JACK BE QUICK by Richard B. Koiner


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Oh Jack, he ain't a bum, no he's a hobo; he ain't stupid, he's ignorant (although every once in a while he makes a more larned' goof) and he's one of those native originals from Missouri, pure cornpone and all grit. He was born in the back of a Model T Ford (via a wetback and sixteen year old Mary Ellen who abandoned him, then went on to run a flesh parlor in San Antonio, and marry an Oklahoma oil king). Round about eighteen he went to live with Breakaway Annie, a whore with a heart; then an Indian gal, Sue, whose brother rips his stomach open and he ends in Bellevue; and finally Freda, a college-ejucated virgin with whom he hustles and heists all around the Times Square turf until a last horrific scene-- on a train. Well, Jack, he's in that literary tradition of the deadbeat- searcher which started way back in the old Kerouawacky days and his picaresque experiences with all kinds of people (Purdy's Malcolm-- Pynchon-- etc.) are in a venerable youthful tradition. Mr. Koiner was given a Breadloaf Fellowship on the basis of the first two chapters but one wonders if they knew what they were sponsoring. A talent with some dark humor-- at loose ends. As for the reader, he will begin by raising an eyebrow over what appears to be a tall tale, but he may end up gagging when he attempts to swallow it-- it's a kind of sick joke. But then Jack has another way of putting it: ""Things that can stick in an old gander's craw, roll off a young duck's back.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1966
Publisher: Lyle Stuart