#3 – The story is told through a narrator, only you never find out who he is. He is, for all intents and purposes, an omnipresence guiding you through the plot, who by means of clever writing distances himself from everything that’s happening. The effect I can only liken to sitting in a Manhattan bar listening to a guy telling another guy this amazing story about the goings on regarding some other guys. You are there, but you’re not. So you order another drink and stick around to listen some more because the barstool is comfy, the ambience is very soothing and you rather wish that you knew these guys poisnally (sorry – personally).

Damon Runyon has earned his place in posterity. There is a Damon Runyon Cancer Memorial Fund, a Damon Runyon Award for prominent journalists run by the Denver Press, a Damon Runyon Elementary School in Colorado, the Damon Runyon Stakes run on the Aqueduct Race Track, a block on 45th Street in Manhattan called Runyon’s Way. And a bloke in my local library who, on hearing my failing efforts to source one of his books from a non-plussed librarian, stepped forward to correct my mispronunciation of the writers first name by announcing, ‘actually its Damon Runyon, he was a writer from the 1930’s.’ I still didn’t get my book, they only had one copy of one book in the county and it had gone missing, no doubt nabbed by some unscrupulous miscreant.