here are my feelings after reading this book. This book starts laying out the basics on the core beats. Kerouac Ginsberg Cassidy and Burroughs. The second half of the book was dedicated to the lesser known players in the beat scene.
1st this book made me realize who the beats were. I always thought burroughs was a creepy mother fucker, but this books paints ginsberg to be pretty much the same thing. If you're cool with pedophilia you should dig Ginsberg because he's a good writer. For the rest of us...i personally don't know how i can endorse the guy. While Kerouac didn't seem to engauge in any of this stuff he was simply a glorified scum bag. Ironically most of these guys indorse buddhism. Meanwhile they seemed to endulge every impulsive desire that came their way. So these first sections were informative, and interesting because as much as i hate to admit it i like ginsberg and kerouac, but i dug the final sections on the Fugs, who as far as i can tell were the first punk band, as well as the section entitled "beat chicks." This section in particular made me see the light on the key players of the beat scene. And may i say that from reading this, the biggest scum bag next to burroughs is leroi jones, who left his jewish wife (poet Hettie Cohen) after malcolm x was murdered. "he could not position himself as a black nationalist if he had a white wife and caramel-colored children. Nor could he publish his new anti-semitic theories while married to a jewish woman."