"The book's literary qualities are primitive. Yet it has an undeniable power that I think comes from the fact that it is a report from the guts and heart of a submerged population group, itself submerged in the guts and hearts of our cities. It claims our attention and emotional response because of the honesty and pain of a life led in outlaw, fringe status, where the dream is always to escape...There remains the question of how the escape was worked. And there is the fascination of being told of it in a special language created in conflict....Sentimental, rough-hewn, and unliterary as his tale may be, behind it stands a submerged population group that has had few voices."Piri Thomas is the author of 'Down These Mean Streets', published 1997 under ISBN 9780679781424 and ISBN 0679781420.