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The Wanderers

Richard Price

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing

Published : 2004

Copyright : Richard Price 1974

ISBN-10 : PB 0-7475-7463-4
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-7475-7463-7

Publisher's Write-Up

The Wanderers, a teenage gang in the Bronx of the early 1960s, are just trying to stay alive - and maybe have a little sex. But it's not going to be easy. They're facing murderous parents, unimpressed girls, an all-Chinese gang and a pack of mute Irish maniacs, apathetic teachers, and a ten-year-old cold-blooded killer. Against these odds, will the Wanderers get what they're after?

'Price gives us all the raw details of the street.'

Time Out

'A deeply moving account of confused and spiritually underprivileged youth.'

William Borroughs

'I haven’t read a better fictional account of the dark side of the American Dream in years'

John Fowles
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Reader Reviews

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Review by John Alwyine-Mosely (310110) Rating (7/10)

Review by John Alwyine-Mosely
Rating 7/10
The Wanderers by Richard Price was a first novel written in 1974 and draws on his teenage years around the Bronx street gangs of the early 60's. It became a successful movie in 1979, which like the book went on to be a cult classic. Richard Price went on to write many other street crime stories such as Clockers and many successful screenplays as in The Colour of Money.

The story follows the last months of members of a teenage street gang called The Wanderers. These are an all-Italian gang comprising of 27 members. They wear bright yellow/brown jackets and blue jeans. Their leader, Richie, is dating Despie Galasso, the daughter of an infamous mobster, so The Wanderers have connections.

We also get involved with the fights and alliance of the other local gangs such as
The Fordham Baldies: As their name suggests, they are all bald, reportedly to prevent their hair from getting in their eyes during a fight.
The Del Bombers: The toughest all-black gang in the Bronx.
Ducky Boys: An all-Irish gang , all short - 5'6" and under and the most vicious
The Wongs: An Chinese gang, all with the last name of “Wong" and highly skilled in Jiu-Jitsu.

But it's more then being in a gang as we explore their relationships, schools, neighbourhoods and often dysfunctional families. It’s not a book for the politically correct or maiden aunts, you get unfiltered real street language and behaviour and no moral judgements by the author. The bad aren't punished and the good rewarded, its left messy as in real life. The story, whilst a novel, is structured like a series of inter connected short stories so characters pop in and out of the set events as we move through the lives of the gang members. I should add apart from the high energy dialogue many of the scenes are funny, (ask me about the lasso, stone and what was tied to the rope when thrown over a bridge!) sad and even chilling. Well worth reading.
John Alwyine-Mosely (31st January 2010)

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