“Later I would think of America as one vast City of Night stretching gaudily from Times Square to Hollywood Boulevard–jukebox-winking, rock-n-roll-moaning: America at night fusing its darkcities into the unmistakable shape of loneliness.” – John Rechy, City Of Night.
Yesterday I bought my favorite novel of all time, John Rechy’s City Of Night, for probably the 30th time. I’m not real big on keeping books, usually once I’ve read something, I give it away if somebody expresses interest. I’ve given City Of Night away dozens of times since I first bought it back in 1979, the same summer that I first read Larry Kramer’s Faggots, another book I’ve given away a few times.
First published in 1963, City Of Night follows a young hustler through from Times Square to New Orleans’ French Quarter to L.A.’s Pershing Square. I was barely 19 when I first read it and I was riveted from beginning to end, probably rereading it a dozen times in the first year alone. John Rechy presently teaches writing at the University Of Southern California.