The Dharma Bums

The Dharma Bums

Book - 2008
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A deluxe edition of Kerouac's masterpiece on the 50th anniversary of its first publication

First published in 1958, a year after On the Road had put the Beat generation on the map, The Dharma Bums stands as one of Jack Kerouac's most powerful, influential, and bestselling novels. The story focuses on two untrammeled young Americans'mountaineer, poet, and Zen Buddhist Japhy Ryder and Ray Smith, a zestful, innocent writer'whose quest for Truth leads them on a heroic odyssey, from marathon parties and poetry jam sessions in San Francisco's Bohemia to solitude and mountain climbing in the High Sierras to Ray's sixty-day vigil by himself atop Desolation Peak in Washington State. Primary to this evocative and soulful novel is an honest, exuberant search for an affirmative way of life in the midst of the atomic age. In many ways, The Dharma Bums also presaged the environmental, back-to-the-land, and American Buddhist movements of the 1960s and beyond.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2008.
ISBN: 9780670019939
Characteristics: xxx, 187 pages ;,24 cm.


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Jul 23, 2019

Jan 15, 2015

While "On The Road" is considered a classic of American literature, "The Dharma Bums" is really Kerouac's finest work.
Beautifully written, the novel is bursting with poetry from nearly every line. The master of post-Whitman American literature and the founder of "spontaneous bop-prosody" gave us his clearest, best statement with this novel. There are passages in the Dharma Bums that are Shakespearean in their beauty.

Kerouac's reputation has suffered in recent years. Attacks from pedants in the academic community and the dry bones of the New Yorker magazine mentality have all but buried his accomplishments.
Allegations that he was a misogynist and misanthrope ( he was in fact, neither ) have further eroded his stature. But Kerouac changed the course of American literature; and more than that, he was an incredibly great writer. "Come on back, ghost, and give 'em the key".

Feb 21, 2011

In this book Jack Kerouac takes the reader back to a time that you will wish you could actually live in. The story will feel at times like it has no purpose or trajectory, but then it speeds up and you can hardly grasp it. Such is life! Beautifully written, it is my absolute favorite depiction of the beat generation.

Dec 29, 2010


Has Kerouacs spirit for sure, but he gets a little too into the superficial Zen ideas.

A book that loves Zen and wants to be Zen, but is too caught up with the idea on a surface level.

Instead of just writing, Kerouac tries really hard to do something.

Still definitely worth reading. Kerouac's spirit breaks through.

Much like 'On the Road' it will make you want to go an adventure.

If your interested in Zen writing look into Salinger and Henry Miller.

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