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Download A Walk on the Wild Side Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Walk on the Wild Side Audiobook, by Nelson Algren Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (581 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nelson Algren Narrator: Keith Szarabajka Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2009 ISBN: 9781455195565
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With its depictions of the downtrodden prostitutes, bootleggers, and hustlers of Perdido Street in the old French Quarter of 1930s New Orleans, A Walk on the Wild Side found a place in the imaginations of all the generations that have followed. “I found my way to the streets on the other side of the Southern Pacific station, where the big jukes were singing something called ‘Walking the Wild Side of Life,’” wrote Algren. “I’ve stayed pretty much on that side of the curb ever since.”

Perhaps the author’s own words describe this classic work best: “The book asks why lost people sometimes develop into greater human beings than those who have never been lost in their whole lives. Why men who have suffered at the hands of other men are the natural believers in humanity, while those whose part has been simply to acquire, to take all and give nothing, are the most contemptuous of mankind.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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 human basis of our democracy. Though Algren often defines his positive values by showing us what happens in their absence, his hell burns with passion for heaven.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “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 only that before Heller and Kesey there was Algren. It’s that Algren is where they came from.”

    Rolling Stone

  • “A better-made book than any [Algren] has written before.”

    Saturday Review

  • “Is filled with brilliant little profiles...with comic interludes of a Rabelaisian hiliarity....and with passages of inimitable dialogue.”

    Maxwell Geismar, literary critic

  • “It’s great to finally have a definitive audio version. Algren’s…freewheeling style and use of vernacular are channeled by narrator Keith Szarabajka, who breathes life into colorful losers.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rich | 2/10/2014

    " One of the most graphic and depressing books I have read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian Engelhardt | 1/14/2014

    " Unbelievable! Pimps, prostitutes, alcoholics, thieves, drug addicts, drifters, abortionists, scam artists, barflies. . . every down-and-out person you're ever likely to meet is in here. Algren wrote about the kinds people and places that he knew best and his work reads like dark poetry. An amazing command of the English language! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andy Molino | 12/25/2013

    " One of my all time favorites. A classic that never was. Deserves to be in a required reading curriculum. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sissy | 12/11/2013

    " An Algren as dark and brutal as Man with the Golden arm but more colorful for its southern location and hapless main character. It is twice as long too. Read if you like Algren, but do not read if you are feeling fragile or prone to depression. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michele bookloverforever | 11/28/2013

    " werewolf politics and love..what a mix. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ryan Abbott | 11/15/2013

    " I wish I could have rated this 50 stars! An amazing novel. I was so riveted I read 300+ pages without setting it down once. Pure poetry! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dianne | 11/14/2013

    " Junkies, alcoholics, and dwarf fights in Wicker Park before it was taken over by the swells. What's not to like? Algren's my kind of jerk: awful human being, fantastic writer. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Surfing Moose | 9/4/2013

    " Enjoyed the first 60-70 pages and it was just downhill from there. Got around page 220 and skipped to the last 10 pages. I think I was expecting something different. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marc Rodriguez | 8/13/2013

    " So far this book is the best I have read by Algren. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meg | 6/7/2013

    " Wow. Makes for quite an interesting companion to McCarthy's Blood Meridian. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Oona | 3/3/2013

    " nelson algren is a forgotten genius that describes the forgotten world (of the dark, gruesome chicago) that still has life and passion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jacob | 2/24/2013

    " mother, tell your children not to walk my way. as much as i enjoyed this work, i'm going to risk friends' favor and the assault of apples and oranges with which i will be struck when i say that i liked hubert selby's tales woeful self-loathing betterer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tobi | 2/3/2013

    " Beautiful narrative. Beware, life weighs on the characters, and time feels heavy to the reader, but it is beyond worth it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lavande | 1/11/2012

    " I had given up on fiction and hadn't read a book in months when I accidentally came across this book. This is the sort of book that makes you fall in love with reading all over again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doug | 7/28/2011

    " Picaresque to be sure. A vivid depiction of life in 1931 New Orleans. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 9/7/2010

    " Ingesting from a quasi- historical, feel-like-you're-there perspective, but really quite hard to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adelaide | 4/20/2010

    " If "House of the Rising Sun" had become a novel, this would be the novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rich | 1/24/2010

    " One of the most graphic and depressing books I have read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dianne | 1/22/2009

    " Junkies, alcoholics, and dwarf fights in Wicker Park before it was taken over by the swells. What's not to like? Algren's my kind of jerk: awful human being, fantastic writer. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda | 2/11/2008

    " Algren does a good job of building interest in these characters, but I found the reading a bit too slow for my taste. I couldn't get involved in the day to day goings on. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lavande | 1/7/2008

    " I had given up on fiction and hadn't read a book in months when I accidentally came across this book. This is the sort of book that makes you fall in love with reading all over again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul | 11/15/2007

    " Always a haunting writer. Man With The Golden Arm was my first of his and I keep going back to him. Sad because I seem to forget him and then when I am looking for a new book I stumble on his work and wonder why haven't I read everything of his. I will, someday. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Oona | 8/28/2007

    " nelson algren is a forgotten genius that describes the forgotten world (of the dark, gruesome chicago) that still has life and passion. "

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About the Author
Author Nelson Algren

Nelson Algren (1909–1981), now considered one of America’s finest novelists, was born in Detroit and lived most of his life in Chicago. His jobs included migrant worker, journalist, and medical worker. He is the author of five novels, including The Man with the Golden Arm, which was the winner of the first National Book Award.

About the Narrator

Keith Szarabajka has appeared in many films, including The Dark Knight, Missing, and A Perfect World, and on such television shows as The Equalizer, Angel, Cold Case, Golden Years, and Profit. Szarabajka has also appeared in several episodes of Selected Shorts for National Public Radio. He won the 2001 Audie Award for Unabridged Fiction for his reading of Tom Robbins’ Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates. He has also won seven Earphones Awards.