North and Central Chicago

June 25, 2018

ChicagoOur guest, author Bob Hartley was raised on the West Side of Chicago. He holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Pittsburgh. His first novel, “Following ChicagoTommy,” was published in 2012 by Cervena Barva Press to extremely favorable reviews. He has been, among other things, a writer, actor, singer, teacher, bartender, mail room clerk, and washer of soap molds. He currently makes his living as a respiratory therapist and lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and two children. But most importantly he was a good observer of the Chicago Outfit and how these murderous thugs were part and parcel of everyday life in Chicago.

In his recent book, North and Central,  Bob tells about the culture of the neighborhood around the intersection of North and Central. As a bartender and frequent customer of the neighborhood bars Bob recounts many stories of corrupt Chicago cops, Outfit guys and other day to day life in the North Austin neighborhood of the late 1970s.

All the stories in his fictional book are based on the real life of this neighborhood. It has been said about his book that “If Springsteen and Bukowski had teamed up to write a story about a Chicago bar, they’d have been hard pressed to do better than this.”
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