Watching begins as a matter-of-fact descriptive account of the sleaze palaces around Times Square, and gathers force page by page, building to a torrent of redemptive poetry--from bleak materials!


Meet the retired pickle-jar lid makers, the "remnant folders," the pensioners, wage-slaves and sex-slaves who live in the efficiency apartments of Hell's Kitchen. Billy "the Gimp," a stoic pensioner who lives for the peep shows in Times Square, "those sticky-footed temples of enlightenment," describes life in the raw, as it surrounds him, in all its comic horror.


Like the graffiti of ruined Pompeii, Billy's tale is the record of a civilization--ours! Watching is one of those rare inventions of which we can say without hesitation, "Every word is true."

Watching by John Fergus Ryan (used)