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Beat Down to Your Soul: What Was the Beat Generation?
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Beat Down to Your Soul: What Was the Beat Generation?

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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  85 ratings  ·  7 reviews
In this wide-ranging anthology, Beat scholar Ann Charters brings together more than seventy-five essays, reviews, memoirs, poems, and sketches that evoke the credos and the controversies surrounding the Beat generation writers of the 1950s. Charters includes discussions of all the major Beat figures-Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, Diane di Pr ...more
Paperback, 704 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Penguin Books
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3.98  · 
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 ·  85 ratings  ·  7 reviews


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robert
Dec 13, 2010 rated it liked it
A series of readings listed alphabetically. Orlovsky on Charlie Chaplin and Trilling on Ginsberg are must reads. Buckley is sorta funny, Burroughs okay, Ginsberg inspiring, Kazin perceptive and stimulating. Brustein's slam creates a fascinating context (he sees Brando as a Beat). Joyce Johnson is really fun, Joyce Carol Oates balanced, Snyder plainspoken but effective, Stone condescending (Kerouac's no Melville but who the hell is!!!). Charters is honest and Tallman builds to an energetic three ...more
Alyssa
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it
If you are at all interested in the Beat writers, or anything Beat related, this is at least an interesting book to peruse through. I didn't read every single word on every single page, I must admit. My time with this book is twice overdue, according to my library.

There is a mix of first-hand accounts with beat writers, articles on beat writers and the so-called Beat Generation, and fun writings/letters/poems by the Beats themselves.

This is definitely a book you can't just read straight throug
...more
Jim
May 01, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a good find for the "Beat Academics" or "Beat Historians". Its largely a biographical sketch of Beats major and Beats minor characters, also there is "some" poetry, and various takes on the Beat subject, times, influences, and the impact of the Beats.

If i picked just one selection it would be Ann Charters account of her experience at Kerouac's house in the last year or so of Kerouac's life. Ann was writing a Bibliography of Kerouac's work.
Michael Mayer
Oct 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
If you are in any way interested in Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg, and Ken Kesey and what they actually had to say about the "beat" scene, I highly recommend this book (and Jack's Book by Gifford). This book will probably turn you onto other lesser known writers and poets, as well.
John
Jun 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
The counter-counter culture.
Jamil
just read the essays on William Burroughs, by Ann Douglas, Alfred Kazin, Mary McCarthy, Anne Waldman.
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