A Walk on the Wild Side Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Walk on the Wild Side

Dove Linkhorn, a teenager, leaves Texas and hopes to find something better in New Orleans. It is the Great Depression, there are no jobs, and Dove cannot read. He tries working on a ship, selling coffee pots, making colorful condoms, but finds he is best paid using his body to "de-flower" a "virgin" in peep-shows. Feeling degraded, he starts drinking heavily. Meanwhile, he falls for one of the most beautiful prostitutes in the brothel he works for, Miss Halle Breedlove. She was once a school teacher, and was forced into prostitution because her husband found out she was passing as a white women, when in fact, she's a black woman. She tries to teach Dove to read in bed, they run away together, visit the zoo. Then Dove must return and face Miss Breedlove's jealous, insane lover, a man whose legs were cut off from a train rolling over them. He propels himself on a cart with wheels, and confronts Dove in the bar one day. Algren's great character study in the decadent life of the Big Easy.
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The review of this Book prepared by Joan Clare

Country boy Dove Linkhorn, son of Fitz (preacher and cesspool cleaner), defiler of women, smarter than he looks bum, leaves Texas for New Orleans where he fits right in for a while, with the depression-era cripples, prostitutes, pimps, flimflam artists, and prison-life.

The review of this Book prepared by Charles Smyth

Chapter Analysis of A Walk on the Wild Side

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   upbeat Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Life of a profession:    -   prostitute/stripper/porn Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   American South Poverty, surviving    -   Yes Kind of living:    -   general poverty story Crime & Police story    -   Yes Story of    -   conman stealing/fraud Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   unemployed Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast    -   Texas    -   Deep South City?    -   Yes City:    -   New Orleans Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   very gullible, like Gomer Pyle Misc setting    -   prison    -   moving train

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   touching of anatomy    -   orgies    -   actual description of hetero sex Lot of foul language?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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