Sunday Story Ratings #36: Dock Walloper


Dock Walloper by Benjamin Appel

Originally published 1953 in Dock Walloper (short story collection); this edition 1995

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Collected in: Hard-Boiled: An Anthology of American Crime Stories (ed. Bill Pronzini & Jack Adrian)



(L, S, D, V)

Coarse Language {PG}

Sexual References {PG}

Drug Use {PG} {alcohol}

Violence {PG}




Only a couple of female characters, story told from perspective of one man, albeit in a third-person semi-omniscient way. One female character described thus as flaunting her looks to punish men generally for not marrying her.


Nothing but heterosexuality mentioned.

Race & Ethnicity:

Gang leader is of Irish ethnicity. One character in the hierarchy is referred to by an anti-Italian slur when people are unhappy.

Disability, Physical Diversity and Health:

Some characters gain weight as a consequence of living a corrupt life of leisure. Otherwise no mention.




This one I have been putting off doing. I didn't like it, not because it is done badly (I don't think it is) but because it is upsetting. Guy gets out of prison, all he wants to do is go straight, work a job and not have trouble with anyone. But the connections that got him the job won't take no for an answer, so he gets pulled back in and, finally, trapped in a situation that just isn't going to end well.