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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elementary my dear Moriarty.........., 4 Feb 2005
Kerouac fan (Torquay, England, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Neal Cassady Collected Letters, 1944-1967 (Paperback)
Now's your chance.......

Read between the lines of what Jack Kerouac was saying in On the Road, or at least get closer to his hero Dean Moriarty.

This book officially published this winter in the USA and available on import in the UK is a CAUSE CELEBRE of the Beat World. Possibly the best Beat read you'll have had since On the Road.

Neal Cassady's Letters - produced by Carolyn Cassady and others, brilliantly edited (and that doesn't mean cut) by Beat authority Dave Moore.

Having read On the Road we think we know it all? We don't know half of it. Neal's Letters flesh out the legend. For instance they show the married side of Neal with intimate letters between himself and Carolyn, something On the Road barely touches on.
Dave Moore's meticulous annotation and footnotes link them, explain them, and make a narrative of them. They prove Neal an engaging writer who's free-form letter(s) inspired Kerouac in his genius to make a prose-poem of the tale.
It's not difficult to see why Kerouac and his muse have been down-graded over the years, and even vilified.There's enough work here for a thousand sociologists. At a time when, here in Britain, Jamaican men are being persuaded to change their 'out husband' lifestyle and settle down with their wives and the children they father, Neal Cassady epitomised the very life style they're eschewing becoming the 'white negro' of Kerouac's classic, not only in terms of jazz music and pot, but also adopting the black male role of sex-object and stud.

As Joe Strummer said: "When we first read On the Road we weren't digging Kerouac's prose - wewanted to be like Dean Moriarty". He ended his life as only a man like that can - broken and crying on a railway line in Mexico.
Saint or sinner? Looser or winner? As the man who straddled Kerouac's prose makes his literary debut - you make up your mind!
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Neal Cassady Collected Letters, 1944-1967
Neal Cassady Collected Letters, 1944-1967 by Neal Cassady (Paperback - 28 Jan 2005)
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