Jimmy Torrance, Jr., was a champion athlete in college, if not the brightest scholar. Upon graduation in 1919, he emerges starry-eyed into the grand metropolis of Chicago, cocksure that he will immediately be hired as the manager of a large business. But the real world differs measurably from Jimmy’s grandiose expectations.
As the rough-and-tumble, gritty world of Chicago knocks the scrappy youngster down a few pegs, he crosses paths with all the archetypal characters of early pulp fiction: Little Eva, the hooker with a heart of gold; Harold Bince, the scheming embezzler; Elizabeth Compton and Harriet Holden, two classy society ladies; and, most intriguingly, The Lizard, a sagacious safe cracker and pickpocket who just might hold the key to Jimmy’s future.
Written by the grandfather of science fiction and master pulp writer Edgar Rice Burroughs (author of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars), this oft-overlooked urban adventure of the 1910s-1920s brings all the classic elements of a gripping story into one short novel about an enterprising, determined young man out to begin his professional career in the real world – even if it means pawning his possessions, consorting with criminals, and forging his recommendation letters to land his first “respectable” job.
Professional film and stage actor/narrator Paul Woodson brings this American classic to life, bringing to life each of the over 30 characters in this coming-of-age piece, which is by turns both dramatic and comical.