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Download The Man with the Golden Arm Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Man with the Golden Arm, by Nelson Algren Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,149 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nelson Algren Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartne Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Winner of the first National Book Award in 1950, this modern classic takes us into the gritty underbelly of post–World War II America. It is the story of “Frankie Machine,” a veteran, drug addict, and card-dealer in an illicit poker game being run in Chicago’s near northwest side. Frankie has just returned from the federal prison for narcotics addicts in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was exposed to all the pressures, anxieties, and temptations that had put him there in the first place.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is a man writing and you should not read it if you cannot take a punch…Mr. Algren can hit with both hands and move around and he will kill you if you are not awfully careful…Mr. Algren, boy, you are good.”

    Ernest Hemingway

  • “A true novelist’s triumph.”


  • “A classic portrayalstylish, atmospheric and moving.”

    Independent on Sunday (London)

  • “A thriller that packs more of a punch than pulp fiction and more grittiness than either Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett.”

    Scotsman (Edinburgh)

  • Winner of the first National Book Award in 1950

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by imakecake | 2/20/2014

    " What a book. Beautifully written, depressing and vaguely confusing - it was first published in 1949. It's one of those that 'tells it like it is' while simultaneously blurring the book's reality. Not light reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jay | 2/19/2014

    " I did not read this book, but I listed it because of the movie with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. I was seven years old at the time when I watched it with my dad. He was reading the book and the book was sitting on the end table and I remember reading the title of the book and was surprised the movie had the same title. That impressed a 7 year old a lot. A movie and a book of the same title, wow. That movie scared the living hell out of me and made an impression in my mind that a book could do that as well. I wanted to read so bad that I started reading my dad's books. I may not of understood a lot what I read but I did it any ways. To this day, The Man with the Golden Arm, is the reason I still read books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by James | 2/13/2014

    " Exceptionally enjoyable and well written. It also gets a bonus point for being pretty much entirely set within 2 blocks of my apartment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Noah | 2/12/2014

    " An amazing exercise in writing and wordcraft, this story of difficult times and difficult lives shows the fleeting beauty in the lives and locations of stumblebums, gamblers and junkies who lived on Chicago's west side in the 1940s. Few works capture human pain and the desire to escape so well. "

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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.