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The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
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's review
Aug 19, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction-modern
Read in January, 1978

I gave this book a five-star rating. I read it when I was fourteen, my dad had a first edition paperwork (where is that book today?) and it profoundly effected my outlook on everything from that point forward. Kerouac chronicles, in his usual fantasy way (people have money but seem free from the trappings of earning it -- how do they live? We don't know save for Kerouac describing getting odd day jobs here and there). He aptly described the Beat generation that he was so much a part of and which shaped the social consciousness of the later Hippie movement.

It caused me to question many assumptions I had grown up with -- that striving in a middle class capitalist rut was all there was to hope for in life. I began to think of living a Dharma life and understanding the meaning of what its all about. The book stimulated me to explore other beat writers, zen buddhism and to basically question the world around me.

Kerouac's writing is quick, tireless and real, even if his characters seem at times to live a charmed life.


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