The 25 Best New York City Novels

20. City of Night (1963)

Author: John Rechy
Areas Featured: Times Square, Midtown

City of Night chronicles the life of a young man (written youngman), a hustler in America, as he travels to different cities, embarking on relationships with men. By probing the marginalized gay culture of the '50s and '60s, Rechy riffs on a lot of truth missing from the mainstream writing of that time. Rechy's excesses of language mostly come from his stream-of-consciousness style, especially in New York, where he calls a hot dog cart a "relic from hell" and talks about "the moloch of Times Square." Nevertheless, the work has been influential to artists from Jim Morrison of the Doors to Gus Van Sant. GT

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