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Robert Silverberg, Blood on the Mink (1962; republished Hard Case Crime, 2012)

After breakfast, I got out of the hotel for some air. I guess it’s about my only hobby — lonely walks through big cities. The weather was milder, and a lot of people were out. Businessmen and pretty girls and grifters and cons, all moving through the streets purposefully and rapidly. While I strolled. It’s lonely work, this undercover stuff. You don’t make any friends in your line of work, and you don’t feel much like making them after hours, because you can’t confide in anybody… 
You’re a man with a million identities — which really means you have no identity at all. You look at yourself in the mirror and you see eyes and a nose and a mouth, but they really don’t add up to a face, because to have a face you have to be a person. A solid substantial person. Not just a guy who plays thirty different parts a year… 
You hang out with crumbs and killers and leeches, and you try to be one of them. Not be like them, but be them. And that old question keeps coming back: Why me? And the old answer, too. Somebody’s got to be the one.

 … And that’s about as fine a distillation of modernity as you’ll find in a pulp. Milling faceless crowds, personality built from interchangeable parts, criminals masquerading as respectable citizens, respectable citizens masquerading as criminals; all that’s solid melts into air… And the flaneur keeps on strolling …
In a world of dissembling identities, and the novel is about counterfeit currency, one character type remains consistent - the punk

"Why you arrogant punk, you ought to —" Minton began, getting the rest of the way out of his seat." (29)
"Listen, you stupid punk, you’ve got some lessons in manners coming to you. And maybe next time I see you I’ll take care of giving them to you." (61)
"I don’t like punks to talk to me that way," Chavez crooned. (77)

Robert Silverberg, Blood on the Mink (1962; republished Hard Case Crime, 2012)

After breakfast, I got out of the hotel for some air. I guess it’s about my only hobby — lonely walks through big cities. The weather was milder, and a lot of people were out. Businessmen and pretty girls and grifters and cons, all moving through the streets purposefully and rapidly. While I strolled. It’s lonely work, this undercover stuff. You don’t make any friends in your line of work, and you don’t feel much like making them after hours, because you can’t confide in anybody… 

You’re a man with a million identities — which really means you have no identity at all. You look at yourself in the mirror and you see eyes and a nose and a mouth, but they really don’t add up to a face, because to have a face you have to be a person. A solid substantial person. Not just a guy who plays thirty different parts a year… 

You hang out with crumbs and killers and leeches, and you try to be one of them. Not be like them, but be them. And that old question keeps coming back: Why me? And the old answer, too. Somebody’s got to be the one.

 … And that’s about as fine a distillation of modernity as you’ll find in a pulp. Milling faceless crowds, personality built from interchangeable parts, criminals masquerading as respectable citizens, respectable citizens masquerading as criminals; all that’s solid melts into air… And the flaneur keeps on strolling …

In a world of dissembling identities, and the novel is about counterfeit currency, one character type remains consistent - the punk

"Why you arrogant punk, you ought to —" Minton began, getting the rest of the way out of his seat." (29)

"Listen, you stupid punk, you’ve got some lessons in manners coming to you. And maybe next time I see you I’ll take care of giving them to you." (61)

"I don’t like punks to talk to me that way," Chavez crooned. (77)

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