The Wanderers – Richard Price (1973)

1960s: Days of Rage


“This is a superbly written book about coming of age in a section of the Bronx. The Wanderers are not the only gang in this world. The most feared are the Ducky Boys, hundreds of stunted Irish madmen who suddenly appear from the trees and doorways like ‘foaming rats’ with old-fashioned straight razors and baseball bats studded with razors. Yet the book is not about teen-age gangs, but about survival and the groping for answers to unformulated questions. It is also about the breakdown of The Wanderers as its members drift, lunge and fumble into the larger world far from the security of the gang and the Big Playground. Although there is violence here, the violence of gang fights, of fear, of death and rape, the people in “The Wanderers” are part of middle-class America, the backbone of our nation. This is the most terrifying aspect of this book. The…

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