Rogues, Roustabouts, Wags & Scamps--Ne'er-Do-Wells Through the Ages
In these pages you will encounter gamblers and adventurers, conmen and conwomen, rodomontades and ragamuffins, outright fools and outrageous liars. Scalawags, the lot of them. But you can be an adventurer, a conman or conwoman, a fool, liar, gambler, rodomontade or ragamuffin and not be a scalawag. Many adventurers are not even interesting, come to think of it, let alone scalawags. There is an ineffable quality, an indefinable something or other that sets some people apart, places them in the special category that Jim Christy calls "scalawag. " You might call them something else: nuts, perhaps. And quite frankly in many instances-George Francis Train, for instance, or Louis De Rougemont-you’d probably be right. But likewise you don’t have to be a crackpot to be a scalawag: Two Gun Cohen, for instance, or Lady Jane Digby. What you have to be is outrageous with a bit of what Andre Malraux, an adventurer and liar, perhaps-;but not a scalawag-designated, in reviving an old French word, farfelu. It means that you are willing to risk everything, whether on a grand or small scale, on the craziest of schemes, the wildest of notions.
"Curious cases of cannibalism, extreme sado-masochism, and generally irrational behaviour abound, making ‘Scalawags’ the perfect balm anyone attempting to cloister their desires in a bid for self improvement. " - Steven Schelling
"My advice: Keep your copy of ‘Scalawags’ in the bathroom. Or on your bedside table. Or in the bag you carry on the bus. It’s perfectly suited to those times when you’re seeking a momentary escape. There’s nothing like outrageous lives and flamboyant characters to take you out of your dreary day-to-day. " - Robert J. Wiersema, The Vancouver Sun