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City of Night [Paperback]

John Rechy
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct 1965
John Rechy, recipient of the Publishing Triangle's William Whitehead Lifetime Achievement Award, wrote City of Night in 1963. This radical and daring work, which launched Rechy's reputation as one of America's most courageous novelists, remains the classic document of the garish neon-lit world of hustlers, drag queens, and men on the make who inhabited the homosexual underground of the early sixties.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Panther; n.e. edition (Oct 1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586019251
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586019252
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 11.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,485,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Rechy comes from a family of Mexican artistocrats and grew up in the USA. During his early 20's he drifted around the US, working as a hustler and these experiences are the basis for 'City of Night'. He currently teaches at the University of Southern California.

Product Description


Praise for "City of Night" "One of the few major American writers whose life is almost as interesting, and meaningful, as his work."--Michael Cunningham "A ground-breaking book . . . observing a whole new array of characters . . . many for the first time in American literature. . . . A classic American novel."--Edmund White, "The New York Review of Books" "Probably no novel published in this decade is so complete, so well held together, and so important as "City of Night.""--Larry McMurtry "One of the major books to be published since World War II."--"The Washington Post" ""City of Night" is one of the most remarkable novels to appear in years. . . . It illuminates, it stirs the heart, it is unforgettable."--Herbert Gold "This is one of the best first novels in recent years. . . . It is not presented and it is not conceived, it is written."--Frank O'Hara, "Kulchur" ""City of Night" is a remarkable book. . . . Mr. Rechy writes in an authentic jive-like slang: the nightmare existence is explored with a clarity not often clouded by sentimentality and self-pity. The book therefore has the unmistakable ring of candor and truth."--Peter Buitenhuis, "The New York Times Book Review" "John Rechy shows great comic and tragic talent. He is a truly gifted novelist."--Christopher Isherwood "A stunning piece of writing."--David Bowie "When John Rechy's first novel, "City of Night," appeared in 1963, there had never been anything quite like it. . .Its urgent, syntax-scrambled style [was] a wonderful shock to the reading eye, like that of Hubert Selby's "Last Exit to Brooklyn" and William Burroughs' "Naked Lunch." "City of Night" was distinctly a Beat novel, rangy and full of bold riffs as a Charlie Parker album. Rechy displayed a throwaway brilliance."--Gary Indiana, "The Los Angeles Times Book Review" "An American classic, with its loner hero, its juke joints and neon signs, its restless shifting fr --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"John Rechy's groundbreaking novel `City of Night' lifted the lid on gay life in `60's America... it broke new ground with its depiction of the gay sexual subculture in America's cities... The author is ripe for rediscovery... uncensored for the first time." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
LATER I WOULD THINK OF AMERICA as one vast City of Night stretching gaudily from Times Square to Hollywood Boulevard-jukebox-winking, rock-n-roll-moaning: America at night fusing its darkcities into the unmistakable shape of loneliness. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enduring classic novel. 17 Aug 1998
By A Customer
I have just re-read this novel--I read it as required reading more than ten years ago at Yale. The book has not aged one bit. If anything, it becomes richer, and the characters I remembered came back to life even more vividly, especially Pete the Times Square hustler, and Miss Destiny, the L.A. dragqueen, and Sylvia, the New Orleans gay bar owner always searching for her banished son. So many others spring alive in this moving novel about America at night.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars City Of The Night 19 May 2013
By Ralph
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A really good book with a strong story. There were times when the book jumped from city to city leaving me a little lost, there were times when i wished a story was a little more developed. Some characters seemed to be simple lost or dropped in the tale. But all in all I found this book to be a very good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastc! 22 Mar 2013
Fantastic writing. I have to write 20 words at i could write the word fantastic 20 times,,,is that helpful?,,well yeah it is really. JUST READ IT FOR YOURSELF! and see what you think. Raw, brutal, sad,candid,funny, enlightening,soulful. I was there on his journey!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Meat As Fresh As The Day It Was Written 30 May 2005
Written in the early 1960s, this book reads like it could have been written a lot more recently. There's a modernism to the style that keeps it young. The attention to detail and character are strong and riveting. Locations and scenes come to life. It's alive.
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