Where things will go your way...or they won't

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

things i didn't know about something i thought i knew all about*

Burroughs and Kerouac wrote a book together in 1945.  I am a huge fan of the Beat writers so I am surprised I had not heard of this book.  Apparently it was not very good.

None of these one-dimensional slackers are remotely interesting as individuals, but together they give the reader a sense of the seedy, artsy world Kerouac and Burroughs inhabited in New York during the war years. And so these, really, are the only reasons to read this undistinguished book: for the period picture it provides of the city — think of Billy Wilder’s “Lost Weekend” crossed with Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” — and for the semi-autobiographical glimpses it offers of the two writers before they found their voices and became bohemian brand names.

*alternate title: I should read the NYT more or I will lose my cultural-elistist-amerikkkahating card.

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