Cotton's Reviews > The Barbary Coast: An Informal History of the San Francisco Underworld

The Barbary Coast by Herbert Asbury
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really liked it

As with any great discover of wealth, the gold rush of San Francisco brought with it a host of those willing to do whatever it takes to fleece the recently monied miners. This is a history of drunks, prostitutes, politicians, sailors, preachers and bums. There are dizzying highs and gutter lows, but for the most part it reads like a chronicle.

It's not the juiciest of reads, but after a bit you get used to the pace and it pays off. It might be that this is the first book I've had the time to elect to read in what feels like forever, it might be that I got to read it while visiting SF for the week, but I really enjoyed this. It unravels this sprawling story that I never would've thought to be preserved. It's disgusting at times, humorous at others, and almost always entertaining.
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