I think Runyon is rather overlooked these days, much of it is born of depression era USA so maybe it should be making a comeback. His goons and molls, are akin to our dodgy geezers, dell boys and east enders, so once you get past the Runyonese diction ex: "We was thinking you was a guy to use" etc It's all good fun, and easy to digest. The stories often have a comic twist but it is simplistic to say that he just wrote comic shorts as above all Runyon spells out a great sympathy for his fellow man and the dilemmas "we faces".
There's not much one can add to the great reviews people have already given this book except to say: This book is a pleasure to read. The very business of rolling the words around in your mouth, Nabakov made getting your head stuck into a book a dirty little pleasure. Disturbed - read the book.
It was just plain fun, it didn't solve global warming, it didn't make a lot of sense even, but then why should it. We live in an age of atom bombs and Gerry Springer - I guess collecting little bits of moulded glowing plastic seems crazy, well it probably is, thats not the point. Thumbs up for weird alien plastic collectibles that come in a fizzing ball.