Damon Runyon [1880-1946]
A Damon Runyon Omnibus
This collection of 41 short stories was compiled by forum member, Ralph Sir Edward, who has added a short Introduction and a Glossary, which he has generously put into the public domain. RSE has also done most of the proofreading. Iíve done the layout, formatting, and a cursory proofing; also a cover.
[Runyon] was best known for his short stories celebrating the world of Broadway in New York City that grew out of the Prohibition era. To New Yorkers of his generation, a "Damon Runyon character" evoked a distinctive social type from the Brooklyn or Midtown demi-monde. The adjective "Runyonesque" refers to this type of character as well as to the type of situations and dialog that Runyon depicted. He spun humorous tales of gamblers, hustlers, actors, and gangsters, few of whom go by "square" names, preferring instead colorful monikers such as "Nathan Detroit," "Big Jule," "Harry the Horse," "Good Time Charley," "Dave the Dude," or "The Seldom Seen Kid." Runyon wrote these stories in a distinctive vernacular style: a mixture of formal speech and colorful slang, almost always in present tense, and always devoid of contractions.