Re: RARA-AVIS: 20s month: Jim Tully

From: William Denton (
Date: 28 Oct 2002

On 28 October 2002, Jim Stephenson wrote:

: Tully's prose style is as terse and unsentimental as classic hard-boiled
: literture. He's not prudish, and writes frankly about sexual matters and
: unsavory character traits. It's obvious that he has a deep sympathy for
: the circus performers and laborers--all marginalized members of
: society--and contempt for the "rubes" that patronize the circus.

This sounds pretty good--thanks for the review. Charles Willeford liked Tully, and that made me pick up JARNEGAN (1926, his book before CIRCUS PARADE). I shelved it with pride and still haven't read it.

In a similar vein is Jack Black's YOU CAN'T WIN (1926), the autobiography of a thieving con-artist drug addict. Has anyone read that? How's it stand as an example of hardboiled non-fiction? It's been back in print for a couple of years and I just got a copy.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : : Caveat lector.

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