The book focuses on 3 main characters in Brooklyn in the 1950's, and is divided into 6 stories that could function independently of one another. The first short story sets the tone for the rest of the book and the violence involved. The second story is about Georgette, a transsexual in love with a hoodlum who is scared of his sensitive side. She wants nothing more than to be with him, but he treats her horribly to show off in front of his friends. They end up at a "party" together with a large group of people and an even larger amount of drugs where Georgette and Vinnie's relationship reaches a turning point. The third is the most light-hearted of all the stories, about a young woman marrying a man who may or may not be the father of her child. Fourth is Harry Black, a union worker helping run a strike. His life disintegrates rapidly before he starts spending time with the local hoods and gets involved with a transsexual women named Regina. Harry finally experiences true happiness with her until the strike ends and he can't charge everything to the union's strike fund. Fifth is Tralala, a prostitute who rips off her drunken customers before she has to do anything with them. After an argument with her partners in crime, she heads to Manhattan and is shown the nice life by a soldier shipping out for Korea in two days. Her return to Brooklyn ends horribly, and she realizes her loneliness. THe sixth section is a series of short stories chronicling 24 hours in one of the projects in Brooklyn, showing the horrid nature of the city.
This report prepared by SMM
This infamous book is a fractured tale of people living in the back end of New York City, poor and streetwise, misguided and desperate. We follow a prostitute, a union rep, and several others as their lives are systematically broken down and destroyed. Harsh, explicit, and an audacious piece of writing. Be warned: not for the faint hearted.
This report prepared by Mark Storey