Graham's Reviews > A Walk on the Wild Side

A Walk on the Wild Side by Nelson Algren
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's review
Oct 20, 2011

really liked it
Read from October 04 to 20, 2011

As a small rating note, I wish we could give half-stars. I feel like this was a little better than a 3, but not quite a 4. Still pretty great though.

But technical details aside, "Walk On The Wild Side" is an excellent portrayal of the seamier underbelly of Depression-era America. Prostitutes, pimps, drug addicts, and thieves all intermingle in what often appears as a mirror-image of a conventional society that is only occasionally interacted with, and in those circumstances only long enough to comment on the hypocrisy and malevolence of the average upright citizen. The narrative tends to meander at points, which adds to a sense of realism (a hopeless life often seems to amble without direction), but can make reading the book somewhat tedious. This isn't to say these moments undermine the book's qualities, but there is a stylized nihilism that parades as realism throughout the book that renders the plot a few chapters shy of a walk in the park.

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