Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “American Hipster: A Life of Herbert Huncke, The Times Square Hustler Who Inspired the Beat Movement” as Want to Read:
American Hipster: A Life of Herbert Huncke, The Times Square Hustler Who Inspired the Beat Movement
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

American Hipster: A Life of Herbert Huncke, The Times Square Hustler Who Inspired the Beat Movement

by
4.05  ·  Rating details ·  21 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
American Hipster: The Life of Herbert Huncke, The Times Square Hustler Who Inspired the Beat Movement tells the tale of a New York sex worker and heroin addict whose unrepentant deviance caught the imagination of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs. Teetering between exhaustion and existential despair, Huncke (rhymes with “junky”) often said, “I’m beat, ...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published July 9th 2013 by Magnus Books (first published May 8th 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about American Hipster, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about American Hipster

Community Reviews

(showing 1-51)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Max Nemtsov
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-books
Очень бережная и даже трепетная биография человека, без которого бы не случилось битников. И это не преувеличение, потому что значение Херберта Ханке, больше известного под именами десятка персонажей у Керуака, Барроуза и Джона Клеллона Хоумза, переоценить трудно. У битников, как известно был битый ангел — Нил Кэссади, — но был и битый призрак: вор, жулик, полинаркоман-рецидивист, бисексуал и великий артист разговорного жанра. Ну и писатель, конечно. Это и был Ханке, который ввел молодежь (Гинзб ...more
Philip
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Huncke was the true inspiration to the beat movement, having a direct influence on Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs. He was also the wordbook for the origination of the beatnik glossary. However his beatness was purely centered around being down and out, weathered and torn, as a result of his 24/7 pursuit of a fix, with the more spiritual literary connotations coming later with the rise of Ginsberg and Kerouac. What I found particularly illuminating is that the origins of the beat movement actual ...more
Clifford
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Before I began this book, I knew nothing about Herbert Huncke. I was aware of and have read some of the Beats--Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs--but have never paid terribly close attention to them. Suddenly, with this biography, I'm intrigued. Huncke was something of a minor planet in this solar system of writers, but still a remarkable figure. This book tells a fascinating story.
The Literary Chick
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well written, well researched, an (extremely) sympathetic portrait of 'the original beat'. Think "An American Genet', with a smile more enigmatic than the Mona Lisa's. He seared his way into the minds of many who met him and was a muse for a great many writers, including Burroughs, Ginsberg ('who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks') and Kerouac, among others. Roommate and houseguest of many, who apparently didn't mind terribly when their typewriter suddenly wen ...more
Nihil
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely perfect book about an absolutely beautiful man. My favorite piece:
"I would like [that] my seed be blown to some inaccessible mountain crag - and there become a sturdy bush or tree - to cling there tenuously thru wind - rain - storm - and seasons - living in my aerie - visited only by an occasional venturesome mountain beast or perhaps cast shade upon a visiting snake or hold the weightlessness of a high-flying bird. That is my prayer. I love earth and would spend the next few centuri
...more
Phil Bennett
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating book and really fleshes out the life of a character that just flashes in an out of Beat Novels. Recommended for anyone interested in the backstory of the Beats and that era.
Peter Given
rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2017
Katherine
rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2015
Rick Dale
rated it it was amazing
Jun 11, 2015
Jackson Kim
rated it liked it
Feb 27, 2014
R. Glenn  Guillory
rated it liked it
Sep 05, 2014
Richard
rated it really liked it
Sep 30, 2018
tom bruner
rated it it was amazing
Apr 18, 2017
BEATTOMMY
rated it it was amazing
Jul 25, 2018
Felice Picano
rated it it was ok
Apr 15, 2014
Scott
rated it liked it
Feb 14, 2014
Hester
rated it it was ok
Feb 02, 2017
Casey Mcclain
rated it it was amazing
Dec 17, 2014
J.
rated it really liked it
May 13, 2017
Jeff Buddle
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well, now I have to read all my Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs again while considering the impact of Huncke on their lives and writing. This book was a giveaway from my local bookstore, a do-not-sell galley stacked on a table under the word "FREE." Two years ago, I claimed it as my own. This week I finally got around to reading it. It's good.

Hillary Holladay has done her research here, limning the dawn of the beat generation, but taking it a step or two further than most chroniclers, putting He
...more
Ronald Gregor
rated it liked it
Jul 12, 2013
Aratrika
marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2012
Jonathan
marked it as to-read
Apr 19, 2012
Melissa
marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2012
Naz Özyaseminler
marked it as to-read
Aug 06, 2012
Money Shaw
marked it as to-read
Aug 30, 2012
Tommy
is currently reading it
Mar 21, 2013
Chris Mauer
marked it as to-read
May 17, 2013
Valerie
marked it as to-read
May 26, 2013
Denika Clay
marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2013
Pam Scarrow
marked it as to-read
Jul 20, 2013
Tim Gause
marked it as to-read
Aug 10, 2013
Mel Bossa
marked it as to-read
Sep 04, 2013
Nic
marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2013
Layla Kepper
marked it as to-read
Oct 01, 2013
Amanda
marked it as to-read
Oct 03, 2013
Kathy Lavoie
marked it as to-read
Oct 04, 2013
Teresa Lavender
marked it as to-read
Oct 05, 2013
Gracey Thomason
marked it as to-read
Oct 05, 2013
Skylar
marked it as to-read
Oct 06, 2013
Jorgen
marked it as to-read
Oct 06, 2013
Sheila
marked it as to-read
Oct 06, 2013
Wilhelmina
marked it as to-read
Oct 07, 2013
Jennifer Delpit
marked it as to-read
Oct 07, 2013
Larry Hall
marked it as to-read
Oct 08, 2013
Erin
marked it as to-read
Oct 08, 2013
Sue
marked it as to-read
Oct 11, 2013
Brianna
marked it as to-read
Oct 12, 2013
patty
marked it as to-read
Oct 12, 2013
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Riverdale Ave Books: Released by RAB: American Hipster 1 1 Sep 29, 2013 02:25PM  
  • Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern
  • Light Bulb Baking: A History of the Easy-Bake Oven
  • Humanimal: A Project for Future Children
  • The Pornographer's Daughter: A Memoir of Childhood, My Dad, and Deep Throat
  • The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack: and Other Cautionary Tales from Human Evolution
  • The Size of Thoughts: Essays and Other Lumber
  • City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology
  • Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love
  • Car Country: An Environmental History
  • Black Hats: A Novel of Wyatt Earp and Al Capone
  • The Philosopher's Table: How to Start Your Philosophy Dinner Club - Monthly Conversation, Music, and Reci pes
  • A Principled Stand: The Story of Hirabayashi V. United States
  • The Fight for Home: How (Parts of) New Orleans Came Back
  • Search: How the Data Explosion Makes Us Smarter
  • Poems of Nazım Hikmet
  • Tweet for Twat: How Social Networks, Media and Technology Affect Modern-Day Relationships and Dating
  • A Rare Titanic Family: How the Caldwells Survived the Sinking and Traveled the World
  • Untold: The New Orleans 9th Ward You Never Knew
5 followers
Hilary Holladay is a novelist and biographer whose heart belongs to poetry. For many years she taught American literature, including the literature of the Beat Movement, at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell; more recently she has taught at James Madison University and the University of Virginia. Her current favorite poet is Denise Levertov.