More than forty years after the publication of On the Road, Jack Kerouac is more widely read and revered by a new generation than ever before. Why this is so is the subject of Barry Miles's fresh and revealing portrait of the writer who is the acknowledged leader of the Beats, the group of writers that included Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Neal Cassady, and Gary Snyder, who together influenced the direction of writing and culture more than any group of artists since England's Bloomsbury.
Drawing on Kerouac's close friendship and conversations with Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, Miles offers provocative new insights into both the exuberance and the dismay of Kerouac, a man full of contradictions who was surprisingly conventional despite his longing to rebel. The Kerouac who emerges is deeper, darker, and more fascinating than any we've ever known. Kerouac is now an icon, an image, an attitude, and Barry Miles convincingly conveys his longing for greatness and the consequences of achieving it.
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