"Perhaps like all all great books, it leaves you permanently altered."
Colin MacCabe in the book's Afterword.
A unique insight into the world of the alcoholic vagrant. It's reminiscent of some of Charles Bukowski had no safety net, no rented room, and no employment. He and his fellow vagrants get injured, maimed, die by accident, and get murdered, and all the while their only focus is on their next drink.
That John Healy was able to create the opportunity to write his account is miraculous, that's it's so well written is even more so. Healy's redemption is unexpected and unlikely, and I cannot think of a more unusual and compelling tale.
For most readers the events depicted are from a completely different world. It's extraordinary and well worth entering. You will never look at a group of street drinkers in the same way again.