AP Reading List: Classics
Annotated Bibliography and Summary
Adams, Richard, Watership Down.
Summary: Chronicles the adventures of a group of rabbits searching for a safe place to establish a new warren where they can live in peace.
Agee, James. A Death in the Family.
Summary: On a sultry summer night in 1915, Jay Follet leaves his house in
Austen, Jane. Emma.
Summary: Emma Woodhouse imagines that she dominates those around her in the small town of
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice.
Summary: Mr. Bennet is an English gentleman living in Hartfordshire with his overbearing wife and 5 daughters. There is the beautiful Jane, the clever
Baldwin, James. Go Tell It on the Mountain.
Summary: Story of John Grimes, a young man living in
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451.
Summary: Set in the 24th century, Fahrenheit 451 tells the story of the protagonist, Guy Montag. At first, Montag takes pleasure in his profession as a fireman, burning illegally owned books and the homes of their owners. However, Montag soon begins to question the value of his profession and, in turn, his life.
Bradbury, Ray. The Martian Chronicles. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1958.
Summary: The Martian Chronicles is a 1950 science fiction book by Ray Bradbury that chronicles the colonization of Mars by refugee humans from a troubled Earth, and the conflict between aboriginal Martians and the new colonists.
Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre.
Summary: In early nineteenth-century
Summary: Brontë's novel tells the tale of Catherine and Heathcliff, their all-encompassing love for one another, and how this unresolved passion eventually destroys them both. Social tensions prevent their union, leading Heathcliff to shun and abuse society.
Bunyan, John. The Pilgrim's Progress.
Summary: The Pilgrim's Progress is an allegory told by a dreamer. The dreamer sees a man, Christian, clothed in rags, with a burden on his back, leaving his house behind in the knowledge that it will burn down. The book he holds in his hands has told him so. He has to flee his family who think he has gone mad and escape the City of
Summary: A little girl falls down a rabbit hole and discovers a world of nonsensical and amusing characters.
Cather, Willa. My Ántonia.
Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. Don Quixote.
Summary: Alonso Quixano, a middle-aged gentleman from
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening.
Summary: Edna Pontellier is an upper-middle class white woman who has married into the Creole elite of
Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone.
Summary: The Moonstone was published in 1868 and concerns the huge yellow diamond of the title that was once stolen from an Indian shrine. Rachel Verrinder receives the stone as a gift and does not realize that John Herncastle who, it transpires, acquired the moonstone by means of murder and theft has passed it to her in a sinister form of revenge. The jewel also brings bad luck. The stone disappears on the very night it is given to Rachel, though, and the tale concerns the unveiling of the culprit after the intervention of Sergeant Cuff, a famous
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness.
Summary: In Conrad's haunting tale, Marlow, a seaman and wanderer, recounts his physical and psychological journey in search of the enigmatic Kurtz. Traveling to the heart of the African continent, he discovers how Kurtz has gained his position of power and influence over the local people. Marlow's struggle to fathom his experience involves him in a radical questioning of not only his own nature and values but the nature and values of his society.
Conrad, Joseph. Lord Jim.
Summary: Lord Jim is the story of one man’s fight against his own past and his attempt to prove himself to the world after he has made one terrible error. Put on trial, the young idealistic Jim’s tale is told by Marlow, who also narrates Heart of Darkness. Jim is stripped of his papers and is left to follow an existence avoiding his own identity and seeking anonymity as he travels the world. Marlow organizes a meeting through which Jim goes to Patusan, a remote and in Conrad’s terms primitive region. Jim brings order and stability to the area with his strength of character and leadership. The arrival of the treacherous Gentleman Brown shakes the peace Jim has created and his value systems are called into question before the horror of the ending.
Cooper, James Fenimore. The Last of the Mohicans.
Summary: The tale of a Mohican brave's struggle to protect two English girls from an evil Huron.
Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage.
Summary: The story of Henry Fleming and his initiation into manhood as a Union Army recruit during the Civil War.
Craven, Margaret. I Heard the Owl Call My Name.
Summary: A terminally ill Anglican priest and his assignment in a coastal Indian community in
Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe.
Summary: During one of his several adventurous voyages in the 1600s, an Englishman becomes the sole survivor of a shipwreck and lives for nearly thirty years on a deserted island. Illustrated notes throughout the text explain the historical background of the story.
Dickens, Charles. David Copperfield.
Summary: The most autobiographical of Dickens' works, David Copperfield often echoes the writer's own life. It tells a moving story of David's journey from birth to maturity, a journey that inextricably links his life with some of Dickens' most colorful and extraordinary families.
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations.
Summary: In the gloom of a country graveyard, a young boy encounters an escaped convict; a chance meeting that years later leads the boy to tragedy, mystery and wealth.
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities.
Summary: Recounts the author's famous tale set against the background of the French Revolution, which focuses on a doctor, his devoted daughter, and a young French aristocrat whom the daughter loves. When the aristocrat is condemned to die, a family friend offers his own life out of love for the daughter and her father.
Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist.
Summary: Deals with the adventures of a young orphan boy trying to survive amid greed adn poverty in 19th-century
Dreiser, Theodore. An American Tragedy.
Summary: The harrowing story of a weak-willed young man who destroys himself, a villain who is also victim of the values of a deceptive, materialistic society. Dreiser patterned the story of Clyde Griffiths on a real-life murder that took place in 1906, a charming young social climber who killed his pregnant young girlfriend in order to romance a rich girl who had begun to notice him.
Dumas, Alexandre. The Three Musketeers. [S.l.]: International Collectors Library, 1994.
Summary: The young Gascon D'Artagnan arrives in
Eliot, George. Adam Bede.
Summary: Adam Bede, a simple carpenter, loves too blindly; Hetty Sorrel, a coquettish beauty, too recklessly; Arthur Donnithorne, a dashing squire, too carelessly. Their innocence, vanity and imprudence lead them into a triangle of seduction, murder and retribution.
Eliot, George. Silas Marner.
Summary: Silas Marner is a tale of the mysterious workings of life and how kindness and love can still be found in someone who has been betrayed and suffered at the hands of an unjust society. It is a worthy demonstration of how life can still bring rewards and riches greater than material wealth.
Ellison, Ralph. Invisible
Summary: The novel opens with a Prologue describing the depressed state of the narrator, who remains nameless throughout the novel. He is an invisible man, he proclaims, and has taken to living unknown underground, sucking electricity from the state of
Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying.
Summary: The members of a southern family contribute their individual tribulations encompassing impression of rural poverty.
Faulkner, William. The Sound and the Fury.
Summary: The Sound and the Fury is the story of the fall of the Compson family, a bourgeois
Faulkner, William. Light in August.
Summary: A young man is accused of trying to pass as white in a Southern town in the 30s.
Flagg, Fannie. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café.
Summary: A chance encounter in a nursing home leads to an unexpected friendship between a dowdy housewife and a spry octogenarian who tells her the story of a fiercely independent woman half a century ago, inspiring the housewife to change her life, often with hilarious results.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby.
Summary: Jay Gatsby had once loved beautiful, spoiled Daisy Buchanan, and then lost her to a rich boy. Now, mysteriously wealthy, he is ready to risk everything to woo her back. This is the definitive, textually accurate edition of a classic of twentieth-century literature, The Great Gatsby. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan has been acclaimed by generations of readers....
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. Tender is the Night.
Summary: A psychiatrist, Dick Diver, treats and eventually marries a wealthy patient, Nicole. Eventually, this marriage destroys him.
Forster, E. M. A Passage to
Summary: A young Englishwoman and her friend, travels to
Forster, E. M. A Room With a View.
Summary: the story of the coming of age of Lucy Honeychurch. Longing to burst free from the repression of British upper class manners and mores, she must wrestle with her inner romantic longings to choose between the passionate George and the priggish but socially suitable Cecil.
Fowles, John. The French Lieutenant's Woman.
Summary: Charles Smithson and Ernestina Freeman are engaged to be married. Charles is an upper-class aristocrat and Ernestina is a wealthy heiress. They meet Sarah Woodruff, an unemployed governess and the scarlet woman of Lyme. Charles is struck by this woman who "had been dumped by her French lover and now wandered the shores in the hope that he would return someday."
Gardner, John. Grendel.
Summary: The first and most terrifying monster in English literature, from the great early epic BEOWULF, tells his side of the story.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies.
Summary: A classic study of human nature, which depicts the degeneration of a group of schoolboys marooned on a desert island.
Summary: An award-winning play about a struggling black family living on
Hardy, Thomas. Far from the Madding Crowd.
Summary: Far from the Madding Crowd concerns a young woman, Bathsheba Everdene, and the three men in her life: one is a poor sheep farmer who loses his flock in a tragedy and ends up working as an employee on Bathsheba’s farm; one is the respectable, boring owner of a neighboring farm who takes Bathsheba’s flirtations too seriously; and the third is a dashing army sergeant who treats her like just another of his conquests.
Hardy, Thomas. The Mayor of Casterbridge.
Summary: On a drunken impulse, Henchard sells his wife and daughter at a country fair. Years later, when he has become a respected and prosperous man, his wife and daughter seek him out in Casterbridge.
Hardy, Thomas. The Return of the Native.
Summary: Eustacia Vye, a beautiful, sensual nineteen-year-old, has one desire: to be loved to madness by a man who is worthy of her and who will take her to exotic places. Eustacia considers only one man worthy enough to love--Damon Wildeve. However, the sweet, simple Thomasin Yeobright has also caught Wildeve's attentions and is engaged to him. On their wedding day, the marriage license is discovered to be invalid, either by Wildeve's intent or mistake, leaving Thomasin utterly humiliated and Eustacia, who believes that Wildeve loves her more than he loves Thomasin--utterly joyous.
Hardy, Thomas. Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
Summary: Tess Durbeyfield is a luminous beauty who is violated by one man and forsaken by another, but she refuses to remain a victim. Her struggle to endure despite the abandonment of her true love, and despite her desperate attempt to attain happiness, propels Tess toward a tragic end.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The House of the Seven Gables.
Summary: Colonel Pyncheon does well in denouncing Old Matthew: he founds a
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter.
Summary: The classic tale of sin and salvation in 17th century Puritan New England.
Heller, Joseph. Catch-22.
Summary: Depicts the struggles of a
Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms.
Summary: Hemingway's novel about romance and desertion during World War I in
Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea.
Hemingway, Ernest. For Whom the
Summary: Robert Jordan, an American demolition expert lends his abilities to the anti-fascist freedom fighters of
Summary: John Hersey recorded the stories of
Haley, Alex. Roots. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1976.
Summary: Alex Haley traces his family's history from the mid-18th century when one of his ancestors, Kunta Kinte, was captured and sold into slavery. Follows the struggle for freedom that began with the boy's abduction to
Hesse, Hermann. Siddhartha.
Summary: A young man's spiritual odyssey.
Homer. The Illiad.
Summary: Homer's Iliad describes the major events that took place during the last year of the Trojan War.
Homer.; Robert Fagles. The Odyssey.
Summary: The wanderings of the hero Odysseus after the Trojan War.
Hugo, Victor. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.
Summary: The tale of the hunchback bell ringer of medieval Notre Dame, Quasimodo, whose love for the gypsy dancer, Esmeralda, had tragic consequences.
Hugo, Victor. Les Misérables.
Summary: Les Miserables is not only superb adventure but also a powerful social document. The story of how the convict Jean-Valjean struggled to escape his past and reaffirm his humanity, in a world brutalized by poverty and ignorance, became the gospel of the poor and the oppressed.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Summary: A novel about black Americans in
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World.
Summary: Six hundred years into the future, humans are bred by cloning, and "mother" and "father" are forbidden words. Originally published in 1932, Huxley's terrifying vision of a controlled and emotionless future "Utopian" society is truly startling in its prediction of modern scientific and cultural phenomena, including test-tube babies and rampant drug abuse.
Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll's House.
Summary: Nora, the "model wife," commits forgery and risks destruction in order to save her husband. But after he rejects her, she leaves her husband and children to begin a new life.
Ibsen, Henrik. Hedda Gabler.
Summary: Frustrated by the pointlessness of her middle class, married life, the strong-willed Hedda realizes her only satisfaction comes from manipulating others. Casting an insidious net of influence over both her passive husband and a volatile former lover, Hedda is soon overwhelmed by her own cynical schemes as they spiral out of control--with tragic results.
Summary: Two stories from the
Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Summary: The story of a man whose rebelliousness pits him against the head nurse of a mental ward and the full spectrum of institutional repression.
Knowles, John. A Separate Peace.
Summary: Gene Forrester looks back 15 years to a year at prep school during World War II when jealousy and rivalry with his best friend caused an accident that brought him face to face with his inner nature and its symbolic parallel to men at war.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird.
Summary: The explosion of racial hate in an
Lewis, Sinclair. Arrowsmith.
Summary: After years of work as a small town doctor and a research scientist, Arrowsmith heads for the
Lewis, Sinclair. Babbit.
Summary: George Babbit's experiences in
Summary: A sophisticated young woman who moves to a small town in the American Midwest in 1912 and struggles against the small-minded culture of the citizens who live there. The town, Gopher Prairie, is closely patterned on
London, Jack. The Call of the Wild.
Summary: A dog is kidnapped from his home in
Machiavelli, Niccolò. The Prince.
Summary: Niccolo Machiavelli, in dedicating his book to Lorenzo de' Medici, urges the young prince of
Mailer, Norman. The Naked and the Dead.
Summary: The story of an ill-fated military patrol and the antagonisms which can erupt among men at war.
Malamud, Bernard. The Fixer.
Summary: In Tsarist Russia, Yakov is accused of a ritual murder he did not commit.
McCullers, Carson. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.
Summary: John Singer is alone, except for one deaf-mute friend, a drooling, teddy bear clutching man-child. When his friend is institutionalized in a small southern town, Singer moves to be near him. Once he is there, Singer's kindness draws him near to others who are broken in body or spirit.
McCullers, Carson. The Member of the Wedding.
Summary: A 12-year-old girl learns something about life when her sister gets married and a young boy dies.
McCullers, Carson. The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories.
Summary: Plain-faced and unhappy, the eccentric Miss Amelia marries and publicly humiliates Marvin Macy, a charming con man who has fallen in love with her, causing him to battle to break her spirit and her heart as an act of revenge.
Melville, Herman. Moby Dick.
Summary: A stirring sea saga of one man's obsession for revenge upon the enormous white whale that has defeated Captain Ahab once before.
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible.
Summary: A group of teenage girls meets in the woods at midnight for a secret love-conjuring ceremony. When the town minister witnesses their ceremony, the girls suddenly find themselves accused of witchcraft and as the hysteria in the village grows, blameless victims are torn from their homes, leading to a devastating climax.
Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman.
Summary: A social drama about an ageing traveling salesman who recognizes the emptiness of his life and tries unsuccessfully to bring meaning to his life.
Mitchell, Margaret. Gone with the Wind.
Summary: The story of Scarlett O'Hara, a Southern belle who enjoys her socialite lifestyle and the attention of many eligible single rich men. This idyllic lifestyle is shattered by the onset of the U.S. Civil War that eventually reduces her home to near ruins. Robbed of the luxuries she loved, she vows to grow strong so she will never be poor again....
Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-four.
Summary: This is the story of impossible love and tragic betrayal set in the twisted, horrific world of "1984."
Pasternak, Boris Leonidovich. Doctor Zhivago.
Summary: Yuri Zhivago, doctor and poet, lives and loves during the first three decades of 20th-century
Paton, Alan. Cry, the Beloved Country.
Summary: A black minister and white landowner are united by a tragedy, with the potential for further hatred or healing.
Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar.
Summary: Young and gifted poet, Esther Greenwood, is trapped in a private world of terror. Esther can't seem to harmonize the harsh realities of life with her own perfectionist thinking. From college through early job hunting and singles life in
Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged.
Summary: He said he would stop the motor of the world... and he did. But who is John Galt? A destroyer or a liberator? Why does he fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who need him most? Why does he fight his hardest battle against the woman he loves?"
Rand, Ayn. The Fountainhead.
Summary: An idealistic architect clashes with big business over his designs for a housing project.
Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front.
Summary: A group of young World War I German recruits pass from idealism to disillusionment with war.
Rølvaag, O. E. Giants in the Earth.
Summary: Peder Hansen, known as Per Hansa, and his wife Beret move with their children and several other Norwegian families to homesteads in
Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de. The Little Prince.
Summary: An aviator, whose plane is forced down in the
Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the
Summary: Story of Holden Caufield with his idiosyncrasies, penetrating insight, confusion, sensitivity and negativism. The hero-narrator of "The Catcher in the
Saroyan, William. The Human Comedy.
Summary: A tale of the Macauley family's experiences during the dark days of World War II, focusing on the coming of age of the teenaged son, Homer, as he comes to understand the meaning of life and love.
Scott, Walter, Sir. Ivanhoe.
Summary: Set in 12th century
Shakespeare, William. A New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare.
Summary: 1. Romeo and Juliet. 1871.--v. 2. Macbeth. 1873.--v. 3-4. Hamlet. 1877.--v. 5. King Lear. 1880.--v. 6. Othello. [c1886]--v. 7. The merchant of
Shaw, Bernard. Saint Joan.
Summary: Joan of Arc, the 14th century French woman warrior. From her peasant origins, her career as commander of troops fighting the English, to her death at the stake for heresy.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein.
Summary: Dr. Frankenstein creates a true monster from dead human parts, but it gets out of control and into trouble.
Summary: The Jungle details the startling exploitation of laborers in the packing plants, the squalor of the yards, neighborhoods, and the corruption of the Beef Trust.
Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.
Summary: Story of Ivan Denisovich, prisoner in a Stalinist work camp in
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath.
Summary: The migration of the Joad family to
Steinbeck, John. East of
Summary: This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families--the Trasks' and the Hamilton's--whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.
Stevenson, Robert Louis. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Summary: The story of a radical doctor whose experiments lead him to the discovery of a destructive potion that transforms him into a hideous creature of unbridled emotions.
Stoker, Bram. Dracula.
Summary: After discovering the double identity of the wealthy Transylvanian nobleman, Count Dracula, a small group of people vow to rid the world of the evil vampire.
Stevenson, Robert Louis.
Summary: While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads to a pirate fortune as well as great danger.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Summary: Story of slavery and redemption in the pre-Civil War South.
Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver's Travels.
Summary: The tale of an 18th-century physician who takes eight years to travel through a variety of fantastical lands, only to have everyone but his wife takes him for a madman when he returns home.
Thackeray, William Makepeace. Vanity Fair.
Summary: Becky is determined to make something of herself. She accepts a job as a nanny for the children of Sir Pitt Crawley. Becky catches the eye of
Tolstoy, Leo. Anna Karenina.
Summary: Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endure the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century
Tolstoy, Leo. War and Peace.
Summary: An epic novel featuring the Russian role in the Napoleonic wars and providing a complex panorama of the life of the time.
Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Summary: Huck Finn, a 19th-century boy floating down the
Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse-five.
Summary: The story of Billy Pilgrim who is ordinary in almost every respect but one: he has come unstuck in time and jumps back and forth in his life with no control over where he is going next. In the end Billy learns he must concentrate on the good things and ignore the bad in life.
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden.
Summary: Economy -- Where I lived, and what I lived for -- Reading -- Sounds -- Solitude -- Visitors -- The bean-field -- The village -- The ponds -- Baker farm -- Higher laws -- Brute neighbors -- House-warming -- Former inhabitants; and winter visitors -- Winter animals -- The pond in winter -- Spring -- Conclusion.
Summary: Set in the period between the world wars, this novel tells of two sisters, their trials, and their survival.
Warren, Robert Penn. All the King's Men.
Summary: A dynamic backwoods lawyer batters his way into the governor's mansion, where he uses his unprincipled charm to become a brutal dictator.
Wells, H. G. The Time Machine.
Summary: Desperate to alter the course of time, a visionary scientist invents a revolutionary machine that propels him 800,000 years into the future. There he discovers that humans have evolved into two groups: the hunters and the hunted. Now he must fight to save himself, and all of mankind, in a final, desperate battle.
Wharton, Edith. Ethan Frome.
Summary: The story of a man torn between his joyless marriage to one woman and his lustful desire for another.
Wharton, Edith. The Age of Innocence.
Summary: An elegant portrait of desire and betrayal in Old New York. In the highest circle of
Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Summary: After viewing a portrait of himself, a young, wealthy man expresses his desire to stay youthful while the portrait grows old. His friend, Lord Henry, points out that his wish was made in the presence of an ancient Egyptian god quite capable of granting his wish. Gradually a sinister plot evolves, fueled by sadism and self-loathing that results in five terrible deaths and a horrifying secret locked behind a schoolroom door.
Wilde, Oscar. The Importance of Being Earnest.
Summary: Algernon is a gentleman from a wealthy family. Algernon's close friend Jack has a ward, Cecily. Both Algernon and Jack have created alter egos to make life more interesting. Algernon arrives for a weekend visit in the country posing as Earnest. Having heard of Earnest's misadventures, Cicely has developed an infatuation with the rogue, and Algernon's impersonation of him works famously on Cicely....
Wilder, Thornton. The
Wilder, Thornton. Our Town.
Summary: A study of life, love, and death in a
Summary: A strong willed woman attempts to impose her shattered dreams into the life and personality of her shy, reclusive daughter.
Summary: An uncensored version of the story of a repressed widow who visits her sister in
Summary: As Clarissa Dalloway prepares for an elaborate party, she remembers another summer in the past, when she was a beautiful young woman. Her preparations are interrupted by the unexpected arrival of a former suitor from that long-ago summer. As the day of the party unfolds, Mrs. Dalloway's life also becomes strangely intertwined with a young man she never meets, but whose tragic fate strikes a chord of truth, deep in her soul, that she cannot deny.
Wright, Richard. Black Boy.
Summary: Life in the pre—civil rights South was intensely alienating for young Richard. At every turn, his desire to communicate was stunted, whether by family members who insisted he "hush!" or by teachers who harassed and mocked him. People he considered contemptibly ignorant, people who willingly allowed their lives to be restricted by tradition and authority no matter how illegitimate or self-destructive surrounded him. Whether they were racist whites or passive, uncompassionate blacks, his fellow southerners viewed Richard’s independence and intelligence with suspicion and scorned and humiliated him for his family's poverty. He lashed out by hitting the streets: He was already drinking by the time he turned six, and he fought constantly.
Wright, Richard. Native Son.
Summary: Bigger Thomas, the black chauffeur for the wealthy