Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Young Adam

by Alexander Trocchi

The magnum opus from a notorious Beat writer, reissued and repackaged with a new introduction.

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 176
  • Publication Date March 14, 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2617-7
  • Dimensions 5" x 5"
  • US List Price $16.00

About The Book

Joe is a drifter who works as a hired hand on a barge traveling the Clyde River between Glasgow and Edinburgh. As the story opens, he finds the corpse of a young woman floating in the water. Was it an accident? Suicide? Murder? As the police investigate and arrest a suspect, we discover that Joe knows more than he’s telling. Confined in the claustrophobic space of the barge, an unspoken tension develops between Joe and his wife, Ella, and her business partner, Leslie. Originally published in 1954, this first novel by Scottish beat writer Alexander Trocchi is an absorbing existential thriller—a lost gem of world literature.

The film adaptation of Young Adam, starring Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton, was released by Sony Pictures Classics in 2003.

Tags Literary


“[Young Adam] is rife with desire and longing, a sense that, in the physical, we might free ourselves, however temporarily, from the strictures of society. More than anything, though, it’s a philosophical novel, a tautly written existential thriller.” —David L. Ulin, LA Weekly

“Everyone should read Young Adam.” —Times Literary Supplement (UK)

“Trocchi may be the greatest unknown writer in the world. . . . What Trocchi was about, in life and art, was the testing of boundaries, the eradication of acceptable behavior in the name of something more engaged.” —Bloomsbury Review

“Trocchi has the courage so essential to a writer. He writes about spirit, flesh, and death and the vision that comes through the flesh. He has been there and brought it back.” —William S. Burroughs

“The most brilliant man I’ve ever met.” —Allen Ginsberg

“Mr. Trocchi’s ideas (or, rather, his gropings toward the distant glow of ideas) are set down in prose that is always clean and sharp and often ferociously alive with poetry.” —New Yorker