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You Can't Win #2020

You Can t Win 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

  • Title: You Can't Win
  • Author: Jack Black William S. Burroughs
  • ISBN: 9781902593029
  • Page: 190
  • Format: Paperback
  • You Can't Win By Jack Black William S. Burroughs, 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 firstYou 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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      Published :2019-09-27T03:16:24+00:00

    1 thought on “You Can't Win

    1. This book, newly reissued in a very nice trade paperback edition by Feral House, was first published in 1926, written by Jack Black, a drifter, hobo, small time criminal, drug addict and jailbird who finally went straight and wound up with a job at a newspaper in San Francisco.Black left home as a young boy and took to the road Falling in with other drifters, he was apprenticed in a life of crime that included valuable lessons in casing a job, breaking and entering, cracking safes, fencing stole [...]

    2. It s kind of like a Jimmie Rodgers song in book form hopping trains, riding the rods, hobos, gambling, hold ups, violent deaths, prison, duplicitous backstabbers, tried and true pals, pistol packin papas and mamas it s just about all in there I m a sucker for that kind of stuff if it s done well and this is done very well so I loved every minute of it Some critics have called into question the veracity of Black s autobiography, but to me it just doesn t matter whether he told the absolute truth [...]

    3. I read this book while tramping up and down the East Coast There were four of us and then there were three of us, our most grizzled and seasoned tramp abandoning us in New York City He bummed this book off a girl in Pittsburgh, a girl he got wet without ever touching her She borrowed the book from a former tramp who has the words You Can t Win tattooed on his neck The book was passed from gentleman to gentleman who each dreamed of hopping trains across America Some of us did than dream Well, on [...]

    4. I am not really getting why people are reviewing this book so highly I thought that it got a bit boring In and out of jail and onto the next heist is most of the book I enjoyed the beginning and thought the book held promise It was well written and he is a pretty interesting guy, but the charm wore off It was only the suspense of the crimes as he committed them that really drew me in Even when people died in the story, it didn t really engage me, emotionally.I suppose that just for the fact that [...]

    5. I didn t know before I starting reading You Can t Win that this was supposed to be William S Burroughs favorite book, or that he admired it, or who the hell really knows what the true story is, or what s a marketing ploy But I was kind of disappointed because the narrative voice and style was eerily similar to Junkie, Burroughs first novel Did Burroughs outright steal this from Jack Black I had the same feeling while reading John Fante s work it sounded exactly like Bukowski Chinaski sang huge p [...]

    6. I thought the book was great I read it with tremendous interest Jack Black wrote this in 1926 He wrote about a lot of things that I am curious about riding the rails, tramping in general, being a thief, doing time in prison Now I said I was curious but I did not mean that I have any desire to repeat his experiences I meant that I really wanted to get a fresh view from his perspective And it was fresh At times it was like Hollywood shows it, at other times completely different.He wrote a lot abou [...]

    7. A major inspiration for Burroughs, it seems, this is a book unlike many else How many other stories are there of 19th Century vagabonds and junkies Equal parts Genet and Deadwood, this shows the side of America at that time left out of conventional narratives, whether that narrative is the Hollywood Western or the Victorian novel of manners Here is a uniquely filthy, depraved world, albeit one not without camaraderie and hope, depicted with grace and passion For those of us who have an interest [...]

    8. You Can t Win is a romance story, or at least it s romantic It s about deviating from the path that s expected of you to one of your own choosing, a path free from the influence of government and polite society On this second path, your responsibilities are governed only by a transactional code of honour between you and the person next to you a compelling idea in the world of 2012.And that would be the entirety of the book if you only skimmed the introduction by William S Burroughs and the openi [...]

    9. one of my favorite parts of this book is when the author describes the wino scene in turn of the century san francisco it s basically a large common room, everyone brings their own cup, there are people laid out along the walls, passed out drunk there is a huge pot of stew, with ingredients coming from whatever scraps were on hand once a day the dead are culled from the sleepers and taken out to free up space for the next hopeless drunk.

    10. I bought this book at a now defunct left wing bookstore I bought because I felt guilty about browsing so long A wonderful autobiography, and perhaps the best I ve ever read by a nonprofessional writer A fascinating life this guy lead.

    11. Loved it I loved the window it gives into the late 19th century, a time before police radios, credit checks, and widespread fingerprinting A time when paper money was not completely trusted A time when grizzled civil war veterans populated hobo jungles and strait jackets were used to punish prisoners.I also loved it from a security perspective The author s objectives anonymity, recon, break ins, secure drops were analogous to those of a computer hacker and he came up with some ingenious hacks th [...]

    12. Bug n art k ne ifade etti i bilinmeyen ok satar yeralt edebiyat soslu eserlerin yan nda par ldayan g l bir kaybeden otobiyografisi, belki de kaybetmiyordur hem kim kazan yorki hayat denen herzeyi.

    13. Jack Black s amazing life story, filled with petty thievery, narrow escapes, prison breaks, and hobo jungles An insider s look at transience and crime in Depression Era America A truly unique book.

    14. Anyone who has ever even broken the speed limit should read this A bit too individualist and product of its time, but other than that

    15. This is a fun book It reads like an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, which makes sense because it was first published in 1926 It presents itself as an evangelical testament to the evils of a life of lawlessness.The narrator describes his many misadventures as a professional thief In his eyes the highest thing a person could be was a member of the Johnson Family The Johnson Family refers to people who mind their own business and who will aid others to stay out of the hands of the law.The novel is an e [...]

    16. Such an insanely refreshing book Written in another time when this was a far simpler country, this book is free of today s silly attempts to fuse literature with mass marketing There are no writing styles, no flashy gimmicks to wow lit agents, no dumbed down PC dialogue for the pampered YA market Just simple, strong, fluid, beautiful writing Jack Black does what Kerouac strived so hard to and just couldn t get right from his aunt s basement in Bayonne, he grabs you by the wrist and hauls you up [...]

    17. Justice is a word that resides in the dictionary It occasionally makes its escape, but is promptly caught and put back where it belongs Every bit as true today as it was when this book was written Probably even true nowadays My experience with short rations in many places has convinced me that we would all be healthier and better nourished if we ate half as much food and chewed it twice as long Another bit of wisdom from Jack Black that has relevance today than it did when he wrote it What wou [...]

    18. Was made aware of the title through reading The Place of Dead Roads by WSB and was delighted to see the passages that he had lifted from memory after all those years This is a pulp style biography of a drifter and criminal and occasional addict who lived by a code of ethics that are probably higher than your average New York or London banker.Recommended historic yarn of a life of crime and punishment.

    19. Having heard of this book through my studies of the Beat Generation writers they were deeply inspired by it, especially Burroughs , imagine my surprise when I found a first edition copy in an antique shop in Morrison,CO for only 2.00 It s been reprinted and is easily available now The sordid, autobiographical tale of a petty criminal and wanderer, You Can t Win is a fascinating book, and necessary reading for Beat Generation fans.

    20. Written very plainly which makes it read realistically It was an interesting story about being a criminal, but I found the stories from the prisons and jails to be the most memorable While living outside the law sounds like a blast those jail stories were scary I heard they are making this into a movie It would adapt to a script easily.

    21. A fun book, I always wanted to know what a highwayman was That said most of it is bullshit But fun bullshit There is dialogue where some highwayman mentions Psychology Considering when this book was written I find that hard to believe Some of this book was written by someone other than Jack Black.

    22. hobos, bulglarly, murder, prostitutes, prison, heroinue story amazing An America I actually wish still existed skip the last chapter unless you want to read a 1920 s version of the last five minutes of a full house episode , but read the epilogue about the author s death.

    23. This book was fantastic Socially relevant to now It s to do with an old timey train hopping hobo and his life of crime and rehabilitation Straightforward and fascinating Filled with adventure, compassion and musings on the human condition I loved it.

    24. Perhaps my all time favorite What is there to say about a man beaten down by life, looking back at the mistakes he s made The humor and violence of Jack s life are really remarkable The stories he has to tell about The Johnson Family of hobos and thieves are just incredible.

    25. I d say this book is prophetic, but the truth is really just that not much has changed in 100 years Bigger picture, I mean Of course, as a biography, it s a glimpse into an era that doesn t much exist any A way of life that is gone forever, as Burroughs writes in the introduction Which is what makes the contrast with the aspects that haven t changed a bit even fascinating.Below are several excerpted quotes from the end of the book, including the appendix, which is from a Harper s Magazine artic [...]

    26. This book has been a long time coming for me I first heard of it back in college some 20 years ago casually mentioned by William S Burroughs who apparently was heavily influenced by it so I added it to my pre to read list The problem then was that it had been out of print for many years and I couldn t find it anywhere Fast forward 20 some years and this reprinting comes out so I finally got my hands on it And luckily, unlike some books I ve waited for only to be let down by them, this met all my [...]

    27. Not bad for a professional burglar turned writer I really enjoyed Black s stories and what he had to say cruelty begets cruelty, kindness begets kindness Here he s talking about a judge who reduced Black s 25 year sentence to one year, which basically saved him from dying in jail.Black wrote You Can t Win in 1926 and most of the action in the story seems to take place around the turn of 20th century San Francisco s great earthquake of 1906 finds its way into the story because most prison jail r [...]

    28. I bought this a while ago after hearing about it from Burrough s Junky and finally caught up with it It s not great and it s not bad, rather a bit old fashioned read, probably a holdover from first being published, serialized perhaps in a newspaper I wanted to give it 2 1 2 but settled for 3 stars Jack Black lack of sentiment about his hobo and thieving experiences were refreshing to read and the characters met during those experiences rather wild Salt Chunk Mary, Sanctimonious Kid, Smiler This [...]

    29. Ah les ditions Monsieur Toussaint Louverture Jamais d ue et ce deuxi me livre de la collection des Grands animaux me le confirme Une criture simple et honn te malgr le genre de l autobiographie et de ce fait une plong e dans l Ouest am ricain des hobos de la fin du XIX d but XX Une nouvelle r ussite Ma chronique plus longue par ici akathegirlwhoreads.wordpress.

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