Beggars of Life [NOOK Book]

Overview

Jim Tully left his hometown of St. Marys, Ohio, in 1901, spending most of his teenage years in the company of hoboes. Drifting across the country as a “road kid,” he spent those years scrambling into boxcars, sleeping in hobo jungles, avoiding railroad cops, begging meals from back doors, and haunting public libraries. Tully crafted these memories into a dark and astonishing chronicle of the American underclass—especially in his second book, Beggars of Life, an autobiographical novel published in 1924. Tully saw ...
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Beggars of Life

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Overview

Jim Tully left his hometown of St. Marys, Ohio, in 1901, spending most of his teenage years in the company of hoboes. Drifting across the country as a “road kid,” he spent those years scrambling into boxcars, sleeping in hobo jungles, avoiding railroad cops, begging meals from back doors, and haunting public libraries. Tully crafted these memories into a dark and astonishing chronicle of the American underclass—especially in his second book, Beggars of Life, an autobiographical novel published in 1924. Tully saw it all, from a church baptism in the Mississippi River to election day in Chicago. And in Beggars of Life, he captures an America largely hidden from view.This novelistic memoir impressed readers and reviewers with its remarkable vitality and honesty. Tully’s devotion to Mark Twain and Jack London taught him the importance of giving the reader a sense of place, and this he does brilliantly, again and again, throughout Beggars of Life. From the opening conversation on a railroad trestle, Beggars of Life rattles along like the Fast Flyer Virginia that Tully boards midway through the book. This is the book that defined Tully’s hard-boiled style and set the pattern for the twelve books that followed over the next two decades. Startling in its originality and intensity, Beggars of Life is a breakneck journey made while clinging to the lowest rungs of the social ladder.
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Editorial Reviews

The American Mercury - H. L. Mencken
“If Tully were a Russian, read in translation, all the professors would be hymning him. He has all of Gorky’s capacity for making vivid the miseries of poor and helpless men, and in addition he has a humor that no Russian could conceivably have.”
The New York Evening Post - Book Reviews
“A fascinating book and one of the frankest.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612779409
  • Publisher: Kent State University Press
  • Publication date: 1/5/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 787 KB

Meet the Author

Jim Tully (1886–1947) was born in St. Marys, Ohio. He is the author of numerous books chronicling the American underclass, including Circus Parade (1927; The Kent State University Press, 2009), Shanty Irish (1928; The Kent State University Press, 2009), Shadows of Men (1930), and Blood on the Moon (1931).
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2000

    A FORGOTTEN AUTHOR WHO IS WORTHY OF REVIVAL

    As publisher of the on-line journal Americana, I am always on the lookout for what a poet has called 'the pure products' of this country. Jim Tully is such a one. His short fiction was initially published in H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan's American Mercury. Tully's Beggars of Life was a best-seller in 1924, and was successfully dramatized and presented on Broadway as 'Outside Looking In' during the following year. Those who are enamored of reading about the life of hoboes and people who rode the rails may find this will be one of their favorite books. Tully writes in a spartan but never perfunctory style, and pulls no punches in recounting the graphic details of his rugged life on the road. From 1927 to 1932 he followed this book with four additional volumes touching upon his life and hard times: Circus Parade, Shanty Irish, Shadows of Men and Laughter In Hell. The first and third of these are the best. He also writes well about boxers in his first novel, 'Jarnegan,' cited below. From time to time he resembles a thoroughly unironic Ring Lardner, and one might fault him for a certain sentimentality which keeps his work from the top rank, but I've come across no better accounts of hoboing than his.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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