Reviews - What do customers think about You Can't Win?
It's a man's, man's world May 28, 2008
This is an amazing story that drags you into this guy's lonely world. Sexy, it ain't. It's a man's, man's world. It's obvious this guy did some hard time getting all the details down. I guess living it would allow you plenty of ammunition. After reading I had acquired a whole new paranoia regarding breaking and entering. It's depressing and lonely and stark. This is a book that needs to live on and on.
You Can't Win Feb 13, 2008
My son, who this book was purchased for, enjoyed this book very much. Thank you.
Breaking the Shackles Aug 2, 2007
I thought this was a tip-top book. Blacky's adventures out West and in Canada around the turn of the century were very intruiging. I just wish there were more books written by him and not so much of a mystery of what happened to him later in life. Or maybe that's what makes him so appealing. I agree with several others about the "extras" at the end of the book. Especially his article that appeared in Harpers. That could've have been written today.
You Can't Win Won Apr 27, 2007
A true story about a house burglar in the Twenties who escaped the law by riding the train to another town where he did the same thing again. It's Americana at it's best. Someone ought to write a ballad about this man using his words. "There's a lot of law at the end of a rope." "A hang man may be your only hope." "In a blind alley you shoot and shoot first." "Old grudges are opened. Old hates are revived. Stool pidgeon's beaten and the turn key's denied." "No one is eating the damned hang man's stew." "I never borrowed money I could not pay back." Hobo's are not derilicts and after you read You Can't Win you may feel the same. It is a great book that admonishes the prison system where there is no cure for the human condition if you put the human in a jail cell. He ended up working for a library in San Francisco. How he died nobody knows.
Explore the Hidden West in the 1800's Mar 30, 2007
Rare is the book that so vividly captures the spirit of a time and a segment of society. This book does all that and more. We've all heard the classic stories of the Wild West. Gunslingers, bank robbers, saloons and lawmen.
"You Can't Win" covers the less visible people who got by hopping trains, busting safes, and burgling folks, innocent or not so. They had their own code of ethics, which were enforced by this tight group of vagabonds. This lifestyle is not romanticised, but you find yourself rooting for the characters, and bemoaning their losses, even though they were criminals.
It was a tough life for many people. Reading about their stories through the eyes of one of their own (Jack Black), helps us better understand the lives led by thousands of people during the early maturation of the U.S. in the west.
Once started, it is a very hard book to put down. I wish there were more books written as well as this one that detail the underbelly of society. It's a big part of U.S. history, just not well publicized.