• RRP: £9.99
  • You Save: £0.01
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
A Walk On The Wild Side has been added to your Basket
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Over 2 million items sold. Fast dispatch and delivery. Excellent Customer Feedback. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A Walk On The Wild Side Paperback – 26 Jan 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£20.00
Paperback
"Please retry"
£9.98
£3.84 £4.75
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£9.98 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • A Walk On The Wild Side
  • +
  • Last Exit to Brooklyn (Penguin Modern Classics)
Total price: £19.96
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (26 Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841956805
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841956800
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 233,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"... a cult classic....Less of a traditional narrative and more like a poetic force of nature, Wild Side is a boisterous panegyric to the side street solitaries who dream their impossible dreams" (The Telegraph)

"One of the most powerful books I have ever read." (Alyson Rudd The Times)

"The 1956 classic that gave Lou Reed his most famous song is republished in paperback with an introductory essay from Russell Banks - and don't be tempted to skip it: this pocket-book guide to Algren's own life of doomed love, addiction and disappointment, is a gripping read in itself." (The Scotsman)

"Mr. Algren, boy, you are good." (Ernest Hemingway)

"The intensity of his feeling, the accuracy of his thought, make me wonder if any other writer of our time has shown us more exactly the basis of our democracy. His hell burns with passion for heaven." (New York Times Book Review)

From the Back Cover

"Mr Algren, boy, you are good."

Ernest Hemingway

The story of a naïve country boy who busts out of Hicksville, Texas, in pursuit of a better life in New Orleans. A Walk in the Wild Side is a large-hearted, funny, angry, lonely masterpiece, a book that has captured the imaginations of every generation since it first appeared in 1956, and that rendered a world later immortalised in

Lou Reed's classic song.

"Deserves to be read by every Catch-22 and Cuckoo's Nest freak just so they can find out what opened the door for [these] two novels ... It's not that before Heller and Kesey there was Algren. It's that Algren is where they came from."

Rolling Stone

"The intensity of his feeling, the accuracy of his thought, make me wonder if any other writer of our time has shown us more exactly the basis of our democracy. His hell burns with passion for heaven." New York Times Book Review

"Algren wrote with courage and love against the grain of the American empire ... embodying a vision of truth that seems strikingly contemporary." Richard Flanagan

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic novel by one of the greatest American writers of the last century. An unflinching, sometimes harrowing portrayal of a doomed drifter and the low life characters he finds himself rubbing shoulders with in a New Orleans brothel.

Algren, like his French equivalents Celine and Zola, manages to inhabit a world of impoverished dreamers and losers, holding up a cracked mirror to their tragic lives without ever patronising or judging them. Instead he depicts them as real people trapped in a cycle of poverty and despair, people who dream of something better despite having been damned to a lifetime of anything but. People who dare to hope in the face of inevitabilities older than the ground they walk on, setting themselves up for tragic endings they see coming from a mile off.

This was Algren's gift and that is why this is a great book.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
...is what this novel is all about.
-And what impressions! I don't think I have ever come across a novel as impressionistic as this. It somehow prefigures the gut wrenching force of Cormack McCarthy, another unforgettably atmospheric writer.
This is strictly an ode to life's downtrodden losers: the suckers to whom W.C. Fields would never give an even break.
Whilst in no way an easy read, it is as graphic as life itself in all it's hellish degradation, and pulls no punches in ramming home what abject failure is all about. A real downer, about the kind of people a lot of us never get to meet, who nevertheless become all too familiar through the extraordinarily mordant pen of a writer I have never previously read.
Mr Algren must have been quite a tortured soul to have devoted so much force of experience into describing what otherwise would constitute an amorphous, nondescript bottom layer of American society that nobody would give two hoots about. In his hands, however, Dove Linkhorn, the protagonist, and the human flotsam he manages to attract to his virtual non-existence, becomes an anti-hero that is utterly unforgettable.
Although he manages to make his way from some godforsaken one-horse town in Texas to New Orleans, the book is almost totally lacking a plot. It lives (or dies) on its fly-on-the wall description of the characters, places and seedy lives that occur within. Had a plot been added this would surely rank as a masterpiece.
As it is, I would best describe it as a masterpiece of descriptive writing, although somewhat less as a novel overall.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you've become intrigued to know what this book is about , having been attracted to it by the Lou Reed song of the same name, I would advise you that it has nothing to do with it! Nelson Algren was a contemporary of John Steinbeck, and like Steinbeck, he focuses on characters that would normally be ignored. Low-lives, victims of cruel circumstance and bad decisions, Algren has a forensic style - he constructs vivid characters and losers, and 'A Walk On The Wild Side' is just that. It's very moving, in its way, and I think that, having read this, you'll want to explore more of his novels.

Algren was an influential writer, although never quite as revered as Steinbeck. If you like this, I urge you checkout John Dos Passos' 'USA'. and John Rechy's 'Cityof Night' for contrasting views of the flipside of the American Dream.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
Algren makes the early thirties in America come gloriously alive in this book. Dove, son of a preacher, leaves home in the country to live in New Orleans and make his fortune. What he finds in that benighted city is a scum of thieves and bar girls, men on the make, and a city of violence and beauty. In the language of the time Nelson Algren creates a heartstruck and brutal poem of his time in this truly original book. Rape, murder and robbery, conning, pimping and boozing, are just some of the crimes perpetrated by Dove, yet he remains supremely human and understandable throughout.

This is a different world, America growing more grotesque in the light of it's political will and it's heaving, spitting, degenerative hypocrisy. It is funny, gripping, heartbreaking and tremendously alive. Thrumming with heat and dust and dirt; a fantastic read, headlong and unremitting, it grabs you by the throat and squeezes a half-horrified, half-entranced reaction. Brilliant, linguistically groundbreaking, emotionally roller-coasting, beautiful and terrible, a surreal dream of lives and deaths - it is stunning.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Look for similar items by category


Feedback