“[Rechy’s] tone rings absolutely true, is absolutely his own He tells the truth, and tells it with such passion that we are forced to share in the life he conveys. On the 50th anniversary of City of Night, John Rechy talks to Charles Casillo about its publication and its impact. He came to world attention in with the publication of his first novel, City of Night, which revealed the previously unknown world of gay hustling and.

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Emotionally I think it touched on a lot of stuff I related to and haven’t read about before fo, to the point where I was willing–happy, even–to overlook things like the description of a hot dog cart as a relic from Hell.

: City of Night (): John Rechy: Books

Jun 04, David Gallagher rated it liked it Shelves: In addition to the sullen and often citj persona of John’s personality, there are also moments punctuated here where drag queens just bring it ON.

Finding it difficult to believe that someone so nighy who knew that world so intimately could possibly be such a brilliant writer, many critics at first speculated that the book must have gechy written by an established writer under a pseudonym – perhaps James Baldwin or Tennessee Williams.

Allen Smalling Top Contributor: City of Night was distinctly a Beat novel, rangy and full of nighr riffs as a Charlie Parker album. It is a journey by a nameless narrator, through this clandestine world of furtive love.

He can actually touch the words, recby them, weigh them, know their texture and taste. I particularly enjoyed the Los Angeles section rschy was quite sizable because that is where I live, and also because it had the most colorful characters, the hustlers and the drag queens. He offered to pay for the corrections himself. Written in the pre-Stonewall of early s, featuring strong, sympathetic characters from gay4pay hustlers, forlorn drag queens, self-absorbed elder gays, leather fetishists with an inclination towards Nazis, those affecting masculinity, those failing, and all of the above despairing for that which they don’t have.


Sep 17, Nigh rated it it was amazing Shelves: Sometimes his carefully compartmentalized worlds collided, as on the evening he was standing shirtless on Hollywood Boulevard, his muscular torso on full display, when one of his students happened to pass by.

It also seemed really repetitive, and I’m sort of doubting why I took the time to finish the book. I’m glad that in this year’s endeavor to “re-read my mothers” of gay literature a friend made me pick it up. The novel is built with beautiful prose. Should begin in El Paso, in Texas. I read the book because of my endless fascination with outsider culture, especially in ages of great conformity.

City of Night

Along “Dancer from the Dance” and “Faggots”, this is in my opinion a gay masterpiece novel. Of course, the whole idea of prostitution – especially gay prostitution – was scandalous then, and not openly discussed. It was a little hard to get into, but by at least midway, I was sucked into all the dive bars with drag queens, hustlers, “scores”, pushers, and the whole underworld of people posing as something else.

The characters are believable of the time and even now and the hustling locations are beautifully described in each city, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans. Such beautiful, evocative dialogue.

The city of night of the soul. He is a truly gifted novelist. Which is why I gave it four stars.

City of Night – Wikipedia

There is an easy understanding of who and what his characters are; they are presented without sen City of Night by John Rechy “Just the absence of loneliness. In his novels he has written extensively about homosexual culture in Los Angeles and wider America, and is among the pioneers of modern LGBT literature. I thought it would be a niggt read, like a pulp novel, but it is actually quite dense and took me longer to read a page than I normally do. The memories of childhood the narrator describes are so evocative and realistic it’s unbelievable.

Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. The book includes writing about the Cooper Do-nuts Riotwhich happened in in Los Angeles, when might lesbians, gay men, transgender people, and drag queens who hung out at Cooper Do-nuts and who ngiht frequently harassed by the LAPD fought back after police arrested three people, including Rechy.


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 cihy. Be warned that this is about the johhn of a hustler, but in my experience, we were all a kind of hustler when I was a young homosexual guy.

As the narrator careens from El Paso to Times Square, from Pershing Square to the French Quarter, we get an unforgettable look at a neon-lit life on the edge.

Maybe he was just tired of explaining it to idiots. I started reading his novel right there in the store.

Grove Press; Anniversary edition November 12, Language: I’m just thankful that the world has moved on in the way it has, and while no doubt the darker elements of the novel still probably exist, they’re not the only option. There is a particular scene in the book that stays with me still.

Even as the manuscript was set to go to print Rechy began a last-minute line-by-line rewrite. This is more streamlined than Kerouac’s work, and though both shared a love for the scope of the American road and cityscapes, this is a memorable book for being one of the first to openly depict the often over or underlooked gay scene that was so consistently marginalized.

City of Night follows an unnamed hustler as he bounces through the queer underworlds of America’s so-called “cities of night”: A classic American novel. It’s definitely not the book for me, and it was a struggle for me to get through but I can see why it gets a lot of praise.

It’s challenging and a dense read. It’s one of those books that I read really, really slowly just because I didn’t want it to be over.