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by Open Road Media (first published February 24th 1983)
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Oct 12, 2014 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Madison Smartt Bell's first published novel is to literature what the 2004 N.B.A. (National Basketball Association) champion Detroit Pistons is to the game of basketball. It is that rare example when a collaboration of exceptional but not necessarily elite talent achieves the pinnacle of success at the highest level of its realm.

The '04 Detroit Pistons won the coveted title with very good players (Chauncy Billups Rasheed Wallace Ben Wallace Tayshaun Prince) but none among them are likely to be
Mar 27, 2013 Chuck rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was Bell's first book, back when he was the hot new thing on the NY writing scene. It's about several characters who are involved in the drug trade in Washington Square Park in NYC. The various characters are each unique. There's Johnny B. Goode, an Italian American with past associations with the Mafia. Holy Mother is a young man, a junkie who was a Mafia hit man until he became hooked on heroin. Porco Miserio is a white jazz musician, former mental patient, and alcoholic who lives on the ...more
Nov 16, 2009 Zach rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was glad to read a book of the 80s. The time spent being taught by Madison Smartt Bell was briefly revived in this book, and truly the narrative voice is Tom Waits. I felt prepared having studied under Madison after reading this some years after Goucher because of the numerous Tom Waits albums, and Big Time.
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Madison Smartt Bell is a critically acclaimed writer of more than a dozen novels and story collections, as well as numerous essays and reviews for publications such as Harper’s and the New York Times Book Review. His books have been finalists for both the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, among other honors. Bell has also taught at distinguished creative writing programs including th ...more
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