Books: Rough Stuff

A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE (346 pp.)—Nelson Algren—Farrar, Straus & Cudahy ($4.50).

One of the literary clichés that takes a long time dying is the notion that prostitutes have hearts of gold and that bums are somehow more steeped in humanity than people who work. No living U.S. writer has done more to keep the idea alive, and no one has done it with more literary authority than Chicago Novelist Nelson Algren. His Man with the Golden Arm, 1949's best U.S. novel, dealt with a sordid world of petty crime and drug addiction that shocked many a queasy reader, but it...

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