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Tristessa (Duluoz Legend)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  4,599 Ratings  ·  236 Reviews
Tristessa is the name with which Kerouac baptized Esperanza Villanueva, a Catholic Mexican young woman, a prostitute and addict to certain drugs, whom he fell in love with during one of his stays in Mexico -a country that he frequently visited - by the middle of the fifties. Wrapped in a spiritual atmosphere that expresses the yearnings of Kerouac to find himself, "Tristes ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published June 1st 1992 by Penguin Books (first published 1960)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
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Sep 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Cynical Kerouac Haters
Shelves: fiction
I'll admit I wrote my college entrance essay on "On The Road" and at that time in my life I was, like everyone else, inspired by the wild, wide-eyed, ideas of travel and adventure in America. I've returned to "On The Road" via "Dharma Bums" and "The Subterraneans" and "Desolation Angels" over the years to mixed results. I found instead of an entire philosophy of living that I could (and at one point did) subscribe to, rather sparks and gems of literary minerals I could use for inspiration. I gue ...more
Tristessa, you wily little book flighty as a cat, I should practice Satyagraha and resist my sinister urges to hoo haa your ever-loving Holy graces and wonder in the traces of your manna, all manna of manna, all eat-table and unbeatable and good and thirst-slaking, forsaking my faculties and reveling in the alacrity of all things, like you Mr. K., chronicler of the haloed hollowed hollow-cheeked hollerers of Holiness.

Kerouac, you sing-song like sacred ping-pong, rhythmically and hymnally and hip
Aleksandar Šegrt
Jun 14, 2016 rated it liked it
motiv zaljubljenosti u kurvu zavisnu od morfijuma mi je bio obećavajući, ali dosta tanko je ovo.
Robin Friedman
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Many readers who love Kerouac consider "Tristessa" one of his finest novels. "Tristessa" has become the book of Kerouac that I return to most often. The book was initially rejected for publication, and it first appeared in paperback in 1960 following the success of "On the Road". The book initially may have been conceived as part of "On the Road." "Tristessa" is written in Kerouac's "spontaneous prose" style, with long rhythmic improvisational sentences and the feel of jazz. It is short, but dec ...more
Emily Seaman
I would actually rate this book a -1. Hated it. Read to page 20 TWICE (it's a 97 page book) and couldn't understand anything that was going on. Something about roosters. Call me crazy, but I require books with punctuation.
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Jack Kerouac is one of my all-time favorite writers, and a prime reason why I became a writer myself. The man wrote a slew of classic titles. However, Tristessa ain't one of them.

I feel like a heel for saying that, but it's only true. Tristessa is 96 pages of Jack Duluoz (Kerouac) mooning over a broken-down morphine junkie/whore who couldn't give a sh*t less about him. Kerouac compares this woman, who's based on a real-life fling he had down in Mexico City, to everyone from Ava Gardner and Grac
Stuart Ayris
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Tristessa. What a beautiful name - you can't say it aloud wwithout feeling a sense of wonder, a sense of peace, a feeling that things are slowing down in the most perfect of ways. Yet this book (not sure it's a novel as it's not even a hundred pages yet not sure still it's a book as it's more like a film, a faded, dream sodden broken breaking film) is far from wonderous, far from peaceful and if pain is perfection then it's perfect indeed. Tristessa is what it's called and Tristessa is the name ...more
May 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I myself can barely tolerate the writing of Kerouac. Too many run on sentences and drug addled thought processes. It's not that I absolutely hate it, but I think much of his popularity is based on name only without any regard to the finer details of his chaotic and exhausting prose. I feel as if I'm giving this a generous rating, based solely on the rare parts I actually happened to enjoy, while much of it was wasted effort to me. It was, and is, mainly an exercise of patience.
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i never want to take morphine ever
Evidence of a great talent in slow decline, but still a fun read nonetheless. Reminiscent of his shorter works such as The Scripture of the Golden Eternity as well as Mexico City Poems and Pomes All Sizes. Kerouac’s at his painterly best here, portraying both the horrors of opiate dependence and the despondency of life in a country without a strong economic base wholly without commentary. It is up to the reader to draw their own conclusions from this slim novella.

This book’s place within the “Du
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review of peoples reviews 2 17 May 18, 2012 03:06PM  
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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.

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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
  • Visions of Cody
  • The Subterraneans
  • The Dharma Bums
“The beauty of things must be that they end.” 154 likes
“I'll go to the south of Sicily in the winter, and paint memories of Arles – I'll buy a piano and Mozart me that – I'll write long sad tales about people in the legend of my life – This part is my part of the movie, let's hear yours” 28 likes
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