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Lonesome Traveler (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 3 Aug 2000
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From the Back Cover
In this restless, exciting book, Jack Kerouac covers the Los Angeles waterfront, Mexico, New York, Paris and London. He reveals a way of life – the life of the road – and presents his unique philosophy of self-fulfilment. A key Kerouac work, 'Lonesome Traveler' is one of the books that made him the prophet and chronicler of an entire generation.
"Railroad work, sea-work, mysticism, mountain work, solipsism, self-indulgence, bullfights, drugs, churches, streets of cities, a mishmash of life as lived by an independent educated penniless rake going anywhere: 'Lonesome Traveler's' scope and purpose is simply poetry, or natural description."
"Kerouac's strange mixture of wit, high spirits, incoherence, nobility and odd-ball individualism produces some piquant writing, the best part of its flavour being that peculiarly American strain, the craving for greatness, the hunt for the big experience, a touch of Hemingway and Whitman."
"Kerouac has the essentially American gift of describing the physical world so intensely, so poetically, that one sees, hears and feels. 'Lonesome Traveler' is full of startling and beautiful things."
"We can be grateful for this reminder of the sense of loss itself, this search for innocence, this prose of observed detail, of high childish delight, of peace and joy and the hymns to the flux and flow and endless diversity of human life"
About the Author
Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. His most famous novels are On the Road, 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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Top Customer Reviews
I read much of this book sitting alone in a park on a Saturday afternoon, and it was a fitting companion to my own reflections. There is an intimacy of tone in Kerouac's book that made me feel at times that I was with him and sharing his experiences. Kerouac's spontaneous prose, with its long, strangly, and rhhythmic sentences is an erratic instrument indeed. But when it works, it is moving.
There is a continuity in these essays as Kerouac takes his reader back and forth across the United States, to Mexico, and to North Africa and Europe. Kerouac's vision tends to be highly particularized and specific. He is at his best in describing a lonely room in a San Francisco apartment, a night walk on a pier awaiting a ship, and evening's drinking with a friend and, especially, the sights and places of 'beat' New York City.Read more ›
In fact, this is a rare example of a book in which he uses the real names of his associates, rather than their pseudonyms – perhaps it’s because he focuses on his travels, and there’s little here that could incriminate them in a court of law. Nevertheless, it’s very much worth a read.
You’ll find out about his trips on ships, his strolls through New York, a visit to England and even the time he spent fire-watching on Desolation Peak in Washington State. Each book that he released just got better and better.
I know very many of you love Kerouac's works and styles, so I hope that this book will be given it's due attention. Its contents are five short stories or sketches that move around the central theme of travel. A sketch about the "railroad earth" written in spontaneous style is quite riveting, and here you will have a chance to read what seems to be an early sketch of the fire tower section from "Dharma Bums".
I hope these suggestions will have you picking up a copy of this wonderful book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent read, enjoyed the story cover to cover. Wish he was still around to write more travel adventures.Published 13 months ago by JCT Richards
Really interesting read, made up of different short stories from his work and experiences which keeps it interesting.Published 21 months ago by No
I would have loved to meet Jack and travelled with him. I'm also a big Jack London fanPublished 22 months ago by Justo