Jack Kerouac’s American Journey

Book Reviews | Jan 19th, 2009

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Author: Paul Maher Jr.
Publisher: Thunder’s Mouth Press
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 296

“Jack Kerouac’s American Journey” recounts Kerouac’s life, times, and travels just prior to his writing “On The Road.”

For those into the mundane details of the lives of their literary heroes, this book is a treasure of minutiae. It follows Kerouac’s day-to-day hanging out with Cassady, Ginsberg, Burroughs, etc., as well as information on what records Kerouac played, who’s apartment he visited on so-and-so day to buy pot, even what kind of refrigerator he had.

For all the knowledge of his subject, I found Maher Jr.’s writing unengaging, flat, and surprisingly lacking in passion. Some have called this book sloppy and likely rushed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of “On The Road”; I don’t think it’s a soulless hack job or Wikipedia rewrite, but it isn’t very interesting or enlightening, and certainly not definitive.

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