Recounts one man's self-destruction in Chicago's Polish ghetto. The novel's protagonist, Frankie Machine, remains a tragic American hero half a century after Algren created this gritty and relentlessly dark tale of modern urban society.
Frankie's consistent method of dealing has earned him a city-wide reputation as 'the man with the golden arm,' but Frankie is determined to improve his life so that he is not tempted to return to drugs.
Frankie Machine: The book's protagonist. Frankie is a dealer in an illicit back-room card game in Chicago's Polish Triangle. After being severely wounded in action while serving in the European theater in WWII, Frankie acquires a morphine habit. Upon returning home, he struggles with addiction, poverty, and his relationships with all those around him.
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