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Mexico City Blues [Paperback]

Jack Kerouac
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.03
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

30 Jun 2000
Jack Kerouac, who died in 1969 at the age of forty-seven, is renowned as the father of the "beat generation." His eighteen internationally acclaimed books -- including "On the Road, Doctor Sax, The Subterraneans, " and "Lonesome Traveler" -- were important signpost in a new American literature. Here, in "Mexico City Blues, " his only collection of poetry, his voice is as distinctive as in his prose; it roams widely across continents and cultures in a restless search for meaning and expression, giving the verse the unique qualities found in America's most distinctive contribution to music.

Frequently Bought Together

Mexico City Blues + The Portable Beat Reader + Junky: The Definitive Text of 'Junk' (Penguin Modern Classics)
Price For All Three: 24.37

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press; Reissue edition (30 Jun 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802130607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802130600
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 13.7 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, where, he said, he 'roamed fields and riverbanks by day and night, wrote little novels in my room, first novel written at age eleven, also kept extensive diaries and "newspapers" covering my own-invented horse-racing and baseball and football worlds' (as recorded in the novel Doctor Sax). He was educated by Jesuit brothers in Lowell. He said that he 'decided to become a writer at age seventeen under influence of Sebastian Sampas, local young poet, who later died on Anzio beach head; read the life of Jack London at eighteen and decided to also be a lonesome traveler; early literary influences Saroyan and Hemingway; later Wolfe (after I had broken leg in Freshman football at Columbia read Tom Wolfe and roamed his New York on crutches).'

Kerouac wished, however, to develop his own new prose style, which he called 'spontaneous prose.' He used this technique to record the life of the American 'traveler' and the experiences of the Beat generation of the 1950s. This may clearly be seen in his most famous novel On the Road, and also in The Subterraneans and The Dharma Bums. His first more orthodox published novel was The Town and the City. Jack Kerouac, who described himself as a 'strange solitary crazy Catholic mystic,' was working on his longest novel, a surrealistic study of the last ten years of his life when he died in 1969, aged forty-seven.

Other works by Jack Kerouac include Big Sur, Desolation Angels, Lonesome Traveler, Visions of Gerard, Tristessa, and a book of poetry called Mexico City Blues. On the Road: The Original Scroll, the full uncensored transcription of the original manuscript of On the Road, is published by Penguin Modern Classics.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Mexico City Blues shocked and moved me. The freedom with which Kerouac takes his writing, inventing words and splattering images, envys me as an aspiring poet. I have tried to imitate his style but finally realized that only Jack can write like Jack. The poems contained on these pages are some of the greatest I have ever read and reading them is like slowly devouring an entire banquet.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beat in it's purest, in a word perfect kerouac 28 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Kerouac was a master with words and the rythm of the human voice, his words beatifully crafted are written in a way that you have to read it allowed, a book you'll want with you every where if you appreciate anything about poetry
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tooty blooty 4 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback
Everything was as
you said it was as
it should be
and is

Gratitudes
for the
beatitudes
dudes
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ole Viva Mexico City Blues!!!!!!!!! 20 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I bought it about two or three or may be four? I was immediatly drawn in! Each poem was like a short store in it self. If you get the chance by all means. BUY THIS BOOK IMMEDIATLY!!!!!! YOU WON'T BE DISSAPOINTED!!! I GURANTEE IT!!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spontaneous Bop Prosody 10 Feb 2001
By Arch Llewellyn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It took me a while to get beyond the Beat myth and see these poems for what they are--some of the most joyful, goofy and affecting writings of the last century. Jack wrote all 242 choruses--one per notebook page--over six weeks in 1955. His improvised word-jazz was at its peak; the poems are fresh and spontaneous but rarely sloppy (try it yourself if you don't believe me). The Buddhist leanings are a little simple-minded, but simplicity is part of the point. In layout and verbal inventiveness Jack's more experimental than most poets writing today. He combines a love for made-up words and language as pure sound with a lyrical directness that you find more often in pop songs than modern poetry. Hearing Jack read some of these on the Steve Allen record made me realize how rare a thing his poems achieved: sentiment, experiment, tenderness, peace. A moving companion to On the Road.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kerouac and the Blues.. 8 April 2000
By Charles Pinney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jack Kerouac wanted to be known as a jazz poet and with this poem he proves that he is. Mexico City Blues is one of my favorite Kerouac books and a lot of fun to read.
The 242 Choruses are free-spirited and spontaneous, almost like they've been written just before you turn the page. If you've read and enjoyed "On the Road" or "The Dharma Bums" pick this one up and enjoy.
A little Miles Davis, John Coltrane, or Charlie Parker playing in the background will add a whole new dimension. Sweet.
"..Fifty pesos
3 Cheers Forever
It's beautiful to be comfortable
Nirvana here I am.."
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One long, magnificent, riff of the written word.... 10 Jun 2002
By OAKSHAMAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I remember when I first stumbled across this book in the early 90's- it was like Christmas came twice that year. You see, I had thought that I had read absolutely everything published by Kerouac, prose and poem. I didn't know this existed, Wow! It is like one long, magnificent blues or jazz riff of the written word. It is a true blues composition because it has genuine soul. The more I think about it, it just might be the best thing that he ever did.
I know this is going to sound outrageous, but the only comparable book of American poetry I can even think of comparing this to would be Whitman's _Leaves of Grass_. Whitman and Kerouac both sang of the same grass roots, mystical, America. And it's still out there, if you shake your mind free of the preconceptions and the [junk]....
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The poems flow freely like a jazz chorus, like Jack intended 15 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Mexico City Blues shocked and moved me. The freedom with which Kerouac takes his writing, inventing words and splattering images, envys me as an aspiring poet. I have tried to imitate his style but finally realized that only Jack can write like Jack. The poems contained on these pages are some of the greatest I have ever read and reading them is like slowly devouring an entire banquet.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to get into Kerouac's poetry 25 Aug 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have been a Kerouac fan for a long time, but it was a couple of years after reading most his novels that I was able to get into his poetry. "Pomes all sizes", for example, sat unread on my bookshelf for some time. "Mexico City Blues" is what really turned me on to his poetry and made me able to appreciate it. I was able to go back and read his other petry with new eyes. This book is fantastic. Read it out loud to yrself, the man had a natural knack for rhythm. Great book.
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