- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Atlantic Books (27 Sept. 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1903809142
- ISBN-13: 978-1903809143
- Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.5 x 3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 952,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Beat Hotel: Ginsberg, Burroughs and Corso in Paris, 1957-1963 Hardcover – 27 Sep 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
As the book's anchor is a hotel in Paris where all of the above stayed off and on - short-term, long-term - in the latter half of the 1950s, early 1960s, no one person takes centre stage for too long. Told chronologically, there are any number of bit players coming in and out of the story and you get a real sense of place and time with this book. You are also able to see how all the Beats helped, hindered, inspired, repelled each other, which gives the movement much more of a shape in my mind.
There are also some absolutely laugh out loud moments. One in particular was when Ginsburg and Corso were invited to a party to meet the Surrealists. They inevitably got drunk and high before they pitched up (lots and lots and lots of drugs in this book) and when they did get there, in what can only be described as a Wayne's World 'we're not worthy' display, they followed Marcel Duchamp around on their hands and knees. Duchamp took it in good humour but the host was mortified. (I've always loved Duchamp, especially after I found out he was a chess grand master.Read more ›
The writing is very vibrant and the facts well-researched. Especially interesting were the pieces of information that could only be known by someone who actually knew the people and was around at the time. I will look out for more books by Barry Miles. This book ticked all the boxes for me, old Beat that I am and grateful that I am for having been introduced to these writers at an early age. The era is fascinating, the events, both literary and political invigorating and the writing gripping. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of alternative thought, philosophy, literature and expat living.