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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

on 16 August 2017
An excellent book.
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on 5 May 2008
The Wanderers by Richard Price was a first novel written in 1974 and draws on his teenage years around the Bronx street gangs of the early 60's. It became a successful movie in 1979, which like the book went on to be a cult classic. Richard Price went on to write many other street crime stories such as Clockers and many successful screenplays as in The Colour of Money..

The story follows the last months of members of a teenage street gang called The Wanderers. These are an all-Italian gang comprising of 27 members. They wear bright yellow/brown jackets and blue jeans. Their leader, Richie, is dating Despie Galasso, the daughter of an infamous mobster, so The Wanderers have connections We also get involved with the fights and alliance of the other local gangs such as

* The Fordham Baldies: As their name suggests, they are all bald, reportedly to prevent their hair from getting in their eyes during a fight.

* The Del Bombers: The toughest all-black gang in the Bronx.

* Ducky Boys: An all-Irish gang , all short- 5'6" and under and the most vicious

* The Wongs: An Chinese gang, all with the last name of "Wong" and highly skilled in Jiu-Jitsu

But it's more then being in a gang as we explore their relationships, schools, neighbourhoods and often dysfunctional families. Its not a book for the politically correct or maiden aunts, you get unfiltered real street language and behaviour and no moral judgements by the author. The bad aren't punished and the good rewarded, its left messy as in real life. The story whilst a novel is structured like a series of inter connected short stories so characters pop in and out of the set events as we move through the lives of the gang members. I should add apart from the high energy dialogue many of the scenes are funny,( ask me about the lasso, stone and what was tied to the rope when thrown over a bridge!) sad and even chilling. Well worth reading
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on 24 October 2003
The wanderers is set around the lives and loves of a gang of teenagers from the Bronx. It follows them through gang brawls, trying to score with girls and growing up in an underprivaliged environment.
For anyone wishing to recall their teenage years this book is a must. It deals with lifelong friendships and the pain of growing up and apart. It is both funny and deeply moving at the same time and you feel every tough break and every achievement that the boys experience.
I urge you to buy this deeply underrated book, you will not regret it.
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on 23 July 2012
This slice of teenage gang life in 1960's New York is one of the best books I've read in a while. Basically comprising a series of vignettes detailing the character's existences as they make the journey from rowdy adolescents into adulthood, it's undoubtedly a brutal read, but one told with lashings of wit and good feeling. Yes, a lot of the behaviour on display is reprehensible, but Price (a writer I've never read before, although I have seen his episodes of `The Wire') does a fantastic job of making the characters relatable even as we only see snapshots of their world. This is the rare book which can be described as painfully real and disturbing, but also charming in its own way.
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on 22 December 1999
This was a book I could not put down. It tells the story of a group of boys growing up in New York together, it is funny, sad, moving. It is wrote in a style that reminds me of the dialogue in a typical Scorcese film. Quite simply this book is a must.
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on 11 February 2007
I picked up this book expecting a gang story along the lines of the film The Warriors, what I found was something far more rewarding. The book follows the lives of a group of Italian American teenagers growing up in the south Bronx in the early sixties.

The prose and dialogue are very evocative of the time and place, but the book also covers the universal themes of a coming of age story such as love, first sexual experiences and the search for identity.
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on 8 February 2015
I cannot understand how this book has passed me by up to now. If I had read this as a teenager – Wow! Even though my teenage years are long gone this still packs a hell of a punch. Set around 1961-2 in the Bronx, The Wanderers (after the Dion song) are a teen gang obsessed with sex, fighting, staying alive and pop music. In a episodic set of interlinked stories Price so effectively conjures up this group of friends moving towards adulthood. It is shocking, violent, sexy and like many teenagers full of bile for anyone apart from themselves! It does, however, work superbly. It’s unsympathetic, gritty and yet touching. This is certainly one of the best books of the 70’s and my favourite book I read for the first time this year. I loved the characters; Eugene, the stud with a secret; Joey, a victim of his outrageously aggressive father; Perry, home alone with his mother and Buddy whose wrong choices cause him to grow up too fast. (The 1979 film of the same name despite similar themes is unrelated)
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on 19 September 2010
Richard Price creates an interesting world and people it with characters who seem alive even if not always sympathetic. He has a good ear for dialogue and his writing is descriptive and gives just the right amount of detail to paint a good picture without causing overload. There is no real narrative and this is better looked upon as a series of loosely connected vignettes rather than a novel. Some might argue that he is subverting or questioning traditional narrative but to my mind this is a talented writer that cannot or will not pull his ideas into a coherent narrative.
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on 2 January 2014
very good book but only complaint is that the story arc is non existent plus some of the short stories can get a bit tedious like the second to last one don't want to ruin a surprises
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on 2 April 2016
Fantastic book as well as film , fast shipping too x)
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