So when my other half announced that ‘no one can write like Damon Runyon’ my immediate thoughts were ‘you a’int talking to any ordinary dame here…bring it on’.

Mistake #1 was to watch the likes of Goodfellas and the Godfather. I would have been far better served digging out a DVD of Bugsy Malone.
Mistake #2 was to fall into the trap of thinking all I had to do was find a sympathetic character, let him loose on a plot notion and slip into gangster speak. Damon Runyon is the kinda guy who defies all the rules.

The undisclosed narrator who speaks likes there’s no tomorrow.

Maybe because in reading his work you are so easily sucked into his world that you don’t notice anything different, but take a moment to step back and you soon realise that, literary speaking, you are in a very strange world indeed.