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Visions of Cody

(Duluoz Legend)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  3,820 ratings  ·  126 reviews
This is a celebration of the life of Neal Cassady, the author's friend and inspiration. The son of a Denver drop-out, brought up homeless and motherless during the Depression, Cassady - novelized as Cody - lived his life raw, hustling in pool halls, stealing cars and living wild.
Paperback, 464 pages
Published November 19th 2001 by Flamingo (first published 1959)
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3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,820 ratings  ·  126 reviews


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Joseph Dunn
Jul 30, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
What can I say? As much as I love Kerouac for all that he has meant for literature and counter culture, this book was too experimental for me to enjoy. And I love experimentation! It helps keep literature fresh, interesting, and evolving. Even so, I thought that The Visions of Cody needed more structure...because there was practically none. There was no story. No narrative. No plot. No development of character. It wasn't about ANYTHING.

The first section felt like a collection of unrelated creati
...more
Kevin Holmes
Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One
of
three
books most influencial
that
I
will Never
finish

TOO
good to finish
always more in store
take it in take it out take it to take two or more
it I
for feel
a it
test saying
thought things
I
hear
it
feeling
things
it
couldn't
say

Katy
Oct 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the hardest books for me to rate. Jack Kerouac was one of the most magnificent prose writers; that is something I firmly believe. I also believe that some of the best examples of his prolific, dynamic prose can be found in Visions of Cody. The reason for my three star rating is simply the long winded passages connecting those incredible sections of prose. If you want Jack Kerouac in all his glory, read this book. But he makes you work for those moments of magic and there are many ...more
Simon Robs
Read this book after you've notched several of his earlier published titles for a better fix on Kerouac's venture into experimental collage type fiction. The book assembles writings/fragments, recordings of dialogue, and fused bits/pieces from musings and reworkings of material old/new. It's also and foremost a paean to his Sundance Kid sidekick in kicks Neal Cassidy who together they ride roughshod headlong into the wilds of town and city America as well as old Mexico. The boppy prose bounces d ...more
Andy
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jazznbeats
When Jack Kerouac typed out On The Road it was on an endless scroll of paper, as if to indicate that he was writing on an endless path of paper about being "on the road". It was a wild concept, but the result was a somewhat structured work about wanderlust and all its wonders. Visions of Cody fulfills the endless scroll concept, and as indicated by many reviews here the effect is somewhat taxing.

But it really isn't. I don't believe Kerouac wanted Visions of Cody to be read page by page and cover
...more
Rand
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
this book is a lyrical trip.
if you're afraid of getting in too deep, don't bother trying.
too many adjectives or clauses, but really, that's just the point.
pass the tea already.
Patrick Santana
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Complex, dreamlike, sometimes boring, always challenging. Only for those with a strong interest in Kerouac's scene and a familiarity with the outlines of The Great Rememberer's world. I found it compelling, as a whole, though tedious on the micro-level. One of the most honest and powerful attempts to describe and understand male friendship, in a world and at a time when such things were beyond the pale, at least for American men. Kerouac is the taking up the mantle of Walt Whitman here, and ...more
Robert Isenberg
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sixteen years after I read "On the Road," I tried "Visions of Cody," partly because I had embarked on a road-trip around the Eastern Seaboard, and partly because I wanted to give Kerouac another chance. "On the Road" had been a formative, nearly biblical experience for me, but when I read "Dharma Bums" earlier this year, I found it a little childish. I was afraid that I had completely outgrown the Beats, the way a kid no longer finds amusement in an Etch-a-Sketch.

But "Visions of Cody" was a grea
...more
Blake
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This wild, vertically-narrated novel has got some of Kerouac's absolute finest writing, simple, straight, and hugely compassionate. It is also host to some of his worst writing, pages upon pages of drug-addled sketches, a long transcription of a tape made while Jack and Cody was HI, and then an imitation of said tape that goes off the deep end, Kerouac jerking off his typewriter.
Thing is tho, this all builds a complex and abstract (can the novel be simple and abstract? I dunno) picture of the Am
...more
Cort McMeel
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Of all Kerouacs great novels, ON THE ROAD, THE SUBTERRANEANS, THE DHARMA BUMS...the level of quality of the prose in this one is consistently amazing. It is a dense, melancholy novel that flashes between a stark, lonely New York with forlorn ambitions and a sort of jazzy, but haunted hobo Denver...so many great moments throughout and the last 100 pages of the book read like an amazing prose poem. For all Denverites it is a MUST becuase its in this novel Jack really pays homage to Neal Cassady's ...more
e
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Either a 1* or a 5* considering that this had by turns some of the most masturbatory & misogynist (seriously, women in here are either silent or elevated to the form of mythos and grandeur of some sort) benzo'd & stoned ramblings ever written, & yet-- so much attention & intention given to the lost forgotten wild mania of America & the picayune that makes it just a really fucking big novel, of, yes, visions. However scattered & abstruse.

So uhh three stars or something. Wo
...more
Christopher
Nov 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I've read a lot of Kerouac with great interest. I can't say that I've been let down by him but frequently his books recede into the same emotional landscape. They all blend together and that seems to be part of his intent.

However, Visions of Cody is un-like any of his other books. One has to go to the likes of James Joyce (specifically Ulysses) and William Faulkner to find such a watershed narrative event in prose.

When I read Vision's of Cody I had more respect then ever for Kerouac's writing.
...more
Kurt Reichenbaugh
Sep 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beat-other
The flip-side to On the Road. It's long, it's frustrating and by turns pretentious and sublime. It's bars, diners, movie-house balconies, red-brick buildings, bums, girls, highways and Joan Rawshanks in the Fog. It's a long rambling patchwork of tapes, scribbles and notebooks written by a romantic bent on self-destruction.

Why do I like Visions of Cody so much? Maybe simply because I read it at the right time in life. One of those books we all have that did it for us.

Read On the Road first, then
...more
Chinook
Feb 14, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I may only have enjoyed 30 pages of this. Most of it is drugged out stupidity. Cody and Jack both struck me as complete assholes.

The only good things I take away from this book are the memories of where I was when I read it. The first half I read curled up in bed beside Sean. The second half I read on the boat trip around Komodo National park.
Jordyn Haime
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beat
This one was quite the journey...much more difficult than any of Kerouac's works I've read before but essential if you want to get to know Kerouac as a writer.
Jake
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a strange one. At times the writing was inspired and fantastic, and then it could be so tedious. Same themes and cast of characters as in On the Road, but uneven. Highly recommended to Kerouac fans for the sections of great writing (which even made me LOL literally a couple of times) and for historical reasons. Non-fans will probably hate it.
Mel
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the definition of "bromance". It is quite funny that in the introduction Ginsberg says that Jack and Neil would probably both have benefited from a more "physical" relationship. But this book is such a labour of love. All the things that Jack loves best about America summed up in Neil Cassady. When reading it in places I got the feeling that "Cody" was Coyote of American myth, particularly in a more modern urban setting. Kerouac's prose was astounding in this, sentances going on an ...more
Thad
Jul 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"No possible way of avoiding enigmas. Like people in cafeterias smile when they're arriving and sitting down at the table but when they're leaving, when in unison their chairs scrape back they pick up their coats and things with glum faces (all of them the same degree of semi-glumness which is a special glumness that is disappointed that the promise of the first arriving smiling moment didn't come out or if it did it died after a short life)--and during that short life which has the same blind u ...more
Steven
Oct 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not the book for a new-comer to Kerouac; it can be tough going. I confess that I nearly stopped reading it about halfway through, and I've been on a steady diet of Kerouac since last March. I'm glad I stayed with it.

The book can be considered a companion to On the Road because Visions of Cody explores the Dean Moriarty (called Cody Pomeray in Visions) character and the friendship he and Kerouac (Jack Duluoz) shared. That friendship was at its strongest in the years covered by On the Road
...more
Cortney
I can't do it. I tried and failed. This is really not my taste, although I would have loved it 12-ish years ago when I went through my let's-read-everything-Beat phase, whether I liked what I was reading or not. I don't think I can even rate this star-wise, because I read one page at a time, occasionally. It was painful, because nothing about this book or mentality speaks to me. At all. Like the wind whistling between my ears... And then, I got to the part around page 30 where he writes some sor ...more
Josh
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jack-kerouac
A mad sprawling beat prose poem.

Kerouac says 'Visions of Cody' is a "vertical, metaphysical study of Cody's character and its relationship to the general America."

The story seems to cover (however briefly) nearly the entire Beat Generation history, while the last 100 pages or so is more a retelling of On the Road...but you'd have to be familiar with 'On the Road' to recognise it.

I wanted to give this 5/5, however, I didn't appreciate having to wade through part 1 (about 60 pages) to arrive at t
...more
Runa
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
I found this painful and exhausting. It took about 3 weeks of more or less daily reading. Sometimes it took a considerable intellectual effort to understand what Kerouac was trying to do (for instance, what is "her soft infinescences or infinessences, or infinescences" supposed to mean?), sometimes it took some sort of strange emotional effort to take in his fervent endless phrases about MAD WILD ANGELS THE MUSIC THE BEAT DO YOU DIG THIS MAN and other such things (which, to be fair, aren't ALWAY ...more
John
Oct 12, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book ought to come with some warnings attached. especially this:

1)DO NOT READ THIS AS AN INTRODUCTION TO KEROUAC. this book is much more accessible (that is, enjoyable) if you're versed in kerouac prior to reading it.

this is a full-on rollercoaster ride. not a novel, not short stories, not a memoir, not a biography; sometimes brilliant and alive, sometimes mundane and redundant; dark, bright; urban, rural; sane, dog off the chain.

herein are the full back-stories of many of my favorite kerou
...more
Mt
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is perhaps the purest of Kerouac: Published posthumously, his voice is clear and, seemingly, without influence other than his vision of Neal Cassady and America.

It is a reader’s companion to “On The Road,” providing back stories to numerous figures, especially his relationship with Neal/Dean/Cody.

“At the junction of the state line of Colorado, its arid western one, and the state line of poor Utah I saw in the clouds huge and massed above the fiery golden desert of eveningfall the great
...more
Darinda
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Read: In Visions of Cody, Visions of Gerard, Big Sur - hardcover from library

I'm not a big fan of the Beat authors. I appreciate their role in American literature, but I'm usually left wondering what was so great about it. At least, that's how I felt about this book.

Kerouac rambled on too much for me. Really long sentences that I thought would never end. Aimless storytelling. This book was really all over the place. I get that it was experimental, but I can't imagine anyone truly enjoying this b
...more
Josh
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Packed with ethereal, loose, stream of consciousness prose, Visions of Cody covers the same time period as On The Road, but does it in a radically different manner. Incredibly rewarding read, however Kerouac's misogyny is a bit troublesome at points.
GK Stritch
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"It was dawn; he lay on the hard reformatory bed and decided to start reading books in the library so he would never be a bum, no matter what he worked at to make a living, which was the decision of a great idealist."



Samuel Goff
Aug 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, beat, literature, 2018
Throughout my reading life I had always stayed away from Jack Kerouac. I just didn't think the two of us would mesh will together. So when "Visions of Cody" came up in a quasi book club I am in, I groaned but I was also a little excited. Maybe I could have been wrong all this time about Kerouac. Maybe with my prejudices against him as a person, maybe I had robbed myself of some great thought provoking writing. Oh, this book provoked some thoughts, mainly about how right my previous assessments w ...more
Sean McBride
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very thick book, with many inanities spread out through it. There are large swathes of text of weed induced conversation, which seemingly lead nowhere. There are large portions where you weave through Kerouac's fevered brain, in stream of conscious, where pages and pages flow by without any form of punctuation. There were many points where I was frustrated because I was so bored with the book (in fact in his "Visions of the Great Rememberer" essay, Ginsberg even says there are large po ...more
J.C.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book can sometimes be frustrating, it can make you feel lost or shocked (sometimes due to outdated values, but other times I think it's intentional for flash, shock value), but overall the book is very impressive and very Kerouac. The section that is transcribed was fascinating, though i think the conversation ended up not quite what Kerouac had in mind or on the ball as he hoped it would (Ginsberg said the same thing in his words at the end of the book), but its still impressive how well he ...more
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Jack Kerouac was born Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac on March 12, 1922, in Lowell, Massachusetts. Jack Kerouac's writing career began in the 1940s, but didn't meet with commercial success until 1957, when On the Road was published. The book became an American classic that defined the Beat Generation. Kerouac died on October 21, 1969, from an abdominal hemorrhage, at age 47.


Other books in the series

Duluoz Legend (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Atop an Underwood: Early Stories and Other Writings
  • Visions of Gerard
  • Dr. Sax
  • The Town and the City
  • Maggie Cassidy
  • Vanity of Duluoz: An Adventurous Education, 1935-46
  • On the Road
  • The Subterraneans
  • Tristessa
  • The Dharma Bums
“America is a lonely crock of shit...” 29 likes
“I am writing this book because we're all going to die - In the loneliness of my own life, my father dead, my brother dead, my mother faraway, my sister and my wife far away, nothing here but my own tragic hands that once were guarded by a world, a sweet attention, that now are left to guide and disappear their own way into the common dark of all our deaths, sleeping in me raw bed, alone and stupid: with just this one pride and consolation: my broke heart in the general despair and opened up inwards to the Lord, I made a supplication in this dream” 26 likes
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