Price's novels explore late 20th century urban America in a gritty, realistic manner that has brought him considerable literary acclaim. Several of his novels are set in a fictional northern New Jersey city called Dempsy. In his review of Lush Life (2008), Walter Kirn compared Price to Raymond Chandler and Saul Bellow.Kirn, Walter. New York Times Book Review, March 16, 2008.
Price's first novel was The Wanderers (1974), a coming-of-age story set in the Bronx in 1962, written when Price was 24 years old. It was adapted into a film in 1979, with a screenplay by Rose and Philip Kaufman and directed by the latter.