"Much of this book is about loneliness. Yet its pages are bracingly companionable. It is one of the friendliest books ever written. It is a superb piece of autobiography, testimony that cannot be impeached. While it is a statement of an American tragedy, it has laughter, brevity, style; as a book to pass the time away with, it is in a class with the best fiction." — Carl Sandburg, New York World
"Nothing half as rewarding has come down the highway of books about thieves, tramps, murderers, bootleggers and crooks in years " — New Republic
"I believe Jack Black has written a remarkable book; it is vivid and picturesque; it is not fiction; it is a book that was needed and it should be widely read." — Clarence Darrow, New York Herald Tribune
A major influence on William S. Burroughs and other Beat writers, this lost classic was written by Jack Black, a drifter and small-time criminal. Born in 1872, Black hit the road at the age of 16 and spent most of his life as a vagabond. In this plainspoken but colorful memoir, he recaptures a hobo underworld of the early twentieth century, a time when it was possible to pass anonymously from town to town. Black's firsthand accounts of hopping trains, burglaries, prison, and drug addiction offer a compelling portrait of life outside the law and honor among thieves.