The Beat Generation

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Pocket Essentials, 2002

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In search of the Beats: were they angel-headed hipsters, dope smoking dropouts or the most exciting group of writers in post-war American literature? Their stories of drugs, sex and the search for an alternative to Squaresville have cornered the market in cult literature, remaining hip even while being taught on university courses and in schools. On the Road, Naked Lunch and Howl have become milestones of underground literature and the key Beats (Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsberg) are mythic figures of contemporary pop culture.

An introductory essay examines the importance of the writers and their work in American culture. Separate chapters are devoted to the lives and work of Burroughs, Ginsberg and Kerouac. Later chapters discuss the other members of this movement (Neal Cassady, Herbert Huncke and many more), the Beats on film, and their influence on the counterculture of the ’60s.

REVIEWS:

Paperback of the Week : Time Out magazine, 13th March 2002