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Book Title: You Can't Win|
The author of the book: Jack Black
ISBN 13: 9781902593029
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 22.11 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1412 times
Reader ratings: 7.5
Edition: Nabat Books
Date of issue: April 1st 2001
Read full description of the books:
You hold in your hands a true lost classic, one of the most legendary cult books every published in America. Jack Black's autobiography was a bestseller and went through five printings in the late 1920's. It has led a mostly subterranean existence since then - best known as William S. Burrough's favorite book, one he admitted lifting big chunks of from memory for his first novel, Junky. But it's time we got wise to this book, which is in itself a remarkably wise book - and a ripping true saga. It's an amazing journey into the hobo underworld: freight hopping around the still wide open West at the turn of the 20th century, becoming a member of the "yegg" (criminal) brotherhood and a highwayman, learning the outlaw philosophy from Foot-and-a-half George and the Sanctimonious Kid, getting hooked on opium, passing through hobo jungles, hop joints and penitentiaries. This is a chunk of the American story entirely left out of the history books - it's a lot richer and stranger than the official version. This new edition also includes an Afterword that tells some of what became of Black after he wore out the outlaw life and washed up in San Francisco, wrote this book and reinvented himself.
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Read information about the authorJohn Black was a late 19th century/early 20th century hobo and professional burglar, living out the dying age of the Wild West. He wrote You Can't Win (Macmillan, 1926) a memoir or sketched autobiography describing his days on the road and life as an outlaw. Black's book was written as an anti-crime book urging criminals to go straight but is also his statement of belief in the futility of prisons and the criminal justice system, hence the title of the book. Jack Black was writing from experience, having spent thirty years (fifteen of which were spent in various prisons) as a traveling criminal and offers tales of being a cross-country stick-up man, home burglar, petty thief, and opium fiend.
Jack Black is an essentially anonymous figure (even his actual name is uncertain) who is recognized through association with William S. Burroughs. Although his philosophy on life was especially influential to Burroughs, who associated with similar characters in his early adulthood and mirrored the style of You Can't Win with his first published book, Junkie, Black's writings also had a profound effect on the writings and lives of all the Beat Generation.
After his last spell in prison Jack Black became friends with wealthy patron Fremont Older and worked for Older's newspaper The San Francisco Call. He worked on his autobiography with Rose Wilder Lane and eventually composed essays and lectured throughout the country on prison reform. He was also rumored to have received a stipend of $150 dollars a week to draft a screenplay titled Salt Chunk Mary with co-author Bessie Beatty, based around the infamous vagabond ally and fence of the same name in You Can't Win. The play flopped, although he was able to attain some amount of popularity, which subsided quickly. He is believed to have committed suicide in 1932 by drowning, as he reportedly told his friends that if life got too grim, he would row out into New York Harbor and, with weights tied to his feet, drop overboard. In You Can't Win Black describes this state of mind as being "ready for the river."
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