Read Jack Kerouac: King of the Beats by BarryMiles Online


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 SnydMore 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....

Title : Jack Kerouac: King of the Beats
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780805060447
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 332 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Jack Kerouac: King of the Beats Reviews

  • Dona
    2019-06-18 12:45

    I thought this was a really good biography in that it was well-researched, thorough, annotated, interesting and honest. Miles did his homework and also consulted valuable primary sources such as Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder, themselves. He also included fair criticism of Kerouac's writing which made me more interested to read some of the works that I have overlooked. That being said, parts of this book were very difficult to read. Although I'm always irritated with writers who canonize Kerouac, I don't know if I was ready to read graphic accounts of his deterioration into alchoholism, replete with blow by blow descriptions of racism (he once got his 14 year old nephew to burn a cross they'd erected between a white and black neighborhood--while drunkenly screaming racial slurs) and misogyny. Miles attributes many of Kerouac's demons to an unresolved Oedipal conflict and a really disturbed, enabling and abusive mother, who, in essence, trapped him in a perpetual state of infantilism. While this analysis is well-supported and fascinating, I think Miles could at least have given a nod to the possibility that Kerouac was mentally ill and never got the treatment he needed (given his years of self-medicating with alcohol).

  • Keith
    2019-06-25 17:48

    Most overrated writer/movement ever? Maybe. These guys are just fuck-ups. Silver spoon kids (mostly) with really high IQs, who lacked work ethic, self control, and integrity/morals. Why do people suck off the Beats so much? Is it because they did so many drugs? Wow. Super. Is it because they all slept with each other and homosexuality is interesting and cool? Fuck off. Is it because they went on road trips? I went on a road trip. Is it because Kerouac wanted to fuck his mom and Oedipus complexes are so interesting and relevant? In a 20th century context, sorry, but Oedipus complexes are just disgusting.There's a lot of revisionist history associated with the Beats. Why their lifestyle is so romanticized now is beyond me.

  • Outoftunetoo
    2019-06-16 11:47

    Pretty brutal look at a tortured soul.

  • Bill
    2019-06-18 13:50


  • David Rullo
    2019-06-20 13:04

    Barry Miles presents a warts and all biography of the Beat Generation's most famous novelist. In fact, Miles biography, while 100% correct and 100% accurate, is the most negative or realist biography I've read of Kerouac and I think I've read them all. Let's face it, Kerouac was never the man people thought and still he was. In his later years he was conservative, racist, an alcoholic, isolated by his lifestyle and the way he treated people and a horrible father. Miles doesn't hide any of this from the reader. He touches on the abuse that Ginsberg endured but if I was editing, I probably would have presented more of that.What this bio doesn't do is explain why an asshole like Kerouac clearly was inspired a legion of people around him to maintain their loyalty and remain friends with him (except William Burroughs) nor does it give enough of a picture of why at least his first three or four books are considered masterpieces and used as a guide for life by whole generations of young people. Miles does present Kerouac as a complicated, fractured person--a better author than a man, but much of his work is ignored, most of his poetry for example, however, given when the book was written, the vaults weren't yet open with a new Kerouac work making its way every few years on the market as they are now. I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you think the Kerouac lifestyle is one you'd like to replicate.

  • Johannes Hadi
    2019-06-16 17:41

    i wanted to know the person behind the icon before picking up any of Kerouac's books and this book did well to bring me up to speed on the Beat Generation and all its accompanying ideals - literary and philosophical. author was highly objective in his portraiture of the man (read: harshly critical) and to be frank, i don't have a very good impression of Kerouac after reading this book. am possibly more curious about his contemporaries like Ginsberg or Burroughs. also, i am a massive Bukowski fan, so that's that.will still continue to pursue Kerouac's work together with the rest of Beat Generation literature due to a personal interest in this period in American history with all its growing pains and teething problems, but i'm clearly not romanticizing it as much as i do Bukowski.

  • Simon Powell
    2019-06-21 18:54

    Very well written, but a book I found hard to read at times, if only because the subject comes across as such a turd of a man, especially in the treatment of his daughter. However, it is not just about the artist, but the art as well, and the author is fair and balanced, praising the good stuff, constructively criticising the bad and spending some time analysing the place of Kerouac in modern American literature, not just as a Beat writer.Essential for anyone interested in Kerouac or any of the other fascinating characters in his life, such as Allen Ginsberg or William Burroughs, and I look forward to reading the biographies of those two that Barry Miles has written.

  • Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
    2019-06-23 15:54

    I was obsessed with Kerouac during my first two years of high school. I reread this book a couple years ago and generally enjoyed it but not with the same feeling of admiration for the man that I had at 15. A well done biography nonetheless.

  • Jeff
    2019-06-12 14:47

    Kerouac was a worse guy than I realized. And his mom was a real ballbuster.

  • John
    2019-06-01 19:08

    An entertaining biography of a reprehensible human being who showed flashes of incredible literary talent.

  • Neil
    2019-06-13 11:50

    I found this to be a brutal look at the famous writer of On The Road and an interesting insight into his works beyond that. It doesn't encourage you to pursue his works.

  • Amy
    2019-06-11 15:09

    Pretty dry bio...I'm going to look for a more fun bio to read. I love Kerouac, and Miles kind of drags him in the dust.

  • Rachel Skye
    2019-06-25 12:09

    Update as of later.

  • Weston
    2019-06-22 13:07

    Certainly ruins your image of Kerouac as the cool and lovable mofo but incredibly interesting nonetheless

  • Kelsey Collier-wise
    2019-06-14 11:42

    Interesting and complete biography. The author doesn't really seem to like Kerouac as a person and honestly, after reading the book, neither did I.

  • A
    2019-06-06 17:02

    Jack Kerouac was a fucking asshole, man.

  • Chris King
    2019-06-23 13:49

    Fascinating study of one very,very complex man.