Hilary's Reviews > First Third & Other Writings - Revised & Expanded Edition Together With A New Prologue

First Third & Other Writings - Revised & Expanded Edition Tog... by Neal Cassady
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May 12, 2009

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bookshelves: beat, memoir, non-fiction, own, biography, epistles, poetry, folklore, 2013
Read from January 04, 2011 to August 02, 2013 — I own a copy

This book is mildly ridiculous by any standard. Neal Cassady is something of an unsung legend nowadays. The inspiration for Jack Kerouac's well-remembered Dean Moriarty, Cassady was the fuel that ignited the fire of the Beat movement. He was admired for his rapid-fire style, his mad adventures, and his boundless enthusiasm. Which is ridiculous, as I said before, as the first half of this book plods horribly.

That isn't to say this isn't interesting.

Cassady paints a vibrant picture of the time in which he lived. His concerns are, likewise, the concerns of any poor boy growing up in the 20s and 30s. The book really shines once the story truly gets going, which sadly is where it then stops. Thankfully, the letters and excerpts that pepper the back-end of the book are a welcome change from his restricted narrative style.

A must read for any fans of the Beats, if they'd care to get an idea for just how the movement itself came into being.

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Reading Progress

05/12/2009 page 38
08/01/2013 marked as: currently-reading
08/02/2013 marked as: read
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