Books: The Hired Rebel

RUNYON FIRST AND LAST (255 pp.)—Damon Runyon—Lippincott ($2.75).

By 1945, when Damon Runyon wrote his last stories, they had become as predictably stylized as a Balinese dance. His Broadway heroes, for example, were called Sam the Gonoph, Harry the Horse or Gigolo Georgie; they could calculate the death of a pal as coldly as the third race at Jamaica—but in Runyon's last-paragraph twists and hooks they always proved to have hearts of gold.

Latter-day Runyon creatures spoke a language of their own, a dialect which showed traces of remote English ancestry but which, despite its...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!