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Damon Runyon

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  54 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Damon Runyon was the journalist and short story writer who, more than anyone else, personified the razzle-dazzle of Broadway and the Roaring 1920s. As a reporter he found early success covering not only Broadway but also the Mexican Revolution, World War I, the Lindbergh kidnapping and the worlds of professional boxing and baseball. Runyon did not only record the American ...more
Hardcover, 410 pages
Published September 23rd 1991 by Houghton Mifflin (first published 1991)
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Tom Barnes
Oct 14, 2008 Tom Barnes rated it liked it
Recommends it for: not recommended
Recommended to Tom by: No one. I wanted to know about Damon Runyon

Alfred Damon Runyon was born October 8, 1880 in Manhattan, Kansas. He grew up in Kansas and Pueblo, Colorado and followed his father into the newspaper business.
He joined the army during the Spanish-American War and spent time in the Philippines and following his stint in the army Runyon came back to the newspaper business in Colorado.
It was 1910 when he moved east to New York. It took almost a year to settle into a regular full time job. He was hired by the Hearst organization to work as a spo
Bruce Mcfarland
Mar 19, 2013 Bruce Mcfarland rated it really liked it
I have read all of Damon Runyon's books. After all, my father named me(my middle name) after him. I am so impressed by his personality. From Colorado and a drunk, to New York and a celebrity. He loved to slum with the criminals, and somehow managed to extricate himself from their culpability. His gambling, and devotion to a soiled woman were incredible. His lack of interest in his family, especially his children, was so sad. But, unfortunately, Jimmy Breslin can not unlock the secret of his feel ...more
Dewey Wigod
Sep 04, 2008 Dewey Wigod rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: history, entertainment enthusiasts
Jimmy Breslin takes us through the life and times of Damon Runyon in a manner that makes us feel as though we are living those times, surrounded by the cast of upbeat, downbeat, offbeat and deadbeat characters that would later be defined as "Runyonesque." The yellowing newspapers of the early 20th century come alive, and we are transported, Narnia-like, into their world where we see both the height and the underbelly of society from the perspective of one of life's greatest observers. From his u ...more
Jim Vuksic
Dec 04, 2013 Jim Vuksic rated it liked it
Jimmy Breslin's biographical critique of Damon Runyon provides an interesting and entertaining insight into the man who wrote such unforgettable fiction about the Broadway of the Roaring Twenties and the characters who spent far too much of their time frequenting its speakeasies and restaurants; particularly "Mindy's". Is there anyone who has not at least heard of "Guys and Dolls"?
Tad Richards
Oct 22, 2012 Tad Richards rated it did not like it
I remember really liking Breslin's work as a reporter, and his book on the early Mets. I don't know...maybe his style is just terribly dated now. But I find this book unreadable. He's so smug, so snide -- and to no particular purpose. I really need to find out about Damon Runyon and Runyon's New York, but I don't know if I can finish this book. It's torture to read.
Aug 28, 2012 Keith rated it it was amazing
A brilliant biography of the legendary Damon Runyon, written in Breslin's own unique style, which, I suspect, is intended as a tribute to Runyon.
Jim Cheng
Dec 06, 2016 Jim Cheng rated it really liked it
It took me forever to start this book (written in 1991, signed for me by the author). And almost as long to finish it. Not because I didn't like it (hard to finish at a couple pages a day pace). It did, however, take a little time to get into it. It starts with a kind of off-putting framing device (to be fair, it does set up the author's connection to Runyon) and spends too much time on his boyhood. The bio comes alive about 100 pages in, as Runyon establishes himself as the toast of New York's ...more
Brenda Leavy
Mar 18, 2014 Brenda Leavy rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
Great read. Mobsters and Dames. The good old days!
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Jimmy Breslin was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American columnist and author. He wrote numerous novels, and pieces of his have appeared regularly in various newspapers in his hometown of New York City. He was a regular columnist for the newspaper Newsday until his retirement on November 2, 2004.

Among his notable columns, perhaps the best known was published the day after John F. Kennedy's funeral, foc
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