Here, in what has become a classic of its kind since its publication in 1978, is the fascinating story of an American literary legend, recorded through the voices of the friends and lovers of Jack Kerouac, "King of the Beats." Authors Barry Gifford and Lawrence Lee retraced Keoruac's life at home and on the road, and talked with the prophets, musicians, poets, socialites, and working people who knew Jack Kerouac. Some are famous (Allen Ginsberg, Gore Vidal, William Burroughs, Gary Snyder, among others), some are not (Jack's boyhood buddies, his lovers, his barroom companions). All have contributed to a remarkably vibrant, riveting portrait of a life. We see Jack at Columbia University and on the scene of Greenwich Village; speeding across the tarmac of America with Neal Cassidy ("Dan Moriarty" in Keorac's classic novel, On the Road); at home with his possessive mother; in California, drinking wine and talking Buddhism; and finally, in Florida, where his life ends tragically at age forty-seven. Jack's Book, like Kerouac's novels, makes a unique contribution to our understanding of a man and a generation that shaped the dreams and visions of those who followed.
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If Kerouac's books taken altogether form one long narrative ("one vast book") of his life as he saw it (an idea he often seems to have expressed in conversation), Jack's Book creates a portrait of that life as those around him saw it.Apr 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Jack's Book