I started making my way through James T. Farrell immense body of works with my reading of the Studs Lonigan trilogy in 1973. Over the years I gone back countless time to reread about the rise and fall of Studs Lonigan and his old gang on 58th Street in Chicago. I would say that Farrell had a very strong impact upon my life. I am a fellow Irish-American and lapsed Catholic like Farrell. We also share a common surname. I was exchanging letters with James when this mini-series first aired, and did prefer it over the original film version. Unfortunately, he died shortly after the mini-series aired. His world view was relentless bleak, and I think he believed it was justified because life is relentlessly bleak for most people.
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