Whilst trying to weed out some books I came across Runyon on Broadway which is an omnibus containing all his short stories from:
More Than Somewhat
Take It Easy
I haven’t come across any mention of Damon Runyon at all on the internet although I must admit I haven’t really gone searching for him so I’m not sure if he’s still being read or not but I hope he is.
I got my copy of this book when we were helping to clear out Great-Uncle Robert’s house and it has his name on the inside of it. I was quite amazed because I never actually met G-U Robert, he had died many years before his wife did, and all that I knew about him was that he was a piano teacher and church organist and didn’t get married until his mother died, and he was over 60 by then.
So I learned from this book that he must have had a good sense of humour as these short stories are so funny. Damon Runyon was a journalist and was successful in that profession and when he started writing stories about the bandits of Broadway they were very well received too.
In the stories all the males are guys and the females are dolls. The stories all have the same narrator and according to him these are the respectful ways of referring to men and women. The stories are all about the crooks and gangsters who made up part of the life around Broadway, described as New York’s Hardened Artery. The musical Guys and Dolls was based on two Runyon short stories.
It’s the era of Prohibition and hard times in America so the gangsters are making the most of it – so if you fancy a change from ‘English’ humour you might like to try Damon Runyon’s American humour.
Needless to say this is yet another book which I’m unable to weed out!