"Ellroy's introduction pronounces this fledgling effort, presumably written around 1970, 'a prophecy of the fine writer Mr. Bunker would become.' Strike 'fine,' exactly the wrong word for Bunker's real gifts, and that description is spot-on."
This recently discovered first novel by Bunker (1933-2005), who wrote his way out of prison with a series of tough-guy novels and memoirs (Education of a Felon: A Memoir
, 2000, etc.), hints at both the accomplishments and the limitations of his later work.
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