From Broadway Complex: It is along four o’clock one morning, and I am sitting in Mindy’s restaurant on Broadway with Ambrose Hammer, the newspaper scribe, enjoying a sturgeon sandwich, which is wonderful brain food, and listening to Ambrose tell me what is wrong with the world, and I am somewhat discouraged by what he tells me, for Ambrose is such a guy as is always very pessimistic about everything. 

Guys and Dolls is the collective name for these short stories, which I believe were made into a musical and a musical-movie. Guys and Dolls takes place in New York in the 1920s and 30s, on Broadway, sort of an underground, gambling, semi-illegal world. There are many interesting characters in this book, such as Nathan Detroit, Sky Masterson, and of course, Nicely-Nicely Jones.

The atmosphere and ambience of the world this book is set in feels very alien, so different from today. Many of the stories are humorous, such as A Piece of Pie, in which two contestants (representing New York and Boston), have an easting competition. Quite amusing.

Guys and Dolls is also written in a style (presumably) like the people in the stories would talk. A “doll” means a woman, “potatoes” means money, etc. etc, and also rambling sentences (like the opening one.)

Read Guys and Dolls:

  • if you like the Broadway show and want to read the stories
  • if you like stories with strong settings
  • if you like stories set in the 20s and 30s
  • if you like books set in New York

411 pages, 4 stars.

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