FIRST EDITIONMuch of this book is about loneliness. Yet its pages are bracingly companionable. Itis 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, ithas laughter, brevity, style; as a book to pass the time away with, it is in a class withthe 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 ... Jack Black’s story combines so manythings: the carefully worked out detail and suspense of a detective story, the sharp eyeand ears of a collector of fellow characters, all very different and alive, the naked,honest, unfevered revelation of the autobiography of a man’s heart and mind.
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
Despite the fascination of these picaresque adventurings, the most nobly exciting thingin the book is the revelation it gives of the unbreakable spirit of Jack Black himself
Authenticity aside, this book is a most efficient thriller; and those readers - and theyare very numerous - who enjoy hairbreadth captures and hairbreadth escapes, courttrials and prison floggings, burglary and sudden death, vividly brought before them onthe printed pages, are here provided with a satisfying and sufficiently gruesome meal.--London
Times Literary Supplement