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Maggie Cassidy
 
by
Jack Kerouac
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Maggie Cassidy (Duluoz Legend)

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  2,505 ratings  ·  112 reviews
When someone asks 'Where does [Kerouac] get that stuff?' say: 'From you!' He lay awake all night listening with eyes and ears. A night of a thousand years. Heard it in the womb, heard it in the cradle, heard it in school, heard it on the floor of life's stock exchange where dreams are traded for gold. --Henry MillerOne of the dozen books written by Jack Kerouac in the earl...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published August 1st 1993 by Penguin Books (first published 1959)
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Mike Sweeney
One of my favorite books. Its mostly over looked by your run of the mill Jack Kerouac fans. Nothing like On the Road, its not about being a beatnik. There are no drugs or road trips or crazy jazzmen...Its a sweet love story set in pure Americana in 20's Lowell.
I prefer the stories of his youth like Maggie Cassidy and Visions of Gerard (Dylan's favorite Kerouac book). These books tend to have all the elements of the more beatnik books but without the trendiness of the beats.
The kiss scene is one...more
Chris Meger
Maybe one of the most approachable of Jack's. Heartbreaking and sincere. There's an upside down kiss in this book that is a thousand times sweeter and sexier than the one in Spider-Man
Nicola
I've just out this book down and am currently torn. On one hand, Kerouac requires patience, a bit of a run-up, time to settle in to his rhythms. At some points, I didn't give him that, but when I did it was fantastic. When I didn't I was disappointed. Equally, it's a first novel and a little messy - in good ways and in bad - at turns not quite hitting the mark and resulting in delightfully madcap, onomatopoeic run-on sentences. When its good, it's really, really good, and following at its natura...more
Chris
It's always interesting reading Kerouac because his style is so unusual, even in the this pre-On The Road book published after he became famous. Since all of his books seem to be semi-autobiographical, it was fun to read a story about young Jack Kerouac, how he relates to his friends, what he thinks about his home town Lowell, MA, what he thinks of girls, his star athleticism, and a little about his family's dynamics. Ultimately though, I'd give this book two and half stars because it's main sto...more
Roos
Fucking hell, Kerouac.

It may be that your semi-intellectual idea of 'spontaneous prose' is the source of some deeply poetic-sounding shit. It may be that On the Road is a great book. It may be grand that you wrote a book about your first love and named it after her.

This all becomes slightly less grand, however, when you then go on to spend half your time "in love" disrespecting and ditching 'that big love in the wild Lowell whirlwinds of black night'.

There's some instant Kerouac for ya. Just ma...more
Guy Portman
Set in the close-knit working-class French-Canadian community of Lowell, Massachusetts, Maggie Cassidy is a semi-autobiographical account of Kerouac’s adolescence. The story is recounted through the teenage mind of the author’s alter ego, Jack Duluoz, a high school athletics and American football star.

Maggie Cassidy is a meditation of love, of being in love and youthful innocence. A memoir of the fantasy-filled memories of adolescent years spent male bonding with his ‘corner boys’, recollecting...more
Manda
I found this book in the library, and having heard of Kerouac, but never read him, I loaned it. But I can't read it. I admire the way Kerouac creates words, but what he writes about - an American teenage boy of a previous generation - is too far removed for me to find it in the full-on fussy sentences. Perhaps, if the scenario was something I felt some empathy with, I would sink into the language - but as it is, I see the book as a little story padded and swathed with description until it can fi...more
Patrick
Good quotes: "The second-hand kisses the minute hand sixty times an hour 24 hours a day and still we swallow in hope of life."
"I can't face my own conculsions."
Joe
Love the passion of Kerouac's prose even if it gets tiresome after a while. I read this book when I was a teen, around 1965, and still have a fond spot for passages like this:

"Can I make you happier with powder on my chest? Do you need a thousand movie shows? Sixteen million people to ride the bus with, hit the stop—I shoulda never let you go away from home—" Rich lips brooded in my deaf ear. “The fog’ll fall all over you, Jacky, you’ll wait in fields—You’ll let me die—you wont come save me—I wo
...more
Andrew
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
abatage
This may be the day dreamer's handbook and a road map for anyone who has ever grown up and felt the world shift through the eyes of another. This is beat writing at its best, but there's no politics and spirituality; there's satisfaction in that mystifying poetry of love's unmeasurable angle.

Maggie Cassidy draws you in with an enticing narrative frame that clicks the zoom lens down to Zagg's formative years in a lucid dream. It's one that I personally recognised - being amongst the fog while eme...more
Mel
I found Kerouac's style in this book to be truly phenomenal. It was some of the most beautiful writing of his. What made it an odd contrast was how it portrayed the life of a high school jock, a little shy and inexperienced, compared to the poor alcoholic of later books. The subject matter was an honest look at the frustration of high school relationships. I felt sorry for Maggie, stuck in what appeared to be a fairly small town, trying to decide at 17 if she should get married or not, more out...more
Damien
It was good. About half-way through, I consciously realized how two-dimensional the characters were. (And that's not exactly a GOOD thing.) But the writing is beautiful, lyrical. The plot is strong, and it kept me turning pages. "Maggie Cassidy" probably doesn't get the attention it deserves in the Kerouac lexicon, to be honest. And the last two chapters are, in my opinion, among the finest commentary on the so-called "American Dream" that I've read in years.

*SPOILER:*

This novel's ending is not...more
Leslie Proudfoot
Since this was one of his early books, I believe he hadn't developed the stream-of-consciousness style he'd later become famous for. In the beginning, Maggie Cassidy told the story of the golden age of the main character's youth and love in Francophone New England. The community had a faintly mythic quality, as though seen through a child's eyes. However as the story developed and the main character grew older, the charm was lost and the story floundered. Although interesting because of the desc...more
Michael Irenski
Jack Kerouac embodies Americana. Plain and simple.

Father-Son relationships. Blue Collar America. Wild, silly friendships. Small(ish) towns. All some of my favorite things.

One of the greatest love stories I've ever read, "Maggie Cassidy" so accurately exemplifies friendship, young love, and adolescence. To fool friends and family for the heart of a woman, as flawed as she may be, while simulatenously battling the confusion of growing up, Kerouac illustrates that our decisions as youngsters really...more
Beth Weeks
Less profound than Kerouac's seminal work On the Road, Maggie Cassidy is nevertheless a thoughtful read that reflects on the innocence and nihilism inherent in teenage romance. Written in a sometimes-narrative, sometimes-stream of consciousness format, Kerouac recounts the tale of his formative years as a high-school athlete in 1930s New England as well as his frustrations with his first love, Maggie Cassidy. Perfect for a quiet winter night, Maggie Cassidy is a must-read in the Kerouac canon.
Jeremy
While the book takes place in Lowell, Massachusetts in a small yet urban neighborhood pre-World War II, the defining generation of a melting-pot society, it's easy to inhibit the main character, Jack Duluoz, as you ride along his experience as an adolescent clutching for the answers of friendship and true love. Although my first Jack Kerouac read, the writing style delivers a very realistic approach to how a young adult may interpret love while also dealing with family, school, and future expect...more
Katie
I read this as I love On the Road, but this book was difficult to read. The characters weren't interesting and didn't have depth. Due to the writing style I did not read this wanting to know what happens next or feel any investment in the characters lives. Kerouac's writing is a great improvement in On the Road. This is a good book to read if you are curious about Kerouac's teenage years but in terms of story and readability there just wasn't enough to keep me entertained.
Gabriel C.
If I never read another coming of age novel, it'll be too soon. There was a lot of pretension in here, like he read some fancy modernists and felt like he had to keep pace. I don't remember that kind of pretension in his other work--there was plenty of other pretension but not that. The ending got to me but I think that might just be the lonely tequila speaking. This was hard to work through, boring and somehow at the same time dread.
GK Stritch
(What is it about Jack and those Cassidy Cassadys?) Maggie is poetic prose, warm and rich and heartfelt . . . 1939 was a very good year, so spin your Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw and have a read and listen to the gorgeous, gorgeous poetry of Kerouac. Note how using few words, "freckles, powder, a little rose in her hair" Jack masterfully explains so much.

"Maggie" by GK Stritch

http://www.beatdom.com/?p=2763
Brian Foley
Joe recommended me or bought me this, I can't remember, but its part of the reason i trust his sensibilities more than my family's. Young, New England love in the wintertime at it's finest. Anyone who says Kerouac couldn't write fiction stopped short of this one.
Laura
One of the most beautiful and touching stories of young love I've ever read. Romantic without being cliched or mushy. I've read it many, many times and it's always relevant and poignant.
Carol
Jack Kerouac is one of my favorite authors of all time, I can't think of a single thing of his I have read and not loved! Although I do recognize he is not for everyone!
Paul Hayes
Liked the story, but found some of the style and prose a bit difficult at times (wasn't expecting the poetic feel of it) - and the lack of commas threw me a bit!
Katherine Dose
So insightful- a beautifully written book, though at times I was lost- sometimes reminds me of Henry Miller, in his loping, disconnected descriptions.
Jason
Mar 24, 2009 Jason marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
i was told only to read this when i am very young or very old

Gg
I was named Maggie by a Kerouac fan who was briefly my father
Bridey
Breathtakingly written. Might be my favorite Kerouac book.
Reid
Crap, I just lost my review. So I'll brief it:

It's written poorly, compared to everything else I’ve read of his. He'd begun his stylized writing by this point and a lot of it is fairly terrible. It’s kind of hard to believe this was published as is. It doesn’t read well as a story and there are very few details about the two main characters, making it difficult, for me, to be interested in any non-existent “romance”, which is barely half the story anyway - the much better parts include scenes o...more
Jack Beltane
If you're following the chronology of Jack Kerouac's "Duluoz Legend," Maggie Cassidy covers Kerouac's last year of high school (age 17), before he goes to New York City, to prep school and then on to Colombia, where he eventually meets his Beat friends.

Maggie Cassidy is typical "linear" Kerouac, as opposed to his more stream-of-consciousness works, like Desolation Angels or Visions of Cody. In a nutshell, it's very bittersweet, though not quite touching. Jack remembers his childhood ending and d...more
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1742
Jack Kerouac was an American novelist, writer, poet, and artist. He is perhaps the best known of a group of writers and friends who came to be known as the Beat Generation, a term he himself created.

Kerouac's work was popular, but received little critical acclaim during his lifetime. Today, he is considered an important and influential writer who inspired others, including Tom Robbins, Lester Bang...more
More about Jack Kerouac...
On the Road The Dharma Bums Big Sur The Subterraneans Desolation Angels

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“She brooded and bit her rich lips: my soul began its first sink into her, deep, heady, lost; like drowning in a witches' brew, Keltic, sorcerous, starlike.” 12 likes
“In the variety of the tone of her words, moods, hugs, kisses, brushes of the lips, and this night the upside-down kiss over the back of the chair with her dark eyes heavy hanging and her blushing cheeks full of sweet blood and sudden tenderness brooding like a hawk over the boy over the back, holding the chair on both sides, just an instant, the startling sudden sweet fall of her hair over my face and the soft downward brush of her lips, a moment's penetration of sweet lip flesh, a moment's drowned in thinking and kissing in it and praying and hoping and in the mouth of life when life is young to burn cool skin eye-blinking joy - I held her captured upside down, also for just a second, and savored the kiss which first had surprised me like a blind man's bluff so I didn't know really who was kissing me for the very first instant but now I knew and knew everything more than ever, as, grace-wise, she descended to me from the upper dark where I'd thought only cold could be and with all her heavy lips and breast in my neck and on my head and sudden fragrance of the night brought with her from the porch, of some 5 & 10 cheap perfumes of herself the little hungry scent of perspiration warm in her flesh like presciousness.” 10 likes
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