Dan Leo's Reviews > The Subterraneans

The Subterraneans by Jack Kerouac
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really liked it

Written in three nights – and, yes, for good and ill it reads that way – it boils down to the story (according to Kerouac, a true story, with the names changed and the location switched from Greenwich Village to San Francisco) of a Canuck-American writer in his early thirties in the early 1950s who falls for a ten-years younger African American “bohemian” woman. They’re both fragile psychological messes, and he’s a drunk – the affair flairs up, burns bright, and then his drunken antics and his weakness kills the fire. It reminded me of one crazy sweaty drunken summer affair I had when I was a few years younger than the guy in this book – insanity feeding off insanity, the highs are very, very high, the lows are very, very low...
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 11, 2019 – Shelved
January 11, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by David (new)

David Ehrenstein Towards the close of his career Athur Freed was assigned to produce the film version for Metro. How was the studio going to handle an interracial romance? "Don't worry," said Freed,"Ee've solved that problem. We've cast Leslie Caron."


message 2: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Leo Ha ha – problem solved! Y'know, a friend of mine posted an image from Cassavetes' movie Shadows the same day I mentioned having read The Subterraneans, and it occurred to me that here was a movie dealing with an interracial affair that came out around the same time the book came out. I've heard the Hollywood version of the novel is pretty bad, but I've never seen it. It would have taken someone like Cassavetes to do the book justice with a film adaptation, and as soon as I typed "someone like Cassavetes" I realized, well, Cassavetes was the only someone like Cassavetes...


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