I am very glad that I've read this book, but now I have, I will never read it again.
It is a hard-boiled account about marginalised people - a prostitute, a transvestite, a convict, and a sexually troubled trade union leader amongst others. The style of writing is utterly refreshing and compelling, the characterisation astonishing, and beating from deep within the book is a heart and humanity. It is not though a dispassioned or sanitised book - the words "raw" and "gritty" are a massive understatement at times.
Be in no doubt that this book can be brutal, it pulls no punches and it often leaves a dirty bloody taste in your mouth whilst reading it.
It's a very good book, there's no doubt about it, but be prepared for a painful and uneasy read. There are no happy endings.