Cain’s Book has ratings and 33 reviews. MJ said: Trocchi’s final and most fêted work (apart from the odds-and-ends poetry shambles, Man at Leisure, a. So begins Cain’s Book, Alexander Trocchi’s incredible novel of existential dread. Young Adam, its predecessor, is better known, but the latter is. Written in America while Trocchi was working on a scow on the Hudson River, Cain’s Book is an extraordinary autobiographical account about a junky’s life, and .

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Return to Book Page. Preview — Cain’s Book by Alexander Trocchi. Cain’s Book by Alexander Trocchi. This is the journal of Joe Necchi, a junkie living on a barge that plies the rivers and bays of New York. Junk for Necchi, however, is a tool, freely chosen and fully justified; he is Cain, the malcontent, the profliga This is the journal of Joe Necchi, a junkie living on a barge that plies the rivers and bays of New York.

But unlike his literary bkok, in his roman tocchi clef, Trocchi never romanticizes the source of his inspiration. Paperbackpages. Published November 11th by Grove Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.


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Cain’s Book – Wikipedia

The work is compelling despite occasional lapses into intellectual waffle i. If only writers of lesser talent would rebel booi that obligation—we may have less whiffy trpcchi. View all 6 comments. Trocfhi 14, Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing.

Loose ends, things unrelated, shifts, nightmare journeys, cities arrived at and czin, meetings, desertions, betrayals, all manner of unions, adulteries, triumphs, defeats… these are the facts. The universe might shrink or expand.

I would remain aware, a little pocket of coherence in the city of dreadful night. The drug can be treacherous, leading through all the hollow recesses and caves of panic. An identity slips cajn and one can no longer choose to be immersed in it, voluptuously to be duped.

Sep 28, Abailart rated it it was amazing Shelves: Let’s cut through the dread the moral authorities and sensibilities of timid readers which reacted against this book on its publication. Yes, horror of horrors, people do have sex, frocchi frequently, and they do take drugs. While not wanting to labour the point of the latter or offer any value judgment, I refer you to Trocchi’s own polemic. That very dread hatred is of dread is more the point than the object of terror: There are degrees of addic Let’s cut through the dread the moral authorities and sensibilities of timid readers which reacted against this book on its publication.

There are degrees of addiction, and the physical part has nothing to do with it. But with the right drugs you can kick that in a few days. The degrees of addiction that matter are psychological, like intellectually how long have you been a vegetable? Are you riding the horse or what?

You shelve the problem when you think in those terms. There are doctors, painters, lawyers on dope, and they can still function. It provides the police with something to do, and as junkies and potheads are relatively easy to apprehend because they have to take so many chances to get hold of their drugs, a heroic police can make spectacular arrests, lawyers can do a brisk business, judges can make speeches, the big troccji can make a fortune, the tabloids can sell millions of copies.


John Citizen can sit back feeling exonerated and watch evil get its deserts. Everyone gets something out of it except the junkie. Critical knowledge we must vigilantly keep in the public domain. A cursory glance at history should caution us thus. I would recommend on grounds of public safety that heroin and all other known drugs be placed with lucid literature pertaining to its use and abuse on the counters of all chemists to think that a man should be allowed a gun and not a drug!

This is the only safe method of controlling the use of drugs. At the moment we are encouraging ignorance, legislating to keep crime in existence, and preparing the way for one of the most heinous usurpations of power of all times.

Authorities, take this as a starting point for your condemnations and the laws you frame. Much has been written of its this and that existential themes or insights, commentary on art and writing etc. Much of it is good but safely radical, the sort of stuff any arty adolescent suffused with angst, ennui and the sweet anger at provincialism could come up with: All great art and today all great artlessness must appear extreme to the mass of men as we know them today.

It springs from the anguish of great souls. From the souls of men not formed but deformed in factories whose inspiration is pelf. The critics who call upon the lost and beat generations to come trocchi, who use the dead to club the living, write prettily about anguish because to them it is an historical phenomenon and not a pain in the arse. But bokk is pain in the arse and we wonder at the impertinence of governments which by my own experience and that of my father boom his father before him have consistently done everything in their power to make individuals treat the world situation lightly, that they should frown on yrocchi violence of my imagination—which is a sensitive responsive instrument—and set their damn police on me who has not stirred from this caim for 15 years trrocchi to cop shit.

The bottom line is that it is supremely well written, as near as words can get to inhabiting flesh. Thus, I trocchu, many of its readers will never get to read it. View all 5 comments. Feb 03, Donna trochi it it was amazing. This book wasn’t at all what I expected. Junkie lit, no matter how good, can’t help being formulaic. Those Mission Tocchi episodes where Barnie play-acts the sweat-soaked terrors of withdrawal represents one end of the continuum.

French Connection 2, Panic in Needle Park, Trainspotting, the dirty cottons of William Burroughs’ oeuvre, and so on, nod off along various parts of this continuum and we know every station of this cross. It’s part of our folklore. I don’t know exactly what the junki This book wasn’t at all what I expected.

I don’t know exactly what the junkie is in our folklore-literature but I do know he is a very important archetype. I say ‘he’ because though the female of the species exists, she has a different meaning that I haven’t quite worked out. Girls getting their own are rare in literature, though in real life they are far more efficient. All this to say that junkie lit has certain elements in it that are as predictable as a Betty and Veronica comic. And we want these elements.

We wait for them as surely as we wait for the crucifixion in a passion play. Trocchi’s book subverts all of this.

He cops, he shoots, he scores. But Pilate never comes and neither does the great withdrawal, which for this kind of epic serves as the journey to the underworld. He keeps himself in dope and replaces the crucifixion with the work on the scows where he is is towed out to the sea to sit adrift with just enough until the he is returned to the harbour.


His job is to maintain the scow without toiling to tow it, unload it, or anything of that sort. He drifts, and these parts of the book bracketed by the onshore world of copping, shooting, negotiating, copping, shooting, become strangely beautiful.

Hence the underworld is a beautiful sea-borne limbo wilderness wherein Cain makes an imperfect peace with the realities of what have him living by the dropper. Though I never got the impression he could leave this world, the whole thing left me with an odd sense of hope. Jan 22, RC Edrington rated it it was amazing. It was this book alone that convinced me that the life playing out between my ears needed release onto paper. I have no memory of reading this book in the past, but it seems that I had read it some years ago.

Nevertheless, I purchased this copy at the Red Wheelbarrow in Paris last week. It’s excellent, because the character of Alexander Trocchi is on every page, and he himself is a fascinating figure. One could call this a junkie’s memoir or journal, but it is much more than that. It’s a portrait of a man who is floating between what culture wants him to be, and the refusal of that society.

There is no I have no memory of reading this book in the past, but it seems that I had read it some years ago. There is no plot in this novel, but more of a series of commentary on life as it is lived. Trocchi is a remarkable writer with great descriptive gifts. Amoral in a sense, but on the other hand he sees the world as a place of not allowing pleasures, so, therefore, he drifts between jobs on a boat to investigate an alternative life, that is chosen in a sense, but not clear if it’s the right choice or not.

Which I don’t think is the point of the book. As a reader, we’re sharing his moments, and that is part of the adventure. A remarkable novel by just about any standard.

Cain’s Book

Forget those who say it’s about addiction: It is rather an honest attempt to place a troubled and rebellious human consciousness into a literary troccho between the many false value systems offered it by all of the anti-existentialist troccgi structures: Our protagonist, Joe Necchi, opts for words, heroin and, primarily, play as models for escape from and the rejection of the world’s many labels and expectations–each strategy presents itself, to greater and lesser degrees, as a tragic insufficiency perhaps, but they are all-too-logical and at least temporarily consoling actions in the face of the mind-numbing conformity that is trofchi with us in the modern materialistic pseudo-Christian nation-state.

I can think of no more important or pointed social novel to read from the last century. Oct 26, Tosh rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: For those who want to live through other people’s lives. Alexander Trocchi is without a doubt is one of the most interesting characters in 20th Century literature.