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The Best of Damon Runyon

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  99 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The book was originally published by Frederick A. Stokes Company, February 24, 1938.
Published (first published January 1st 1945)
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The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerThe Man Without Qualities by Robert MusilWar and Peace by Leo TolstoyThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldDuino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke
Books To Read Before I Die
60th out of 133 books — 121 voters
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Classic Americana
2nd out of 38 books — 5 voters

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Jim Sall
Jul 27, 2011 Jim Sall rated it it was amazing
I found a copy of "Blue Plate Special" in my grandparents' garage when I was about 12 and was immediately fascinated. My grandfather gave me the book, I took it home and must have read through all of the stories two or three times before I graduated from high school. Then I went away to college and the book was lost. It took me 5 years to track down "The Damon Runyon Omnibus," which contains "Blue Plate Special, Money from Home" and "Guys and Dolls" and I have been reading and re-reading it ever ...more
Dec 20, 2009 Maureen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, short-stories
This collection may be considered the best by some because it is certainly representative of the style and flavour of damon runyon's writing. you will find his odd use of the present tense, his specialized vocabulary, and his recurring characters all dance attendance. the editor also takes pains to distance runyon from o. henry, despite the slogan on this pocket book edition ("the modern o'henry") and i can see how the comparison can be made: there is something very folksy about the dialogue emp ...more
Nov 09, 2014 Tosh rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-bought
i've been reading this off and on. Works very well with the bathtub as well as on the bus. Damon Runyon captures a specific moment in a very special place at that time - Manhattan. The language he uses is pretty much dead now, which makes it a fascinating read. One wonders where William S. Burroughs would got his inspiration: with such character names such as "Milk Ear Willie," "Izzy Cheesecake," "Franky Ferocious,"Rosa Midnight," "Dancing Dan," Pussy McGuire" and so forth. Without a doubt there ...more
Muffy Kroha
Nov 15, 2007 Muffy Kroha rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mob Glorifiers, Fans of palookaness
Shelves: all-time-faves
WTF? That is what I want to know- I am adding his bio to my to read because I have always been puzzled as to why the characters in his stories have such a strange speech pattern-
(see the movie musical of Guys and Dolls for a sample) ???
All I know is that it charmed the pants off of me in print-When I see pictures of him he looks dry and utterly humorless, yet his characters and stories are so endearing- I don't get it- One of my favorites
Thom Kahler
May 06, 2013 Thom Kahler rated it really liked it
Not sure why, but I've been a Damon Runyon fan for as long as I can remember, perhaps because he was an early day Jimmy Breslin. The copy of this I have was published in 1942 as an edition for GIs going overseas; I found a copyin great condition in an outdoor book bin on Turk Street in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco in 1964 for 10¢.
Ramesh Naidu
Jul 19, 2016 Ramesh Naidu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though this one did not find any stories of Sky Masterson or Nathan Detroit , I managed to find delightful stories of Harry the horse , The Brain and other fascinating characters from Guys and Dolls. An American Wodehouse whose domain was not the English Gentry but the Mafia .
Apr 24, 2016 Heidi rated it really liked it
This book was a Christmas gift from my aunt. As I had never heard of Damon Runyon it wasn't the first book I picked up in January. A mistake! I loved the brash characters, the way the period came alive, the flow of the dialogue. Now I need to see Guys and Dolls.
Vincent Saint-Simon
Oct 08, 2007 Vincent Saint-Simon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: John Updike
Sirs and Madams,

Man this guy is just one of a kind. You know, he never wrote a novel? Spent his whole life in the art of the short story and he never felt compelled to write a novel.

Runyon makes my top ten.

Jan 02, 2011 Ruthenator rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-1987
actually I read stories from this, Take It Easy, and First and Last but this was the only one I found on here.
Denis Farley
Dec 08, 2009 Denis Farley rated it it was amazing
Runyon, the writer of Guys & Dolls, had me belly laughing, misty eyed. Great technique, sweet writer.
Nov 23, 2009 A.J. added it
Best bedtime reading.
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Alfred Damon Runyon (October 4, 1880 – December 10, 1946) was an American newspaperman and writer.

Damon Runyon was born as Alfred Damon Runyan to a family of newspapermen in Manhattan, Kansas. His grandfather was a newspaper printer from New Jersey who had relocated to Manhattan, Kansas in 1855, and his father was editor of his own newspaper in the town. In 1882 Runyon's father was forced to sell
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