“A collection of stories (1931) by the US writer Damon Runyon (1884-1946), comprising amusing tales of gangster life, told in Runyon’s colorful version of New York underworld patois. The first collection was followed by several others, and the stories feature characters such as Joe the Joker, Nicely-Nicely, Apple Annie, and Regret the Horseplayer. The musical comedy entitled Guys and Dolls (1950), based on Runyon’s stories and with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser (1910-69) and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, focuses on the romance that develops between a Salvation Army worker (representing the ‘dolls’) and gambler Sky Masterson (representing the ‘guys’). It was filmed in 1955 starring Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, and Jean Simmons.”
Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.