Red Hell: The Life Story of John Goode, Criminal. CRIME, THE UNDERWORLD, Thelma ROBERTS, John Goode.

Red Hell: The Life Story of John Goode, Criminal

New York: Rae D. Henkle, Publisher, 1934. First Edition. First Printing. Octavo (20.5cm); black cloth, with titling and decorations stamped in red on spine and front cover; red topstain; dustjacket; [6],7-320pp. Base of spine gently nudged, else a fresh, Fine copy. Dustjacket is unclipped (priced $2.50), edgeworn, with a few shallow nicks to spine ends and corners (none affecting lettering), a short split at lower flap fold, and some old, faint spatter marks, most evident on the red portions of the panels; Very Good.

Memoir of Boston-born career criminal John Goode (1864-1934), whose life in crime began at age 11, working as a look-out for a gang of burglars after moving to a Colorado mining camp. His criminal career involved robbery and train robbery, cattle rustling, looting gambling houses, pickpocketing, and grand larceny, spending time in prisons and penitentiaries across the country. "Goode has recorded a great amount of detail about experiences in prison cells -- the long nights, the childish pranks prisoners play to relieve the tedium, and the devious and limitless ways in which life is made more uncomfortable" (SUVAK 128). Includes commentary on his experiences doing time at the Ohio Penitentiary, City Prison of Manhattan, and Sing Sing Prison. Goode was encouraged "to put his story into some form of written order" by his friend, publisher Rae D. Henkle, who in his prefatory note describes him as having "a gentle, kindly smile that reflected a gentle, kindly spirit: a man who had been helped out of his particular hell and who wanted, with all his heart, to help other men." Goode died shortly prior to publication of his memoir. Scarce in dustjacket; OCLC notes about two dozen holdings, but most appear to be in circulating collections.

Price: $450.00

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