Memos From Purgatory Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Memos From Purgatory

First published in 1961, this book details the author's experiences after joining a Brooklyn kids' street gang for several months in the mid-50s. He details their rules, behavior, gets in a knife duel with a rival, and generally depicts the gritty life of the street in those days. The second half of the book takes the reader inside "The Tombs," a chilling New York City jail. At the insistence of his publisher, he included an encounter with one of his former gangmates, but this is a fictitious touch in an otherwise true and hard story.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Memos From Purgatory

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Crime & Police story    -   Yes Story of    -   gang conflict Wild kid(s)?    -   committing crimes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York Misc setting    -   prison

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Harlan Ellison Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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