Alexander Trocchi was one of the seminal beat figures. Born in Scotland, he made his way in Paris and New York, and Young Adam is one of his most important works. Joe is a drifter who works as a hired hand on a barge traveling the Clyde River between Glasgow and Edinburgh. As Young Adam opens, Joe finds the corpse of a young woman floating in the water. Was it an accident, a suicide, or was she murdered? As the police investigate and arrest a suspect, Trocchi’s haunting novel reveals that Joe knows far more than he’s telling. Meanwhile, confined in the claustrophobic space of the barge, an unspoken attraction develops between Joe and the wife of the barge skipper. Originally published in 1954, this is an absorbing existential thriller, a forgotten gem by an important beat writer.