Even now, 25 years after I first read it, Saul’s Book retains a certain terrible majesty. I remember buying a copy at a bookstore in Provincetown sometime in the early '80s — though whether on my first rapturous visit to that Sirens‘ Cove or my second (and last) disastrous one the following summer I can‘t properly recall. So much of the past is a painful blur. But I still have that original copy — a foxed and dog-eared Penguin paperback (the hardcover original had been published in 1982 by Pushcart Press) on whose lurid cover a young man, cigarette dangling from his mouth, looks wistfully toward a marquee advertising LIVE GAY BURLESK BOLD RASCALS XX MALE MOVIES XX. “A Times Square Hustler‘s Passionate Love Story” proclaims the book‘s own tawdry marquee. I think I bought Saul’s Book because the cover also claimed, in what seemed a forlorn stab at legitimacy, that the novel had won the first annual Editors‘ Book Award (whatever happened to that award, I wonder?). The brief biographical note described the first-time author as “a schoolteacher and a social worker,” and assured (reassured?) the curious (skeptical?) reader that “he knows firsthand the people and places found in his book.” –Paul Russell, The Lost LibraryFurther Reading:
Saul's Book by Paul T. Rogers
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Hard Candy; New edition edition (March 1983)
Amazon: Saul's Book
Winner of the First Annual Editors' Book Award. The story of a Times Square hustler called Sinbad the Sailor and Saul, a brilliant, self-destructive, alcoholic, thoroughly dominating character who may be the only love Sindab will ever know. Paul T. Rogers' insight into life and devotion in New York's most infamous district made Saul's Book a literary sensation; the author's tragic demise in that same world made his first and only novel legendary.
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