Few novels have caused as much controversy as Hubert Selby Jr.'s notorious masterpiece. Described by various reviewers as hellish and obscene, it tells the stories of New Yorkers who at every turn confront the worst excesses in human nature. Yet there are moments of exquisite tenderness in these troubled lives. Georgette, the transvestite who falls in love with a callous hoodlum; Tralala, the conniving prostitute who plumbs the depths of sexual degradation; and Harry, the strike leader who hides his true desires behind a boorish masculinity, are unforgettable creations.
Last Exit to Brooklyn was banned by British courts in 1967, a decision that was reversed the following year with the help of a number of writers including Anthony Burgess.