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Dr. Sax (Duluoz Legend)

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  2,580 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
“Kerouac dreams of America in the authentic rolling rhythms of a Whitman or a Thomas Wolfe, drunk with eagerness for life.”—John K. Hutchens
Paperback, 245 pages
Published January 13th 1994 by Grove Press
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May 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Oh God--what a magnificent book with language so beautiful that I have to gasp between sentences. Kerouac himself said it was his personal favorite (while drunk during an interview for Italian tv). No one--I mean, no one--has ever captured the terrible magic and mystery of childhood lost better than Ti Jean.
Nov 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Forget, for the moment, about On the Road: anyone about to read Kerouac should start here. Dr. Sax is the crystallization of Kerouac’s creative integrity and vision. Here, his style is unencumbered by the editorial “corrections” that helped make On the Road a best-seller, but compromised its thematic execution – and the imagination that produced the mythical Dr. Sax is the same that, in the guise of Sal Paradise, seeks redemption. Here, revealed in its purest realization, is the source of the lo ...more
Jack Beltane
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Thing is, most of Kerouac's work is not linear and neat and tidy. It's poorly punctuated stream-of-consciousness, skipping from image to image to emotion to sensation. So if you think you like Kerouac because you liked On the Road, you may not like this book. And if you only like Kerouac when he's writing traditionally crafted fiction, then maybe you just don't like Kerouac.

Not all of Kerouac's books deserve 4 or 5 stars, but this one earned it. The genius of it is that he recounts--as if he wer
Aug 31, 2008 rated it liked it
It took me a couple of times to get through Dr. Sax. Kerouac is my favorite and I feel a crazy connection with him, but for heaven's sake...

You can tell that this was written when he was hanging out with stupid, trippy Burroughs. It has a lot of the Electric Kool-Aid test in it - as in disturbing imagery, nonsense alliteration, etc.

The times that I really started to enjoy it was when he left the Dr. Sax part (even though the imagery of the great snake, that might be made up of doves, is someth
Jan 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
This actually applies to the audio-play (best I can describe a screenplay turned into an audiobook).

Well, it was interesting. Not bad, and it's hard to complain too much about a work that's that short. It would have been a fairly good kid's fantasy story along the lines of something Neil Gaiman might have written, except Kerouac was deliberately messy with the narrative and added a lot of unnecessary strange language. Of course, the reason this is called "Dr. Sax" instead of "Dr. Violin" is that
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a sad read for me, marking the time in my life when I definitively fell out of love with Kerouac. There are, to be sure, flashes of brilliance in Dr. Sax, but the overall meandering stream of consciousness (this time trying to recapture his adolescence) left me underwhelmed, without an authentic point of connection. Kerouac, for me, now becomes one of those authors that I like the idea of, more than the reality of reading their work.
Garrett Cook
Jun 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: surrealists, bizarro novelists, beatniks
Dr. Sax is a cool, surreal and proficient beat novel. The narrative dream logic glides through a world of magical realism surrounding the protagonist's life. Beautiful, sometimes profane, always interesting, I consider this Kerouac's best. A potent flight of the imagination.
The subtitle of the novel is “Faust Part Three”. The scene is Textile town - working class blue collar drudge-filled. Beyond the dark woods and the brown-ominous serpentine Merrimac River lies the Castle, near the corner of Bridge and 16th, including vampire Count Condu flown from Budapest, and mysterious green-faced creeping caped Doctor Sax from Butte, all haunting Jack Kerouac’s childhood and memories in Lowell.

This is an awesome read, filled alternately with sad incredibly effective nostalg
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is my first review for this site for any book I've listed. "Dr. Sax" was one of the last Kerouac books I had to read. I've been reading his work for the past sixteen years, studied Kerouac and his works in college as an undergrad, and I continue to read his books and love them. So, with that said, I had heard about "Dr. Sax" being one of the most unique books Kerouac had ever written; hell, even Carloyn Cassady urged him to write more books like "Dr. Sax" and mentions it in her memoir.

I bo
Meghan Fidler
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doctor Sax is best read aloud. The style which Jack Kerouac writes in, a self proclaimed 'spontaneous prose,' makes the early portions of the novel frustrating (indeed, not until I was able to figure out that the story of Doctor Sax is a momentary residence within the imagination of a young boy, I thought Kerouac's 1-2 page chapter "style" was one created from smoking a joint and writing only as long as the high lasted)...(I tell you this, dear reader, so that you may sit back and enjoy the devi ...more
Dane Cobain
Doctor Sax is yet another one of Kerouac’s experiments with free-verse autobiographical writing, and it tells the story of his childhood in Lowell, Massachusetts. Yet while it might be about his younger years, it was actually written in 1952, when the author was thirty years old and living with William S. Burroughs in Mexico City.

You can tell he was living with Burroughs – the other great stalwart of the beat generation had clearly rubbed off on him, and much of his style can be seen in Kerouac’
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating and dense. It takes time to fully immerse yourself into the flow, and even then its tenuous. There are some genuinely great moments, specifically the bits on the flood. It mostly reads like a fever dream. Try to lose yourself in the insanity of it. Having now read two of Kerouacs childhood reminiscences (this along with Vanity of Duluoz) I think I prefer his more straight-forward approach in Vanity. Still, this is worth a look. ...more
Sep 17, 2007 rated it did not like it
An unreadable book. It's the same several scenes over and over and over and over again in a rambling and rhythmless stream-of-conciousness 'style'. If you love love love Kerouac, maybe you can take this hazy alcoholic spluge-tome, and maybe you'll even convince yourself that you like it, but I really liked Jack Kerouc once, and this was the beginning of the end for me.
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: duluoz-legend
Awesome read. Reminiscent of those kid days when you desperately want to grow up but your imagination still wants a play date. This is one of Kerouac's best works simply because it was a book that made you think and reflect on your won life/childhood and reexamine what was lost and gained in the process of "growing up."
Warren Ellis
Dec 11, 2012 rated it liked it
I remember this wobbling along uncertainly until the last chapter or two, where Kerouac finds his feet and cracks off some of those uniquely revelatory lines that I treasure him for.
Gordon Fingland
I have read better Kerouac books and have been more engrossed than i found myself with Doctor. Sax. I can imagine at the time of publication it would be more stand out-ish, certainly given the free flow written style. Still it was an enjoyable read mixing spooky and tender moments...a pleasant mix of childhood memoir with fantasy.
Oscar Cremmen
and he was never invincible
and he was never predictable
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
French-Canadian mythology in the United States. Done in the style of Word-Jazz. It is rare to see a cultural autobiography such as this rare number from Jack Kerouac, who claimed to owe everything he did to his French-Canadian heritage. Brilliant balancing of Joual and English. Acadian flourish layered over Yank dialect. Poetry and fantasy interspliced. Darkness shining through the light. The story is cryptic. Dream and reality fluctuate without warning. Dr. Sax appears and disappears. Should yo ...more
Feb 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
Wild, odd surreal book that is a sort of memoir of Kerouac growing up and this dream like story of Dr. Sax, who is an odd mix of boogeyman, pulp hero and mad scientist.
The two parts are both interesting, but don't quite connect well to each other and Kerouac will move rather abruptly from one to another.

Loved Dr. Sax as a character, as he feels like the Shadow as played by William S. Burroughs, and made me wish Kerouac had tried to write his own version of a pulp novel using him.
Robin Friedman
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The year 2007 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of Jack Kerouac's (1922-- 1969) "On the Road." The Library of America, among others publishers, has marked the occasion with the publication of a new volume including five Kerouac "Road Novels". I wanted to reread other works by Kerouac besides the "road novels" that are in danger of being overlooked, and I turned to "Dr. Sax". Kerouac wrote "Dr. Sax" in 1952 while living with William Burroughs in Mexico City. It was a difficult time f ...more
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Another book about Kerouac's haunted, dark, sad yet happy childhood. You really get a feel for the town of Lowell, MA.
Dec 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Kerouac embellishes images from childhood dreams, interweaves with Depression-era Americana, and creates evil characters more sinister than any old horror movie.
Jeff Suwak
May 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Kerouac, and this is hands down my favorite Kerouac book ever.
Dane Cobain
May 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Doctor Sax is yet another one of Kerouac’s experiments with free-verse autobiographical writing, and it tells the story of his childhood in Lowell, Massachusetts. Yet while it might be about his younger years, it was actually written in 1952, when the author was thirty years old and living with William S. Burroughs in Mexico City.

You can tell he was living with Burroughs – the other great stalwart of the beat generation had clearly rubbed off on him, and much of his style can be seen in Kerouac’
Peter Aronson
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Three-and-a-half stars, more or less. The beat prose style this is written in is a bit like someone put James Joyce, Virginia Wolfe and Lewis Carroll into a blender, set it on high, and let the results splatter onto a page. But you get used to it. The story seems to be a nostalgic (if somewhat scatological) love letter to growing up in Lowell, Mass. in the 1920's and 1930's, mixed with the the high power apocalyptic imaginings of the narrator, a pulp-loving French-Canadian boy named Jack Duluz, ...more
Preston Stell
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bram Stoker's Dracula on LSD...or something of the sort. I picked this up and could not put it down. Kerouac gives you his wonderful imagination and depicts dream in a brilliant manner. I loved the words he used and I loved the images he created. This book is beyond weird and I highly recommend reading it rather than audiobooking!
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
An equally genius and insane stream of consciousness that varies from incoherent to mesmerizing. The singsongy style and flashing dreamy scenes don't make for much of a plot, but the imagery and unique turns of phrase are uniquely Kerouac.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Сумасшествие. Контроллируемое.
Возможно, что-то в этом всём есть.
Возможно, мне чего-то не хватило, чтобы понять и получить удовольствие. Много чего.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites in the Kerouac canon. The combination of vivid childhood memories and the hallucinatory, almost Burroughs-esque tale of Dr. Sax makes for a bright, highly entertaining tale.
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  • Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac
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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

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“don't stop to think of the words when you do stop, just stop to think of the picture better-and let your mind off yourself in this work.” 23 likes
“...the stars are fixed in rooftops like ink.” 1 likes
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