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The Wanderers Paperback – April 15, 1999

54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Richard Price is the finest writer about contemporary urban America on the planet' Daily Mail 'Price gives us all the raw details of the street' Time Out 'A deeply moving account of confused and spiritually underprivileged youth' William Burroughs 'I haven't read a better fictional account of the dark side of the American Dream in years' John Fowles --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Richard Price spent four years with dealers and cops on the streets of urban America researching the raw material for Clockers. His first novel, The Wanderers, was a literary sensation when it was published in 1974. Price has become one of Hollywood's most successful screenwriters. Clockers was made into a film directed by Spike Lee and starring Harvey Keitel and John Turturro. Richard Price's most recent novel is Samaritan. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1st Mariner Books ed edition (April 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395977746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395977743
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is probably Price's best work ever. He effectively re-creates the atmosphere of early-1960's street gang life, populating it with a memorable cast of characters. All the elements are here - humor, tragedy, gritty realism, with an occasional touch of the truly bizarre. Most readers will find it impossible to read this novel only once; it is one of the few which deserves repeated readings. If you have seen the movie, read the book - it's even better. I know very little about Mr. Price, but he must have been a street kid; no one else could have told this story as effectively.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By S. Steele on January 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wish I could post a specific Kindle review so as not to decrease the rating of the printed copy, but as that feature is unavailable I feel it is necessary to warn any prospective purchasers of the digital version, which is riddled with typos. I would say the typos average more than 1 per paragraph, with some short paragraphs containing as much as 8. I consider this unreadable, as it constantly pulls you out of the story, and when the author does something stylistic at first you just think it's another typo. It amazes me that publishers feel okay charging full price for a terrible, terrible product. I returned my digital purchase and now I'm going to rent it from the library and also never give my money to this publisher (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Lleu Christopher on September 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
I first read this book not long after it came out in the 70s, when I was barely a teenager (if even that, I don't recall the exact year) and it quickly became one of my favorite books. Since then, Richard Price has gone on to write many more novels, a few of which (including The Wanderers, of course) were made into movies. I don't think any of his books, however, can be better than this, his first one. I should mention here that someone called this a collection of short stories. This is not accurate. It's a novel; I've read it at least three times, I should know :) Someone probably got confused because Price named the chapters, not a very common practice, so perhaps it sounded like they were stories.

This novel is not for the squeamish; it is full of sex, violence and profanity. Perhaps even more disturbing to some readers might be the prevalence of racial slurs. The characters in The Wanderers speak the language of the streets, and there is no attempt to censor or prettify anything. This, indeed, is the primary strength and distinction of the novel. It's an uncompromising look at a particular place and time, namely a poor section of the Bronx in the early 1960s. In one way, despite all the violence, The Wanderers has a certain innocence, at least compared to what street gangs became in later years. There are no drive by shootings (or any shootings that I can remember) or drug dealing, which became commonplace on urban streets by the 1970s. Still, while you are reading it, you are transported back to the era in which it is set, and you get a real sense of the danger of the streets, even back then.

The Wanderers is a kind of coming-of-age tale for a street gang of the same name.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By mojo_navigator on March 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
Anyone who has felt even the slightest pangs of nostalgia for the early '60s should read this marvellous novel. It will shatter their idyllic view of that era forever. The Wanderers is a raw depiction of working class Italian-American life in The Bronx circa 1960 and makes you realise how unglamourous and miserable living in the ghetto must have been back then (probably still is). Bad homes, rough girlfriends, violence lurking on every street corner - it's the ultimate punk rock novel. Yet amidst the despair, this is an outrageously funny book and Price, himself a native of the The Bronx though far more cultivated than he'd like everyone to believe, captures the nuances of the lingo perfectly.

There was a film made of The Wanderers but it's thoroughly lightweight with a really nauseating sub-theme of different races uniting, nauseating because it rings totally false. On the subject of racism as with many other themes of the novel, Price doesn't air-brush - he gives you the prejudices that existed unadulterated. And the novel is far richer for it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
Richard Price manages once again to succeed at capturing the feelings and human experiences of life in the inner city of New York, this time the Bronx of the early 60s. He writes like the literary version of Martin Scorsese, depicting the sudden violence as well as the deep feelings his characters live through. The focus is on the street gang The Wanderers, a tight-knit group of friends in their teens, and their struggles to survive in a land of parental abuse, adolescent sex, and brawls with other gangs. The streetwise novel chronicles their lives in an unflinching way and places the reader directly in the middle of the tension, never judging and always real. This is a fascinating novel that was made into a film, however the book holds many deeper emotions the screen version could not convey.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By rkwnyc on February 23, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This review is for the Kindle edition only; the paper edition deserves 4 or even 5 stars. Sadly, the Kindle edition is shot through with so many typographical errors and omissions that it not only interfered with my enjoyment of the book, but actually made it difficult to understand at times. Many sentences don't have periods. Many times 'his' is miscoded as 'bis', 'my' as 'mv', 'It's' as 'If's', etc. I work with OCR & these errors look typical of OCR scanning. It seems the text was not checked after the print book was scanned. I am fan of Amazon, so I am VERY disappointed when I encounter a low-quality offering like this.
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