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Mostly True: The Story of Bozo Texino

by: Bill Daniel

June 20th, 2009 · post by Chris Walktall · Make a comment

Publisher: Microcosm

Bozo Texino is a tag that adorns tens of thousands of box cars all over the American rail system and the hunt for the hobo author – along with other hobo art, first hand stories of train jumping adventures and interviews with railway workers – is what transcends this strange book/zine. The author peruses all this looking for a hobo art sub-culture and attempts to shed light on the culture of train jumping across the west coast; and finds drawing, tags, poetry, folk-tales, philosophy all based around the rail system. Like the culture it investigates, it’s a slow paced, meandering book, wandering from topic to topic without any strident purpose. It’s this lack of intent that slightly lets it down; I read most of the book in one sitting and found there wasn’t enough content to keep your attention. The quality is great, with the entire thing being done up like an early 20th century railway zine, complete with adverts (only the occasional website gives away its modernity). All in all a romantic, charming and interesting book to keep on a coffee table and leaf through occasionally but not something that’s going to keep you engrossed.

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