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The Holy Barbarians

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  495 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The beat world--holy in its search of self, barbarian in its total rejection of the so-called "civilised" standards of success and morality. Lawrence Lipton's fascinating book is one of the first complete, unbiased studies of the strange, important offshoot of society.
318 pages
Published 1959 by Messner
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Sep 27, 2013 marked it as maybe-perhaps-we-ll-see  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a Rory book. I'm not ashamed to admit it.
I loved that show, and I found some good titles that eventually became awesome books. So, yes. It's a Rory book... Don't question my sources. (?)

September 27, 2013

Oh, yes. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life will be released on November 25. Two days before my birthday. Perfect gift!
Because, you know, it isn't just a show - it's a lifestyle.

July 31, 16

Update II
Yes, I watched the Gilmore Girls revival. I will keep my opinion to myself and contin
Printable Tire
Second attempt. Not as good as the first one, but it is shorter!

After riding high on Your Erroneous Zones and Doing Nothing, I had to read a book about incompetent, self-indulgent, elitist, hypocritical, vapid, shallow, histrionic, selfish, egotistical, ignorant beatniks.
Everyone in this book talks like they came out of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and the author Lawrence Lipton (father of James Lipton, and if you want to understand why James is so pretentious and boorish, look no further th
Jim Crocker
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the strangest and most amazing books I've ever read. Probably changed the course of my life.
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in the late 70s, about 20 years after it was written. That was about 5 years after I spent some time in Los Angeles, hoping to experience the Beat subculture. I enjoyed and appreciated the book, largely because I had experienced a little of the Venice scene it describes. But it was already ancient history when I visited. The Beat concept had already been subsumed, for better or worse into the overall American Experience. I hope to reread it soon and, if I do, I'll expand my revi ...more
Terrell Neuage
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I was in about 7th grade age 14. I realised then and there - 1961; that this was the life for me. I left home a couple of years later and started my life via Greenwich Village and Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco. And a good life it has been. In other words probably the most influential book I read as a teenager.
Like hey man, those beatniks were groovy. If the planet Earth is like a tiny speck in the thumbnail of the universe, does that mean I could like have a tiny universe in my thumbnail? Blows my mind. You dig?
Oct 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, dropping-beats
I purchased this book for $2 from an online Christian bookstore. Based on their other available selections I can only presume they had this in stock for the title and not the contents.

It is a hardback edition from 1959, black cover with lime green lettering. The pages are a comfortable color of weathered cream and the smell takes me back to my childhood, to our old library that is now a police station for offices only. Under the staircase in the back of the building was the children's room: a 1
Feb 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
This is a 300+ page argument that the Beat Movement was as much political as it was a artistic. Lipton tries to draw a line from leftist movements of the 20s and 30s to the Beat Generation. It's a stretch. He takes the whole Beat Generation too seriously. So much so that's unintentionally humorous at times.
Olav M
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cool-beat-wigged
Loved it from start to finish.
The book reinforced my already positive perspective and added so much more on top of that.
The beat generations spirit will stick to me eternally and I'm sure, will eventually consume me, for the better or worse but always in a way that will leave me with no regrets in the knowledge that I acted out of my own requests of will and wants and love.

Very informative and definitely a must read for any beat-admirer. Would recommend reading a few other books of the beat wri
The best book i have read so far of this type. It’s more explaining than just high rambling.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.
Reading this book, I could see a lot of similarities with the Beatniks and the Millenial generation - but with a big difference being that in general, the Millenial doesn't live in a state of poverty by choice. With this point of view in mind, it was incredibly interesting to read about the sex, art, jazz and politics of the Beatniks. They were more than just poet reading jazz lovers, they were a movement away from societal norms that Lipton could write about so well because he was one of them.
Jeremy Garber
A fascinating participant-observer study of the Beat Generation by a slightly older participant. An excellent illustration of qualitative research written well, Lipton lives and works among these radical dropouts and collects their stories to group them into a mosaic of the alternative lifestyle. Rejection of the capitalist myth, the importance of jazz to alternative consciousness, marijuana as communal bonding agent, and alternative sexuality - Lipton tells it all with detail but with an intell ...more
Sep 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
All in all a decent read. Obviously it is a bit dated, and some or rather, most of the pieces that felt like they are suppose to be shocking to the average reader, probably were quite shocking to the average reader when this books was released. Girls who sleep with boys before marriage and curse? Boys with beards? Not wanting to live the American Dream? The horror, the horror...

I also probably should have read this book sooner. I've had a copy for the better part of a decade, sitting on my to re
Karl Reinhard
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Based on annotations and highlighting of my nook version of this book, this was one of my best reads. Lipton does an excellent job of capturing in detail the beat generation and tracing similar movements, from his first hand experience, from the twenties, thirties and the immediately proceeding developments of the forties. The details of beat personalities, music, attitudes, religion were all insightful. All of this was new to me. His experiences with luminaries, such as Allen Ginsberg, were fas ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Written in such a fluid manner, I felt like I was reading a story rather than a comprehensive history of a movement. This book delves into every aspect of the "beatnik" movement, letting you into the thoughts and minds of many of the key creative people that grew out of the era. This book covers not only the history of the movement but also gives you a portrait of the social and cultural climate of the country as a whole. It also expands the oft misconceived view the beat generation began and en ...more
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Took me a little while to get into this book, and Lipton's rambling style takes some getting used to, but despite my misgivings about his abity as a writer, I enjoyed this self-indulgent 'history'. Much of the material is oral history, transcribed directly from interviews or other texts, and other writers often have more interesting things to say about the Beat Generation than Lawrence Lipton does, but it was a useful introduction to the material.
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lipton's THE HOLY BARBARIANS is a study of beatnik and a book of two halves. The first reads like a roman à clef journal of life in Venice West, the second a paper on beat versus the ever commercial modern America and it's origins. An odd mix of entertainment and education which manages to capture the essence of beat in an organised way that doesn't let it shatter in your hands.

Squares beware. There's little for you here.
Raimo Wirkkala
A very thorough and thoroughly fascinating look at the 'beat' culture and what it all meant. Their ethics, music, literature and way of life from the point-of-view of a proud insider. Lipton pays some passing reference to the 'name-brand' beatniks but focuses on those he knew from his own community of Venice West, CA.
Katy Brandes
Wanted to know more about the history of the Beats before going to San Fran but could hardly get through it.
blue-collar mind
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beats, classics
A must for any reader of the Beat Generation. A mix of interview, social critique and first-hand account of their lives and work.
Denise Trigo
rated it liked it
Feb 02, 2013
Charie Laine
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Nov 03, 2013
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Nov 09, 2008
rated it it was ok
Mar 08, 2014
Chelsea Harvey
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Jan 22, 2015
Sofia Garcia
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Sep 29, 2014
Priya Anand
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Apr 26, 2013
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Mar 28, 2013
Heather Llewellyn
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May 13, 2018
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