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The First Third Paperback – 1 Sep 1986


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The First Third + Neal Cassady Collected Letters, 1944-1967 + Off the Road: Twenty Years with Cassady, Kerouac and Ginsberg
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Product details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Books; Rev Exp edition (1 Sept. 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872860051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872860056
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 316,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 July 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the true life story of the main inspiration behind the beat movement and the early Acid movement. This autobiography examines the first 13 years or so of Cassady's life. The only problem with it is that it is too short. However, it redeems itself with the addition of letters and exerpts in the back. These are more entertaining than the book in some ways. Check out the letter to Ken Kesey. When you are done with this book check out the movie, "The Last Time I Committed Suicide." It is based on one of the exerpts from the book. Overall, this is a fun book that gives insight into Cassady's early life.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Jan. 1998
Format: Paperback
this book is not an easy one to find, but my search was well worth it. These are some of the finest stories i have read in quite a while. They come across as if Neal was right there telling them to you. Best view of what is would have been like to have been Neal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SocialBookshelves.com on 6 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
Neal Cassady is a fascinating character - you might know him as Dean Moriarty in On The Road, one of Jack Kerouac's closest friends and a hugely underrated member of the beat movement. While the world mostly knows of Cassady because of Kerouac's immortalisation of him, he's an important literary figure in his own right, albeit one who was overshadowed by Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs.

As The First Third shows, Neal Cassady had a way with words that occasionally equaled his contemporaries, and this autobiographical novel is a fine example of his writing. It's interesting to learn more about the life of a man who influenced so many, a rare example of a writer who, purely from the act of living in his own inimitable way, became immortalised in words by Kerouac, Ginsberg, Bukowski, Ken Kesey and Hunter S. Thompson, among others.

Simply put, The First Third would be worth reading whether it was written by Cassady or not. The fact that it was written by him just makes it all the better. It's just a shame that Cassady died so young - it's like a wasted opportunity, like he didn't live up to his potential. Rest in peace, Neal Cassady.
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