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The Warriors

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Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780802139924 The basis for the cult-classic film The Warriors chronicles one New York City gang's nocturnal journey through the seedy, dangerous subways and city streets of the 1960s. Every gang in the city meets on a sweltering July 4 night in a Bronx park for a peace rally. The crowd of miscreants turns violent after a prominent gang leade Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780802139924 The basis for the cult-classic film The Warriors chronicles one New York City gang's nocturnal journey through the seedy, dangerous subways and city streets of the 1960s. Every gang in the city meets on a sweltering July 4 night in a Bronx park for a peace rally. The crowd of miscreants turns violent after a prominent gang leader is killed and chaos prevails over the attempt at order. The Warriors follows the Dominators making their way back to their home territory without being killed. The police are prowling the city in search of anyone involved in the mayhem. An exhilarating novel that examines New York City teenagers, left behind by society, who form identity and personal strength through their affiliation with their "family," The Warriors weaves together social commentary with ancient legends for a classic coming-of-age tale. This edition includes a new introduction by the author.


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Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780802139924 The basis for the cult-classic film The Warriors chronicles one New York City gang's nocturnal journey through the seedy, dangerous subways and city streets of the 1960s. Every gang in the city meets on a sweltering July 4 night in a Bronx park for a peace rally. The crowd of miscreants turns violent after a prominent gang leade Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780802139924 The basis for the cult-classic film The Warriors chronicles one New York City gang's nocturnal journey through the seedy, dangerous subways and city streets of the 1960s. Every gang in the city meets on a sweltering July 4 night in a Bronx park for a peace rally. The crowd of miscreants turns violent after a prominent gang leader is killed and chaos prevails over the attempt at order. The Warriors follows the Dominators making their way back to their home territory without being killed. The police are prowling the city in search of anyone involved in the mayhem. An exhilarating novel that examines New York City teenagers, left behind by society, who form identity and personal strength through their affiliation with their "family," The Warriors weaves together social commentary with ancient legends for a classic coming-of-age tale. This edition includes a new introduction by the author.

30 review for The Warriors

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brett C(urrently deployed...can't read too much)

    "The Junior took out his comic book and started to read...It was about ancient soldiers, Greeks, heroes who had to fight their way home through many obstacles, but they made it in the end." pg. 106 This was a pretty good in my opinion. The book was published in 1965 and later adapted into film by Walter Hill in 1979. In my opinion both the book and the movie did a great job of humanizing and stylizing youth angst and adolescent rebelliousness, resentment towards authority, ethnic/racial tension, "The Junior took out his comic book and started to read...It was about ancient soldiers, Greeks, heroes who had to fight their way home through many obstacles, but they made it in the end." pg. 106 This was a pretty good in my opinion. The book was published in 1965 and later adapted into film by Walter Hill in 1979. In my opinion both the book and the movie did a great job of humanizing and stylizing youth angst and adolescent rebelliousness, resentment towards authority, ethnic/racial tension, underlying glimpses of growing up in parental neglect, and the gritty backdrop of 1960s-80s NYC urban decay. Sol Yurick stated in the afterword that Xenephon's The Anabasis was a major inspiration for the story and was alluded to throughout the story. The story of Greek warriors fighting their way home through hostile territory was transposed onto this inner city youth gang. The verbiage of "We're not a war party—we march through in peace" and making courageous efforts to get back to "The Ocean" gave me vibes of the ancient warriors fighting for their own cause and code. Overall I thought this a decent story. I would recommend it as it was quickly paced and gave me vibes of A Clockwork Orange. Thanks!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    I decided to read this 1960s novel for two reasons. One is that I’ve always been fascinated by the ancient story of Xenophon and the Ten Thousand, or the Anabasis, as it’s usually called, and this novel takes its central idea from that story. For anyone unfamiliar with the Anabasis, an army of Greek mercenaries find themselves stranded in the middle of the Persian Empire and have to fight their way back to “The Sea” across hundreds of miles of hostile territory. The other reason was that as a yo I decided to read this 1960s novel for two reasons. One is that I’ve always been fascinated by the ancient story of Xenophon and the Ten Thousand, or the Anabasis, as it’s usually called, and this novel takes its central idea from that story. For anyone unfamiliar with the Anabasis, an army of Greek mercenaries find themselves stranded in the middle of the Persian Empire and have to fight their way back to “The Sea” across hundreds of miles of hostile territory. The other reason was that as a young man I saw the cult 1979 film adaptation, and I quite like reading the source novels for films that I’ve seen. Walter Hill’s film version combined a grimly realistic 1970’s NYC setting with a fantasy world of gangs who dressed up in elaborate costumes and had painted faces etc. In the film, the “Warriors” was the name of the specific Coney Island gang who find themselves stranded in The Bronx and have to get back to “The Sea”, but in the novel, “The Warriors” refers to gang members in general and the Coney Island gang are called The Dominators. I was slightly surprised that in the novel the Dominators only really encounter one other gang on the way back. In that sense the film was truer to the original Anabasis, where the Greek soldiers had to fight numerous enemies. That aside however, the novel is much, much, more violent than the film, (view spoiler)[and the Dominators commit both rape and murder on their journey home. (hide spoiler)] The edition I read includes an Afterword from the author, where he acknowledges that these incidents made it hard to identify with the gang members, but he wanted to convey how the gangs were set apart from normal society. In the novel the gang members are quite young, aged 14-16. Despite their brutality, at several points they behave more like children than adults, and in that respect the book reminded me a little bit of Lord of the Flies. The story, initially told from multiple perspectives, gradually focuses on Hinton, one of the lower ranking gang members and the only character with whom I sympathised. His loyalty to the Dominators is not absolute, but it’s suggested that the gang, who refer to themselves as “family”, offer Hinton exactly that sense of belonging, since his actual family is horrendously dysfunctional. The role of the gang as a substitute family is reinforced by how it is structured, since the leader is referred to as “father” with descending ranks called “uncle”, “eldest son”, “second son” and so on. In the Afterword the author explains he took these references from a medieval Chinese epic, The Water Margin, which I had heard of but have never read. The allusions to the Anabasis are much more direct in the novel than they were in the film. The author links the nihilistic violence of the gangs with the housing conditions of the city, and also explores the concepts of manhood and male honour. The gang members react with violence to the slightest suggestion of an insult. Perhaps it’s their extreme low status in society that makes them so keen to obtain respect, or at least the outward signs of it, by other means. As a story, I found The Warriors to be engrossing. The author keeps a fair level of tension going during the return journey of the Dominators. Perhaps the strongest aspect of the novel is the way the author refuses to soft pedal or romanticise the gangs. That very strength though, makes it a hard book to enjoy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    Having seen the bizzare 70's film probably a dozen times as a teenager, I thought I'd give the book a read. Unfortunately, I found the foreword by the author the best part about the book. The author sought to take a little-known Greek story called the Anabasis, an epic about an army's long retreat through hostile lands, and recast the epic in a hellish, gang-ruled New York. The book traces the Dominators' long flight from a violent gang "summit" downtown back to their turf in Coney Island. Yuric Having seen the bizzare 70's film probably a dozen times as a teenager, I thought I'd give the book a read. Unfortunately, I found the foreword by the author the best part about the book. The author sought to take a little-known Greek story called the Anabasis, an epic about an army's long retreat through hostile lands, and recast the epic in a hellish, gang-ruled New York. The book traces the Dominators' long flight from a violent gang "summit" downtown back to their turf in Coney Island. Yurick explains in interesting detail the process of writing The Warriors, the lengths he took to connect it to its Greek antecedent, the care he took with naming the characters, the lattice of symbolism, etc. (One punk stops to read a comic book version of the Anabasis every chance he gets which obviously parallels their own journey.) Unfortunately, the novel itself seemed overly-written. Though this was likely in line with the author's intent, the characters are inaccessible and somehow flat. People expecting to read of gangsters in baseball regalia emerging from the Yankee dugout, (as happens in the film), will be disappointed by this dark and brutal account of the gang's retreat back to Coney Island. The film's surreal and weirdly fantastic vibe is the interpretation of the director, not the author. The movie is awesome though.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    If you are looking for a rehash of the 1979 cult film, you’ve come to the wrong place. Sol Yurick’s novel has a few pieces of action plucked from the book’s pages and inserted into the flick, but the majority of this book contains a grittier feel. Mr. Yurick’s tale is a combination of history and an exploration into the depths of New York City gangs. Anabasis (or The March of the Ten Thousand) is the recounting of an army trapped deep within enemy lines and forced to fight its way home to safety If you are looking for a rehash of the 1979 cult film, you’ve come to the wrong place. Sol Yurick’s novel has a few pieces of action plucked from the book’s pages and inserted into the flick, but the majority of this book contains a grittier feel. Mr. Yurick’s tale is a combination of history and an exploration into the depths of New York City gangs. Anabasis (or The March of the Ten Thousand) is the recounting of an army trapped deep within enemy lines and forced to fight its way home to safety. The author uses the premise of this Greek history and inserts it into New York 1960s gangland. The result is more powerful than I could have imagined. There is still plenty of action as well as the tense feeling experienced during the movie as we wonder if any of the Warriors will make it back to Coney Island. The book’s actual gang “heroes” are known as the Dominators, and the gang culture is a primary feature of this story. Going to war, keeping and losing face, gang hierarchy, soldiering – these are all here, all explained in detail through the interactions of the characters. Explained in gang terms, even the brutality begins to make sense. The author tells the story through the eyes of an impassionate viewer who patiently explains the action and why the characters act as they do. Details fly quickly, and the characters are well-defined. Even though I knew how the movie ended, there was no guarantee the book would follow the same path. Excellent book, recommended to anyone looking for a combination of a quick-moving plot and an engaging writing style. Five stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Walter Hill's film adaptation of Sol Yurick's novel is one of my favorite movies of the '70s. I realize it has its flaws but it had a huge impact on me as a kid and, together with Taxi Driver and The Out-of-Towners, pretty much defined this Indiana boy's terrifying conception of New York City, pre-Giuliani. Anytime the credits of a movie informed me that the movie had been based on a book, I inevitably sought out that book (assuming I liked the movie, that is). But with The Warriors this was hard Walter Hill's film adaptation of Sol Yurick's novel is one of my favorite movies of the '70s. I realize it has its flaws but it had a huge impact on me as a kid and, together with Taxi Driver and The Out-of-Towners, pretty much defined this Indiana boy's terrifying conception of New York City, pre-Giuliani. Anytime the credits of a movie informed me that the movie had been based on a book, I inevitably sought out that book (assuming I liked the movie, that is). But with The Warriors this was hard to do because Yurick's novel was out of print when I first saw The Warriors in the late '80s. More recently, through the miracle of Amazon, I discovered that it was back in print as of 2003. The reprint includes a 30-page preface by the author, in which he discusses the novel's literary precursors (primarily The Anabasis, but also Moby-Dick, Paradise Lost, Germinal, and a few other heavyweight tomes), his literary influences (Joyce, Kafka, Proust, Camus), his first novel (which wasn't published until after The Warriors), the political and social climate in which he wrote the book (in the early '60s), and his mostly indifferent reaction to the cult movie that grew out of his novel. Now, with a setup like that--invoking some of the greatest names and works of world literature--I was expecting a masterpiece of modern fiction. What I got instead was a three-star book: not terrible, but not earth-shatteringly amazing, either. The book's concept, format, and subject matter are all great. Furthermore, I have no doubt that Yurick's first-hand research (working for the Department of Welfare in NYC) allowed him to create a story that was painfully realistic for many of the kids living in the ghettos of the five boroughs in the '60s. But his execution of all this rich material is a bit flat for my tastes. The primary difference between the movie and the novel (besides the obvious) is that the movie is positioned squarely in the action genre, whereas the book operates more like a work of social criticism. It explores the notions of family, ritualized violence, and manhood in far more depth than the movie does. It's also interesting to note that every last one of Yurick's antiheroes (including the protagonist, Hinton) are far uglier human beings than the somewhat more idealized heroes in the film (with the exception of that d-bag Ajax, of course). Whether this is a symptom of the kids' socially and economically oppressive upbringings doesn't change the fact that they're all willing--indeed downright gleeful--murderers and rapists. Sure, it's hard to believe that the film-version Warriors (again, excepting Ajax) would be quite as honorable in real life as they are in the movie, but their honorableness nonetheless makes it much easier for audiences to root for them to make it back to Coney Island safe and sound (not to mention to sympathize with them, for example, in that scene where the two happy prom couples board the subway train, eventually notice the Warriors in their disheveled state, and fall silent as their joy turns to fear/repulsion--then quietly flee the train at the very next station). One chapter in the book did affect me deeply, though. It's in the center of the book (titled "July 5th, 1:30-2:30 A.M.") and lasts 22 pages, wherein the Dominators (as they're called in the book) find themselves in Borinquen Blazers territory and try to parley for their safe passage while one of the Blazers' fiery female groupies does her level best to stir up some trouble between the two gangs. This sordid sequence stands in stark contrast to its filmic counterpart, in which the Warriors try to negotiate their way through the Orphans' territory. The novel's sequence is about as brutally real as possible, whereas the film's more adventure-centric sequence is merely straight-up thrilling. It is this contrast that makes reading the book imminently worthwhile. Even though, as I mentioned, Yurick's preface does perhaps more harm than good in overselling his work, it's still a thought-provoking novel on par with The Outsiders .

  6. 5 out of 5

    Yair Ben-Zvi

    On a purely conceptual level I love this novel. As a lifelong fan of Greek mythology (from childhood) and Greek history and philosophy (from early twenties to this moment though my actual understanding of it...talk to me in a few years) this story's conceit, that of a 1960's African-American and Hispanic street gang fighting their way to Coney Island over the course of a single night (and all based loosely on Xenaphon's Anabasis) is brilliant. Sol Yurick captures the (apparently) pre-Giuliani Ne On a purely conceptual level I love this novel. As a lifelong fan of Greek mythology (from childhood) and Greek history and philosophy (from early twenties to this moment though my actual understanding of it...talk to me in a few years) this story's conceit, that of a 1960's African-American and Hispanic street gang fighting their way to Coney Island over the course of a single night (and all based loosely on Xenaphon's Anabasis) is brilliant. Sol Yurick captures the (apparently) pre-Giuliani New York in such a way that you can taste the grit and smell the waste accumulating and putrefying waste and corruption all under the aegis of the 'Greatest City on Earth'. The characters, while not exactly likable or easy to relate to, are certainly distinct enough to warrant some great dialogue and funny (and dark) encounters with both fellow gangs and other counterpart denizens of Brooklyn's post sunset underworld. And that is why the novel deserves three stars from me. However, novels aren't just conceptual no more than science is just theory. There has to be a tangible follow through and utilizing of theory into something, if not coherent, then at least structured. And that, unfortunately, is where this novel falters just a bit. Between the spots of good dialogue and thrilling fight scenes (as well as dark entropy, this is not a book for the soft-hearted or easily offended, racial epithets get thrown and HARD) there are long stretches where Yurick's greenness as a writer (Warriors was one of his first published novels) really shows and the creaking of a fledgling reaching too hard and too far above his station for literary greatness. But, really, better a writer (or any artist for that matter) try too hard then not hard enough (looking at you Low Boy). Finally, Yurick's afterword wherein he lays bare everything I just said though, admittedly, in a much more turgid and at times confusedly worded way than I thought, is something worth discussing. It's a great piece of writing that really resonated with this amateur writer's heart in terms of attempting to yoke together so many disparate influences together into a coherent (and meritorious) whole. Unlike certain other writers I felt a connection with Yurick predicated on authorial desire and the inhering limitations in all of our abilities from the greats to the novices. (As an addendum I want to add that I saw the movie years ago, dug it for all of its cheesy glory and find Yurick's ambivalence to it some of the best comedy I've read in years).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    Can you dig it? No, no I can't. Seen the movie twice, don't remember much, but I found the movie better than the book. This wasn't a bad book, it's actually well written, just didn't get my attention. I stupidly went in thinking a movie and a book are similar. I did like Yuricks introduction, it made me appreciate the behind the scenes better. This book does have a purpose bringing awareness to gangs and gang violence. What I didn't realize wa this is based on a Greek book and has some existentia Can you dig it? No, no I can't. Seen the movie twice, don't remember much, but I found the movie better than the book. This wasn't a bad book, it's actually well written, just didn't get my attention. I stupidly went in thinking a movie and a book are similar. I did like Yuricks introduction, it made me appreciate the behind the scenes better. This book does have a purpose bringing awareness to gangs and gang violence. What I didn't realize wa this is based on a Greek book and has some existential philosophy involved. Yurick Majored in English with a minor in philosophy, so that makes sense, but the movie never showed that from what I remember. If you liked the cult movie this is worth checking out, but it's not the same thing. Also read this at a perfect time because it takes place during July 4-5th.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Frank

    A lot less mimes and a lot more crimes... There isn't much I can add that hasn't already been said about The Warriors. The most important thing to note is that it doesn't have nearly anything in common with its namesake theatrical version. That, in and of itself, makes it a tough read to enjoy if you, like many/most, were exposed to the movie first. But, if you take the ride, you will find the book much more darker, grittier and disturbing than the movie version. Two entirely different animals. It A lot less mimes and a lot more crimes... There isn't much I can add that hasn't already been said about The Warriors. The most important thing to note is that it doesn't have nearly anything in common with its namesake theatrical version. That, in and of itself, makes it a tough read to enjoy if you, like many/most, were exposed to the movie first. But, if you take the ride, you will find the book much more darker, grittier and disturbing than the movie version. Two entirely different animals. It was a hard for me to get in to the books, finding difficult to put aside my preconceived vision of what this story is. But then, about a third of the way in, the story gets dark. Real dark. Unexpected action and I was sold. No, it's not the movie but its a great book and a riveting story that is different from its more popular counterpart. The names are different (there is no gang known as The Warriors, all gangs collectively are considered the warriors. Some scenes are there (the meeting, the cemetery, The Orphans) but they don't play out anything like in the movie. And the tone is drastically different and still the book stands out as a classic in a different way from the movie. Don't read The Warriors as a fan of the movie, read The Warriors as a fan of gritty 60's crime literature.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hayden

    This was one of those cases where it doesn't hit me until I finish it. The bulk of the book is probably worthy of a 3 star, the final act, pushed it up to a 4, but man... Those last two pages, they hit me like a punch. This is, in my opinion, a novel that defines a generation of youth, a group of kids who don't have a voice. There is no Hollywood ending. This is a real novel, and the ending really struck a chord with me. I hate to be cliche, but to quote the movie, which is one of my all time fa This was one of those cases where it doesn't hit me until I finish it. The bulk of the book is probably worthy of a 3 star, the final act, pushed it up to a 4, but man... Those last two pages, they hit me like a punch. This is, in my opinion, a novel that defines a generation of youth, a group of kids who don't have a voice. There is no Hollywood ending. This is a real novel, and the ending really struck a chord with me. I hate to be cliche, but to quote the movie, which is one of my all time favorite films and introduced me to the novel, I have to ask you one question... Can you dig it? 5/5

  10. 5 out of 5

    David

    Excellent story, great atmosphere.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jim C

    This is the book that inspired the cult movie. In this book, a street gang has to travel thru enemy territory to reach the safety of home which is Coney Island. This books tells of the trials and tribulations of that journey. This is one of the rare occurrences when the movie is better than the book. That being said, this book is still an excellent read. For the most part the movie and the book are similar with a few changes. The book is so much darker. The writer set out to represent the grittin This is the book that inspired the cult movie. In this book, a street gang has to travel thru enemy territory to reach the safety of home which is Coney Island. This books tells of the trials and tribulations of that journey. This is one of the rare occurrences when the movie is better than the book. That being said, this book is still an excellent read. For the most part the movie and the book are similar with a few changes. The book is so much darker. The writer set out to represent the grittiness of New York and he accomplishes this. Also, the point of view is from the gang and the author uses gang lingo for his story telling. It took a few pages to get use to this style but it really fits in with this story. This is a dark story that shows that the characters are not "heroes" and doesn't glorify them like the movie. There are several disturbing scenes to show the author's intent of these characters being in a gang because of poverty, unstable family life, and loss of hope. I love the movie and as a kid I wanted to be in the "Furies" gang. They do not exist in this book as those type of gang motifs are not present. This book represents what gang life is like for the poverty stricken. It is an interesting look at that lifestyle.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ronnie Justice

    How the cult classic movie was derived from this book I will never know. I loved the movie and picked up the book hoping to find something equally enjoyable. Two murders, and a couple of gang rapes later, I find that Sol Yurick has illuminated the following points: 1) Teenage kids make poor decisions. 2) Being poor sucks. 3) It is hard to get from one end of New York to the other by Subway. That is about all I took from the book. There is no suspense or drama really, just a lot of walking and tr How the cult classic movie was derived from this book I will never know. I loved the movie and picked up the book hoping to find something equally enjoyable. Two murders, and a couple of gang rapes later, I find that Sol Yurick has illuminated the following points: 1) Teenage kids make poor decisions. 2) Being poor sucks. 3) It is hard to get from one end of New York to the other by Subway. That is about all I took from the book. There is no suspense or drama really, just a lot of walking and traveling. There is some slang thrown around. But in general I found this to be a waste of time, and had I anything else to read, I probably wouldn't have finished it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fishface

    This is the basis of the movie of the same name, a film so wildly popular that it pushed STAR WARS out of the #1 spot. The book is a lot grittier and less idealistic than the movie version of the story; the characters are far less engaging and easier to detest. The reason for the summit meeting of New York City gangs was so buried under youthful masculine posturing that if I hadn't seen the movie, I wouldn't have known why the Coney Island Dominators went to the Bronx in the first place, but ove This is the basis of the movie of the same name, a film so wildly popular that it pushed STAR WARS out of the #1 spot. The book is a lot grittier and less idealistic than the movie version of the story; the characters are far less engaging and easier to detest. The reason for the summit meeting of New York City gangs was so buried under youthful masculine posturing that if I hadn't seen the movie, I wouldn't have known why the Coney Island Dominators went to the Bronx in the first place, but overall the story kept me turning the pages. I can't recommend this one to Jane Austen fans.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    So this makes three sensationalistic novels I've read this year about black New Yorkers that were written by white authors. And all three were good: this, Nigger Heaven by Carl Van Vechten, and The Cool World by Warren Miller. Miller's book shares a close affinity to Yurick's, both being about black street gangs in NYC in the 50s or 60s, and it's not surprising that Miller gives a glowing testimonial to this book, printed on the back cover. My interest in this 1965 novel stems from my adoration o So this makes three sensationalistic novels I've read this year about black New Yorkers that were written by white authors. And all three were good: this, Nigger Heaven by Carl Van Vechten, and The Cool World by Warren Miller. Miller's book shares a close affinity to Yurick's, both being about black street gangs in NYC in the 50s or 60s, and it's not surprising that Miller gives a glowing testimonial to this book, printed on the back cover. My interest in this 1965 novel stems from my adoration of director Walter Hill's 1979 movie version of The Warriors, which has long been a cult classic. In recent years Hill issued a new "director's cut" of the movie that rather lumpenly added comic-book-style freeze-frame segues that stop the action cold, and which have been justifiably criticized by fans and critics who found nothing wrong with the film in the first place. I'm not sure what prompted this tampering, but maybe it can be traced partly to a comic-book element that runs through the novel. The Warriors, the novel and the movie, are based on the ancient Greek story, The Anabasis by Xenophon, in which a Greek army trapped deep behind enemy lines must fight its way back to home soil. Throughout the novel, a gang member named Junior reads a comic-book version of the Anabasis, a not-too-subtle "Greek chorus" of sorts parallelling the novel's modern story. In the novel, The Warriors, a gang called the Coney Island Dominators, also known as The Family because their unit is structured like a family and substitutes for their own dysfunctional ones, find themselves similarly deeply stranded deep in the Bronx before struggling to make their way across the city over the course of an entire night. Like thousands of other gang members from across the city, the Dominators have trekked to this far-off turf to partake in an ill-fated peace conference of sorts called by the leader of one of the leading gangs, the Delancey Thrones. After much struggle by the various gangs to get to this summit location without tipping off the city's authorities--no mean feat--the conference falls apart nearly from the get-go; violence erupts and the police storm this all-too-brief gangland utopia. The Dominators barely get away by the skin of their teeth, all except their leader, Papa Arnold, who is caught in the melee and presumed by his charges to either have been severely beaten, killed or arrested. The rest of the gang, now under the firm but less-than-competent leadership of Hector, face nearly every obstacle that gotham can put in their way on their trying journey home, not the least being the dodgy train system. At one point, the gang is forced to split up and attempt to re-form in Times Square, but the ragtag bands face a diverse set of challenges and some don't make it back. I haven't seen the movie in a long time, but I can make some comparisons between the book and film, which, as is usually the case, are quite different animals. The journey to the gang summit and a backstory about Ismael and his Thrones gang prior to the summit's convening take a good amount of time in the novel and are absent from the film, which starts essentially at the meeting. In the book, the meeting is done on the quiet and in the dark, so as not to tip off authorities, with Ismael's speech of solidarity whispered from ear to ear in the crowd. In the movie, Ismael--like most of the book's characters--goes by an entirely different name and gives his big speech loudly over a mic in a well-lighted clearing. Yurick's approach seems more credible. In the novel, Yurick spends much time on mundane aspects of the city and gang culture during the journey back, and there are very few actual encounters with rival gangs. The film, by contrast, is mainly a series of showdowns with rival gangs, which befits a more action-oriented cinematic treatment. Although I admire Yurick's delineations, I have to admit, perhaps guiltily, that I enjoy Hill's series of action set-pieces more, and think they probably are truer to the spirit of the Anabasis (which I have not read, to date). Yurick's book is a lot more transgressive than Hill's popular movie. There are two brutal rapes, a grisly and senseless killing of a pedestrian, and the language starting at about halfway in begins to be as raw as that in a Hubert Selby novel. At its best, this novel is prime-time Grove Press material. At its worst, it seems a quaint time capsule. Character names like "Lunkhead" confine it to its time; and at times it feels like a preppie JD Salinger book. To Yurick's credit, he does not include a street gang of mimes, as Hill does in his film version. I have to admit that, at first, I found the novel slightly confusing and did not assume that the Dominators were a black gang; that fact is not very well stated initially. As a result I began to think in terms of the rather unrealistic multi-racial gang in the film version--a politically correct demographic configuration that Yurick rightly states would not have existed in NYC street gangs--at least not back then. I had to revise my mind's-eye image of what the members of the street gang looked like, and on top of that had little to work with, since Yurick never really provides the reader detailed physical descriptions and facial characteristics of the individual gang members. The gang's journey toward home soil, from just before midnight to 6 am the next morning, takes on surreal aspects akin to Arthur Schnitzler's Dream Story, as the spectral denizens of New York City's night world loom all around. It was this atmosphere that I liked most about this novel of The Warriors, as well as the reportage aspects of broken family life, which must have seemed shocking to middle-American readers at the time. There are still effectively transgressive shocks in the book. Although I was rooting for it, the book never quite attained the stature necessary to make my Evan's Alternative 100 shelf, alongside Warren Miller's The Cool World. But any decent novel about contemporary urban street gangs is always going to be more relevant and interesting to me than the tea-time tedium of a 19th-century story of British matchmakers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christian

    I did actually prefer the film over the novel, but reading this was still time well spent. It was steeped in 60s New York vernacular, and it paints a dirty and squalid picture of the city. The "protagonists" (ahem) are some pretty horrendous human beings, a product of their poverty and surrounds. It felt similar to reading A Clockwork Orange, in that there humanizing moments where, if you let your guard down too much, you may find yourself empathizing with these scumbags. And to that end, I enjoy I did actually prefer the film over the novel, but reading this was still time well spent. It was steeped in 60s New York vernacular, and it paints a dirty and squalid picture of the city. The "protagonists" (ahem) are some pretty horrendous human beings, a product of their poverty and surrounds. It felt similar to reading A Clockwork Orange, in that there humanizing moments where, if you let your guard down too much, you may find yourself empathizing with these scumbags. And to that end, I enjoyed the juxtaposition between the way the main characters couch themselves in values of courage, brotherhood, and pride of tribe, and that of the Greek heroes in The Junior's comic book (which was a little on the nose, I'll say). Very disturbing story in parts, however, and I don't say that lightly. Tread carefully if you have a hard time with scenes of senseless killings and sexual violence.

  16. 4 out of 5

    danny

    I just recently saw the movie and became obsessed with it, so the next logical step was to read the book. It took me a few days to find it though, and in the meantime I read a lot of things about it, which might have been a mistake but whatever. Aparently it was a lot more violent than the movie, and a lot of people found it less satisfying because of this. Views on it are pretty polarized. Either people love it and put it up there with (or even above) Lord of the Flies, or they just don't get i I just recently saw the movie and became obsessed with it, so the next logical step was to read the book. It took me a few days to find it though, and in the meantime I read a lot of things about it, which might have been a mistake but whatever. Aparently it was a lot more violent than the movie, and a lot of people found it less satisfying because of this. Views on it are pretty polarized. Either people love it and put it up there with (or even above) Lord of the Flies, or they just don't get it and are turned off by how different it is from the film. The edition I found has a new introduction by the author that talks about how it came to be written and his reaction to the film when it was made. He didn't like the film. He thought they made to many changes and that it only coincidentally resembled his novel. Things like making the gang mixed instead of all black, not using the slang that he worked so hard to portray accurately (apparently he sat in a rented van for weeks observing urban gangs talk and interact) and he thought the acting was generally poor. I can see where he's going with these things. it's his vision and they missed it, but I don't really agree. The changes that were made to the movie were pretty necessary. I don't really think it would have worked or had the same appeal if it was done exactly like the book. If for no other reason that it was written in the mid 60's and the movie made in the late 70's, times had changed a lot. This sense of anachronism was something that I had to keep in mind as I read it. At first it was hard to get a hang of the narrative, but I got used to it. I think it helped a little that I was prepared by the author and other reviews. I had a better idea of what was meant to be important while I read it. The plot points were more or less the same as the film. The only major difference is that in the book the gang is not directly blamed for the death that happens in the beginning. In the movie this is used as the driving force behind the numerous antagonists. But in the book it felt as though the entire city was already against them. The looming feeling of danger was all around them and it didn't need to have a coherant motive or reason to oppress them. I thought this was more subtle, but a lot more effective once I noticed it. Since the danger is mostly intangible, and formed from their own perception of the world, it's much harder for them to overcome it. Instead of fighting other gangs to get home, they have to wrestle with one another and themselves to try and figure out what home is. I had been warned about the violence, and it was there. But there was something strange about it. It was almost as if the violent acts were commited by the gang as a whole, and not the sum of it's parts. These were the things that the gang did to survive or keep face. But when each of them is taken away from that entity, they do not share the burden or guilt of it's actions. I will admit that they do some pretty terrible things, but in the end I did not hate them for it. They acted like a gang, not like a bunch of young boys. There's even a clear distinction of this in the text. The act of wearing or concealing the gang emblem had a real effect on the characters. A lot can be read into that, but I won't go into it here. The end of the book was another thing that a lot of people took issue with. Some reviews I read said that it wasn't nearly as satisfying as the movie, that it just kind of stopped. I disagree with this completely. In the movie they reach their home and look back on it with a new kind of respect, and also the understanding that it is not the whole world. It's hinted that they will give up this life and leave. Maybe even grow up and become part of that bigger world. In the book it doesn't just end. There's is something similar to that restlessness and need for change, but as with so many other things in the book, it's a lot more subtle. I originally read this book to fuel my obsession with the movie. I wanted more of those characters and that city. Instead of getting just more though, reading the book was almost a whole different experience, and just as rewarding. In the end I thought it was very good. I greatly apreciate it's differences from the fim. In his introction to the book the author says that even though the movie is a cult classic and helped define a generation, no one really knows that it was based on a book. This amuses him because without the book there would have been no movie. I'm glad that I tracked it down and am part of that smaller minority.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Arthur

    A 7 hour and 20 minute unabridged audiobook. Will it or won't it be as good as the cult classic movie? Might it be better? I had to know. A bit of a confusing start initially as the book has different gang names, hierarchies, character names, and identifying symbols (for example, pins on hats as opposed to jackets/vests). The overall theme is similar, one gang trying to get back to Coney Island after a hectic event in the west Bronx. What I didn't expect was that the book is even more violent tha A 7 hour and 20 minute unabridged audiobook. Will it or won't it be as good as the cult classic movie? Might it be better? I had to know. A bit of a confusing start initially as the book has different gang names, hierarchies, character names, and identifying symbols (for example, pins on hats as opposed to jackets/vests). The overall theme is similar, one gang trying to get back to Coney Island after a hectic event in the west Bronx. What I didn't expect was that the book is even more violent than the movie. Actual murders happening, gang rapes, flamboyant homosexuals, possibly underaged prostitution, and the gang members themselves not being the young adults from the movies, but literally teenagers. This book, interestingly, doesn't have any "pure" prominent characters. Those victimized by violence all did something bad (or made a series of poor choices) that led to their crappy situations. So although you follow the journey of one group, you don't necessarily sympathize with their plight. At the same time however, you do understand that most, if not all of them, were born into poverty, neglectful families and such. To some extent, when you have thousands of gang members, society itself shoulders some of the blame. As for rating- it kept me listening intently, entertaining enough for three stars.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Richard Dominguez

    Although the names of the gangs and gang members are different from the movie, the story is basically the same. The book does not shy away from violence and rape like the movie does. Lots of action and a good story line takes us on a dangerous run from one end of New York City to the other. The movie is one of my top 5 favorite movies.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chuck LoPresti

    I imagine nobody reads this without having seen the movie first so I think it's fair to review the book in comparison with the film. Another prelude to my review is an admission that I absolutely love the film. I recently traveled to NYC's COney Island and the only the only thing that made me stop thinking about Lloyd, Arbuckle and St. John was the Warriors. I have little interest in gang culture or overtly violent themes otherwise but I've always appreciated intensity in creative expression and I imagine nobody reads this without having seen the movie first so I think it's fair to review the book in comparison with the film. Another prelude to my review is an admission that I absolutely love the film. I recently traveled to NYC's COney Island and the only the only thing that made me stop thinking about Lloyd, Arbuckle and St. John was the Warriors. I have little interest in gang culture or overtly violent themes otherwise but I've always appreciated intensity in creative expression and maybe it's the last vestiges of my immaturity speaking when I say that I'm a sucker for good coming-of-age stories. Yurick's Warriors really doesn't have a whole bunch in common with the movie adaptation apart from: the broad theme of a gang trying to get back home after a big meeting goes awry, and a focus on the language and culture of the developing youths. This is where the movie falls short. Yurick's dialog is well-researched and rich. Not quite at the level of James Farrell or Ring Lardner but definitely engaging to read. The actors in the Warriors movie deliver curt dialog that merely frames the action. In Yurick's book - the dialog IS the action. In fact...not a whole lot happens. If you are reading this for the fights the Furies or the fire bombs - you will probably stop before the mid-point. There's no Baseball Furies in the book. Sorry. There's also no white people. This book is about black and Puerto Rican gangs growing up in poverty, no High Hats, no Huns, no Electric Boppers, no Rogues, Riffs or Lizzies. There is, however, a fairly detailed section that deals with the homosexual underground that one might occur traveling overnight in the NYC streets. In fact...the first script of the movie featured a scene where "Swan" gets captured by The Dingos, a homosexual gang. This scene never made it in the final edit. Yurick's afterward deals with the reasons for the initial rejection of his book and he makes it clear that incest and homosexuality was part of the objection. But Yurick doesn't rely on these themes to create shock or offense but rather to show the totality of the subculture of the urban nocturne with effective skill. I greatly enjoyed reading this and I appreciate the fact that Yurick didn't paint some unequivocal portrait of troubled youths to generate empathy but instead respects the reader's intelligence by simply inviting them to look over his shoulder as he hides in the bushes of Central Park to watch it all unfold. I'm not sure why this is compared to Lord of the Flies...it reminded me much more of Studs Lonigan.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jason Kordyban

    Every character in the book is unlikable. Focuses on scumbag neglected kids playing 'men'. Zero sympathy from me, yes you are a product of your environment but change is always there if you want it. Good people come from all walks of life. It is well written and I have to admit that the hopful desire to see them be taken down kept me reading. I will stick to the movie and the excellent game from Rockstar. Every character in the book is unlikable. Focuses on scumbag neglected kids playing 'men'. Zero sympathy from me, yes you are a product of your environment but change is always there if you want it. Good people come from all walks of life. It is well written and I have to admit that the hopful desire to see them be taken down kept me reading. I will stick to the movie and the excellent game from Rockstar.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    I've been meaning to read this novel for 35 years. I love the Walter Hill movie and was intrigued by the idea of a Marxist updating of The Anabasis. Reading the novel now was a surprise, disappointment, and revelation. A surprise because it is so different from the film. There is very little "action," and while Yurick's prose is often quite good, he can veer toward the didactic. And there are some remarkable plot changes—which it would be a spoiler to detail. And a disappointment for all of the I've been meaning to read this novel for 35 years. I love the Walter Hill movie and was intrigued by the idea of a Marxist updating of The Anabasis. Reading the novel now was a surprise, disappointment, and revelation. A surprise because it is so different from the film. There is very little "action," and while Yurick's prose is often quite good, he can veer toward the didactic. And there are some remarkable plot changes—which it would be a spoiler to detail. And a disappointment for all of the reasons above. Hill's move is like William Gibson brought to the screen—extraordinarily intense, quick, intelligent. Yurick is nothing like Gibson as a writer—he's all about character and set-up, not event. So I think I was looking for something the novel never meant to deliver. And then a revelation because the novel is so troubling and insightful on its own terms. The last chapter is a study in despair. This is not a novel about the triumph of the street, of the proletariat; it's a novel about why that triumph will never happen. I was moved.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wayne

    I'm with a lot of people who read this book and wonder how such a great movie came from this crap? Maybe it's because I saw the movie, years ago, first. I think I still would of thought this book was complete trash. There was very little that made me want to finish this rubbish. I got so tired of all the jive talk, or what ever you want to call it. It got so bad I skipped over bits of this book to keep reading on. The part where The Dominators get on the subway after the rumble was some of the w I'm with a lot of people who read this book and wonder how such a great movie came from this crap? Maybe it's because I saw the movie, years ago, first. I think I still would of thought this book was complete trash. There was very little that made me want to finish this rubbish. I got so tired of all the jive talk, or what ever you want to call it. It got so bad I skipped over bits of this book to keep reading on. The part where The Dominators get on the subway after the rumble was some of the worst writing in this worthless trite. I had to make myself keep reading on. The ending was VERY disappointing. All I can say is save your time and just watch the movie. I will NEVER read anything again by Sol Yurick.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    This, unfortunately, isn't a case of the book being better than the movie. Of course I compared the two, having seen the movie first. For a book about a gang, it really was lacking in action, but what I did appreciate was the fact that a philosophy behind why the characters chose to be in a gang, the structure, and rituals of the gang, and so on, were included, as well as the social commentary. Those things added value to the book, but still weren't able to trump the campy goodness of painted-fa This, unfortunately, isn't a case of the book being better than the movie. Of course I compared the two, having seen the movie first. For a book about a gang, it really was lacking in action, but what I did appreciate was the fact that a philosophy behind why the characters chose to be in a gang, the structure, and rituals of the gang, and so on, were included, as well as the social commentary. Those things added value to the book, but still weren't able to trump the campy goodness of painted-faced, bat wielding psychos.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Very rarely do I say a film is better than a book,but in this instance I have to hold my hands up and say the film wins hands down,Although well written the author tends to over elaborate and dare I say waffle on far to much,whole chapters are devoted to just one scene,ie the chocolate bar on the subway train,leading to a book that is hard to really get in to,most books I struggle to put down,this one I struggled to pick up

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Honestly I found it difficult to give the book a fair shake since the movie is a cult classic. I compared the two in my head as I read and it might be because of this that I found the story pretty dull (that subway again!) and lifeless (almost melodramatic). It isn't often I like the movie better, but here it is most definitely the case. Honestly I found it difficult to give the book a fair shake since the movie is a cult classic. I compared the two in my head as I read and it might be because of this that I found the story pretty dull (that subway again!) and lifeless (almost melodramatic). It isn't often I like the movie better, but here it is most definitely the case.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    "What he said must be simple, for most of them were not quick of Understanding. What he said must be spoken quickly, for most of them had no Patience. What he said must be put strongly, more acted than spoken, for the had to be Hooked to stand and hear." I feel that one Halloween, all of my friends and I shall dress up in one of the gang members outfits. It must be done. "What he said must be simple, for most of them were not quick of Understanding. What he said must be spoken quickly, for most of them had no Patience. What he said must be put strongly, more acted than spoken, for the had to be Hooked to stand and hear." I feel that one Halloween, all of my friends and I shall dress up in one of the gang members outfits. It must be done.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Frankie

    i learned dat dis book waz like a bigggg waste of my lyfe and tyme

  28. 5 out of 5

    John

    I'm sure some will complain about the violence in this. Until I see violence stop in the real world, all who oppose violence in video games etc. can f**** off. I'm sure some will complain about the violence in this. Until I see violence stop in the real world, all who oppose violence in video games etc. can f**** off.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I have literally no idea how this dumpster fire of a novel ever got published.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Grant Price

    I've wanted to read this since I first saw Sol Yurick's name appear in graffiti on a subway wall at the start of Walter Hill's The Warriors back in....I dunno....2003, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I managed to find this reissue in a second-hand bookstore. I've read many times that the novel is based on Anabasis by Xenophon (I've read some of the version called The Persian Expedition), and I couldn't imagine many high-concept premises cooler than "a 50s street gang has to fight its wa I've wanted to read this since I first saw Sol Yurick's name appear in graffiti on a subway wall at the start of Walter Hill's The Warriors back in....I dunno....2003, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I managed to find this reissue in a second-hand bookstore. I've read many times that the novel is based on Anabasis by Xenophon (I've read some of the version called The Persian Expedition), and I couldn't imagine many high-concept premises cooler than "a 50s street gang has to fight its way from the Bronx back to Coney Island". I was expecting shades of Last Exit to Brooklyn and Brighton Rock, but with some highfalutin Ancient Greek references thrown into the mix for added flavour. The cover of the reissue seemed to confirm that. Sadly, it didn't live up to the hype that I've been quietly nurturing for 18 years. Actually, it's quite a nasty little book whose tone changes on a whim. We go from kids posturing and calling each other "father" and "uncle" (which Yurick took from The Water Margin, and which doesn't work here) to them stabbing a man to death in a frenzy and then gang-raping a girl who (predictably and sadly) is turned on by the sight of murder. Then they go back to reading comic books and riding the subway. Maybe that's supposed to be a commentary on how life - especially life as a youth on the mean streets of mid-20th-century New York - is an exercise in monotony interspersed with sporadic bouts of violence, but I think that's being too generous. The tone is just uneven. I would compare it unfavourably to Lord of the Flies, where the violence develops organically to the extent that we're horrified without genuinely being shocked at the demise of Simon and Piggy. Here we're moseying along, observing kids putting black cigarettes in their hatbands, and then suddenly it's The Last House on the Left. The other criticism is that in the afterword to this edition, Yurick goes on and on about "the fighting gangs" of New York, yet The Warriors doesn't include a single rumble. The closest we get is when a 60-year-old nurse beats the hell out of three of the boys. In a book that didn't openly wear its Anabasis influence on its sleeve, I'd say that'd be fine - these kids aggrandise their own lives because nobody else will do it for them, while to do otherwise would require them to acknowledge the racism, poverty, violence and general hopelessness that constitute their realities. But we're talking about a book that comes close to fetishising male hierarchies and pseudo-military insignia and street weapons and lithe muscles. The whole novel is like a big old Chekov's gun. One rumble is all I want. One little street fight and maybe a little less graphic rape. Anyway, maybe I'm comparing it too unfairly to the movie, which will forever be awesome, but which also consists mostly of dudes in red leather running away and not actually getting up to much. At least I've scratched that 18-year itch.

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