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 an honest, raunchy, eye-opening trip through hell.
Probably the most famous novel about drug addiction and the hazards and excitements of an addict’s life after Burrough’s Naked Lunch, this modern classic – which was prosecuted in Britain for obscenity in 1965 – still shocks in its frankness and is relevant to this day.
Mr Trocchi’s ideas (or, rather, his gropings toward the distant glow of ideas) are set down in prose that is always clean and sharp and often ferociously alive with poetry.
The New Yorker
It is different from other books, it is true, it has art, it is brave.
Alexander Trocchi (1925–84) left Glasgow University with the honours of a brilliant philosophy scholar. In Paris, he founded Merlin – the outstanding literary magazine – wrote novels for Olympia Press, experimented with heroin and became hooked. He is best known for Cain’s Book and Young Adam.