The Wanderers by Richard Price
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1974. First edition. Hardcover. 239 pages ; 21 cm. $5.95 dust jacket. Previous owner name on the half-title page. No other markings within this book. Binding is firm.
This novel is the urban war song of a teen-age gang, the Wanderers, who live in a Bronx housing project in the preBeatle days of the early 1960s. The Wanderers are tough yet terrified, trying to survive a scene that includes murderous parents, apathetic teachers, and deadly gangs. The focus of the novel during the Wanderers' last year together ranges from total terror to an insane and wildly comic humor. Richie Gennaro, High Warlord, has every black kid in high school after his ass. Joey Capra, the star halfback of the gang football team, lives as a human punching bag for his lunatic father, a former Mr. New York City. Eugene Caputo, alleged superstud and the best-looking guy in the Bronx, struggles with imagined impotence. Buddy Borsalino suffers from True Love for a seventeen-year-old Pizza Queen named Despie. And the big man, Perry La Guardia, turns into a raging hitter when he becomes an orphan.
The novel includes an all-Chinese gang, a gang of mute Irish maniacs, a ten-year-old cold-blooded killer, sex (crude and otherwise), the most frightening bowling match ever recorded, and plenty of good music.
The Wanderers is about victims with a desperate obsession to survive. The young author reveals a passionate and penetrating insight into urban love and terror.
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