Cain’s Book: a book review

Jon Vreeland - Poet/Human

It was Patti Smith and William Burroughs who turned me onto Alexander Trocchi and his autobiographical masterpiece published in 1960 by Grove Press—a book out of print, a book Trocchi burned himself at his own book burning, a book where Trocchi uses a fictionalized journal of Junkie, Joe Necchi, who lives and shoots heroin—in solidarity of course—on a scow on the Hudson River, to convey a life that is now an epidemic.

At first the book terrified me: I had heard of the beat poet and junkie so I knew the power his words could ultimately possess when it came to heroin and living in a world of Personal Anarchy, something junkie’s inadvertently succumb to with a strange level of valor that appears to be cowardice at best. I have never read a book like this: this original, intelligent, edgy, repugnant, alluring, all at the same time. The biblical reference…

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