You Can't Win
Author: Jack Black, William S. Burroughs
Publisher: Nabat Books
Release Date: April 01, 2001
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.