City of Night Book
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Bold and inventive in style, City of Night is the groundbreaking 1960s novel about male prostitution. Rechy is unflinching in his portrayal of one hustling 'youngman' and his search for self-knowledge among the other denizens of his neon-lit world.
As the narrator moves from Texas to Times Square and then on to the French Quarter of New Orleans, Rechy delivers a portrait of the edges of America that has lost none of its power.
On his travels, the nameless narrator meets a collection of unforgettable characters, from vice cops to guilt-ridden married men eaten up by desire, to Lance O'Hara, once Hollywood's biggest star. Rechy describes this world with candour and understanding in a prose that is highly personal and vividly descriptive.
Rechy's tone rings absolutely true, is absolutely his own, and he has the kind of discipline which allows him a rare and beautiful recklessness. tells the truth, and tells it with such passion that we are forced to share in the life he conveys. This is a most humbling and liberating achievement. -- James Baldwin
One of the major books to be published since World War II. ― The Washington Post
City of Night is a remarkable book . . . Mr. Rechy writes in an authentic jive-like slang: the nightmare existence is explored with a clarity not often clouded by sentimentality and self-pity. The book therefore has the unmistakable ring of candour and truth. ― The New York Times Book Review
A breathless, amphetamine-fuelled dash across America ... Rechy's descriptive energy is instead reserved for city life's twilight world and a colourful parade of characters... his descriptive energy surpasses any queer literature label. ― New Statesman
John Rechy's groundbreaking novel City of Night lifted the lid on gay life in `60's America ... it broke new ground with its depiction of the gay sexual subculture in America's cities ... The author is ripe for rediscovery. ― Time Out
In his first novel, City of Night, John Rechy achieved what most authors strive for their entire career. A book that will last ... Although it was long after the original publication, through City of Night Rechy taught me that my feelings of isolation could be released, that my experiences could be written. It was Rechy who showed me that no subject matter is taboo. -- Charles Casillo ― LA Review of Books