Tentatively, Convenience's Reviews > You Can't Win: The Autobiography of Jack Black

You Can't Win by Jack   Black
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really liked it
bookshelves: biography

William S. Burroughs introduces this & anyone familiar w/ his work can certainly see why! Burroughs reused the characters in this bk freely. Salt Chunk Mary & the Johnsons esp. Burroughs begins his foreword w/:

"I first read You Can't Win in 1926, in an edition bound in red cardboard. Stultified and confined by middle-class St. Louis mores, I was fascinated by this glimpse of an underworld of seedy rooming houses, pool parlors, cat houses and opium dens, of bull pens and cat burglars and hobo jungles. I learned about the Johnson Family of good bums and thieves, with a code of conduct that made more sense to me than the arbitrary, hypocritical rules that were taken for granted as being "right" by my peers."

Exactly. As usual, getting a realistic insider's look of an illegal lifestyle is bound to be much more honest than a critical one written by an outsider. But what do I know? It cd all be bullshit. I take it for granted that it isn't though. I particularly liked Black's description of being stuck up himself as an older man. There're no heroics or daring macho behavior on his part. Even as a old hand himself he was still taken by surprise.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 7, 2008 – Shelved
April 7, 2008 – Shelved as: biography

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