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Some of the Dharma

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,378 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Written during a critical period of his life, Some of the Dharma is a key volume in Jack Kerouac's vast autobiographical canon. He began writing it in 1953 as reading notes on Buddhism intended for his friend, poet Allen Ginsberg. As Kerouac's Buddhist study and meditation practice intensified, what had begun as notes evolved into a vast and all-encompassing work of nonfic ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published 1997 by Viking Penguin
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May 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is always around and I’m always thumbing through it . For it’s little meditative Pearls . If you’re down with Jack. This book is for you. Jack’s’ Paradox between Catholicism and Buddhism, is what I really dig about it. But its got everything from fragmented letters to his sketches.
Jul 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is "my bible". I have reread it several times, always finding a new and startling truth in it. Anyone that has read Kerouac would really enjoy this; it is a book to own and read over and over, to cherish and to return to as ones' life situations change and mature.
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition someone mentioned, a chaotic voyage through Kerouac's mind!
A happy dream!
Jun 26, 2008 rated it did not like it
When a (fairly) straight guy uses religion to conflate sex and death--"pretty girls make graves"--you just end up with (the most boring kind of) misogyny. You'd think throwing some gay handjobs in there would help, but it's just depressing. They may be from people he allows more than a sexual humanity, but he still isn't able to come (figuratively). The result then is just some infarcted, grandiose, Buddho-babble in a really nice binding.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Moksha is for p
Nov 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
i guess this book is pretty much for people who have made an intense study of Kerouac's work. it isn't really a text. it is a struggle, a long chaotic voyage through Kerouac's mind, over a lengthy period of time.

I treat it aphoristically. I treat it like a field of free association and do not read it methodically--i think that would be counter-productive.
John McElhenney
Jul 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Far and away the most amazing Kerouac published. Facsimile pages of his journals over 10+ years. This was during his Dharma Bums period when he was studying and practicing buddhism.

Pure gifts and beatific poetry and appreciations to the higher spirit. Amazing book.
Feb 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i've been reading this off and on for years. its a valid type of inspiration, both spiritually and creativly.
Jun 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Kerouac tries to work his way through Buddhism, can't stop drinking, quits Buddhism instead of drinking - takes 420 pages to figure it out. Worth it for the haikus alone.
Jul 03, 2013 rated it liked it
If you're interested in both Kerouac and Buddhism, then the book is decent but tedious at parts. There are gems and dross. Some of it is just Kerouac's journal, which is at times both good and bad. The journal aspect combined with the time of writing, the years immediately prior to the publishing and wide spread acceptance of On the Road offers some fascinating insights into his other works.

It's a slog, I think it was worth it but can understand why others would disagree.
Mar 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: potential buddhists and budding philosophers
the text in this book is a little hard to read because we are all conditioned (in america anyway) to read left to right. my advice is to read the first words you see on the page no matter where they are
Geoff Cain
Jan 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is really creepy. It is too much like reading someones personal diary and letters. Great work though.
Oct 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
This one is not a cover to cover read, but its fun to pick up here and there and read a few passages. Its a bunch of Kerouac's musing about Buddhism.
Mar 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
if you like karouac you'll love it.
Aug 17, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: beliefs
100 pages from the end and I gave up.

If one is interested in Buddhism there are more comprehensible books out there.
Stephen Conti
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
reading this was like looking into the mind of jacky boy... enjoyed it more than his novels.
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit scattershot- to be expected of a collection of Kerouac's notebooks- this is, nevertheless, a pretty good portrait of his vision of Buddhism.
Dec 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: beats
Will I ever finish this tome? But I did! Seven years later. When I ordered this book in 2010 from Amazon, I was surprised at the size of it. A small brown telephone book arrived at my door. While I polished off a few of the ten 'books' of it earlier on in the piece, life got in the way and it languished on the bookshelf waiting for opportunities of vast time spans to complete it. Which rarely came.
So I picked book after book off in close to a decade. I'm truly amazed at how some reviewers appear
Mar 25, 2008 rated it did not like it
I took another look at this the other night. I get the feeling I'm reading something I'm not supposed to read. It's a slippery slope. What do I consider acceptable reading? Why not this?

Just because I don't like it doesn't mean it can't reel me back in once in a blue moon, yellow moon. No moon too.
David Przybylinski
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Published after death this is a great collection of his works that were put together by his family in one big book.

If you can get a copy of it still I would highly recommend grabbing it and reading through with all the drawings and everything else that it has inside of it. It's well worth the read.
Christina knox
Mar 19, 2008 rated it liked it
tell lax bird died laughing at a juggler... i really liked this, it's an incoherent diary about the search for enlightenment which concludes with kerouac deciding it's not worth it. you can't really read this start to finish. it's a coffee table book about being a drunk and intelligent. i'd probably want to make out with kerouWACK if i met him.
Jake Whetstone
Feb 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
As much as I love Jack Kerouac, this book was kind of like pulling teeth. Mostly poems and notes on Buddhist practices, the book follows kerouac as he delves deeper and deeper into his study of Buddhism. It's definitely an intriguing book from a human behavior study viewpoint but i found it hard to read more than 20 pages at a time.
Robin Lesher
May 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Flashes ... flashes of a LOT of things. Some brilliant, some thought provoking, and a lot of ... "WTF? And thank you please for sharing your train of thought..." went through MY train of thought! At least, at this time, reading this entire tome is not for me. I seem to fall into despair when I read it. Maybe just in small doses. Like on the coffee table. Under some other things. Small flashes.
Chris Meger
Jun 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
You have to really, really, REALLY dig Kerouac and buddhism to like this book. I love Kerouac, I'm glad I own it. But I can't get through it.
Adam Bessie
Good for Kerouac junkies. Strange for everyone else (and maybe Kerouac junkies too).
Chris Sherman
Oct 15, 2007 rated it it was ok
This is a more intense look at the religion and philosophy Kerouac explores in the rest of his fiction.
Mar 18, 2009 is currently reading it
just started this, it's rather intereseting. i'll write more when i've read more
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So much material. I think this book should be read and re-read.
May 05, 2008 added it
still absorbing
Brianne Wilson
A boy bought me this book. I will never read it.
R.K. Byers
Apr 15, 2010 rated it liked it
a few good insights, a lot of random insanity.
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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.

More about Jack Kerouac
“My witness is the empty sky.

My reward is the perfect blue sky at dawn in the desert in a bird-resounding riverbottom grove.”
“But let a perpetual smile
of peace and satisfaction
On your lips
Be a symbol of the decision
To think happiness (equanimity)
Since everything that happens
Happens in your head”
More quotes…