THE FACE ON THE BARROOM FLOOR is a classic story from Nelson Algren, who wrote about the lives of the post–World War II Chicago working class – down-on-their luck, hardscrabble survivors, rumdums and twists, conmen and street walkers, all of them hellbent on scratching their way toward one more day alive. In these terrible streets, pride meant everything, and deep insult was given by anyone who questioned it. Scores were settled quietly and quickly, out on the sawdust-covered floor. And when it was done, victor and vanquished would get on with their lives, feeling a little better about themselves. But not all the fights ended the way they were supposed to. Sometimes, wounded pride was the most dangerous weapon of them all.