Jack Kerouac's first novel, The Haunted Life, is being published for the first time. It was originally thought to have been lost in a New York cab but turned up some years ago. It will definitely go on my list, he was such an innovative writer for the time and had he lived longer what he may have written could have been pure genius.
Book of Dreams and Dharma Bums are real beat literature, strange stuff today but think jazz age 1950s into 60s. Mexico City Blues for his poetry. Listen to jazz when reading it, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, early Miles Davis or more bluey stuff even. On the Road got me up and hitching lifts all over Europe when I had holidays, but today the whole concept of it is historically hard to see so clearly. It is the writing style, like Joyce it takes some getting used to but unlike Ginsberg it also makes sense because it is easy to identify with his characters.
On The Road is one of those books I have on the shelf because I thought it should be there. I tried reading, but couldn’t get on with it. However that was 40 years ago. Now I’ve matured in my reading habits I must try again.
I do find that with some novels. They work second time around, just as others I think, why did I ever like/appreciate this.
Yowee, I had almost forgotten that one. I was a hip 18 year old at university when that appeared, 66 or 67. Forgotten it since. Time for a serious Kerouac reading period once again.
He wrote a short one called Satori in Paris which is about when he visited there.