Working the Hard Side of the Street
Kirk Alex
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Buy *Working the Hard Side of the Street: Selected Stories - Poems - Screams* online

Working the Hard Side of the Street: Selected Stories - Poems - Screams
Kirk Alex
Tucumcari Press
Paperback
366 pages
April 1998
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars
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In the style of Charles Bukowski and Dan Fante, author Kirk Alex reveals the seedy and sometimes sweet character of Hollywood, California, and its surrounding environs. The book is written from the vantage point of Chance Register, a struggling writer forced to endure the savage and mindless indignities of driving a hack - a taxi. Chance, the survivor of an abusive father and the horrors of Vietnam, is a strongminded, sometimes suicidally depressed, but an ultimately decent individual seeking to make his way in the world.

He comes into contact with the beautiful Kendall, a waitress at the Beverly Hills Cafe with whom he shares a brief but doomed relationship. Sheila is a nurse working at the Kaiser Medical Center, another woman he meets while she is jogging along the street in West Hollywood. They, too, have an affair, but it will also end in separation.

Register meets all types while he is driving: male hustlers on the hustle, prostitutes returning home from the tony hills of Hollywood to their modest apartments down in the flats, and a series of men seeking the services of both the former and the latter.

Chance suffers from severe bouts of depression because he is unable to sell any of his stories. These bouts of gloom are exacerbated by drinking, though not to excess, and just the simple inability to earn a thin dime as a writer. A terribly gloomy look at the human animal, but somehow uplifting and life affirming.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Steven Rosen, 2005

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