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.
This report 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.
This report prepared by Charles Smyth