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Book of Dreams Paperback – June 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Publishers; 1st edition (June 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872863808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872863804
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #813,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This new edition of the primary beat's private dream diaries presents the whole of Kerouac's original manuscript, including some 200-odd dreams not published in the initial selection (1961). More or less liberated from the requirements of the Beat swagger, Kerouac's writing is at times blissfully uncool, evoking an almost na ve and sentimental sensibility: " this kitty was an angel, and spoke the truth"; "nobody loves me 'cause there's no me." Correspondences between some dream characters and their counterparts in the novels are not accidental, and are correlated in a prologue (and by poet Robert Creeley, in an insightful introduction). But many facets of Kerouac's oeuvre appear here much less polished, and more naked and powerful: " My mother and I are arm in arm on the floor, I'm crying afraid to die, she's blissful and has one leg in pink sexually out between me, and I'm thinking 'Even on the verge of death women think of love & snaky affection' Women? who's dreaming this?" Lost love, madness, castration, cats that speak, cats in danger of their lives, people giving birth to cats, grade school classrooms, Mel Torme, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Tolstoy and Genet all make repeated appearances, lending the collection a repetitive, nonprogrammatic logic and exposing an unfamiliar sort of vulnerable beauty in Kerouac's iconic persona. One only wonders, in the end, whether anyone, even Jack Kerouac, really has such fantastic dreams. (June 30) Forecast: With memoir still a dominant beach-read genre, and with Kerouac still a Dean-like name, proper promotion and review attention could lead to significant sales. City Lights, still the premier publisher of Beatiana, will also bring out a collection of interviews, San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets (including Joanne Kyger, Kenneth Rexroth and Gary Snyder), in June ($19.95 paper 384p ISBN 0-87286-379-4).
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) was a principal actor in the Beat Generation, and a companion of Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady in that great adventure. His books include On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Mexico City Blues, Lonesome Traveler, Scattered Poems, Visions of Cody, Pomes All Sizes, Scattered Poems, and Scripture of the Golden Eternity.

More About the Author

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), the central figure of the Beat Generation, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922 and died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969. Among his many novels are On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, and Visions of Cody.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
You really have to be in the right mood to enjoy this book. It is a verbatim account of Kerouac's dreams (literally, his sleeping dreams). Many of his dreams reflect characters and events in his novels, so it is a good idea to read a couple of those to go along with this. Overall, I enjoyed reading it, but just for fun. I didn't get anything special out of it. Just open it to any page and read a dream. They'll remind you of your own.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Kerouac's style is well adapted to the subject of dreams and his random testimonials that he wrote immmediately after waking up without giving himself time to think about what he was writing(more importantly no time to moralize or judge his dreams)are simple, scattered glimpses into the sleeping mind. This book inspired me to start keeping a dream journal in order to "fish out" my dreams before they disappeared from memory. A must read for any Kerouac fan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ant on March 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
Don't be fooled. This is not Kerouac's plans, visions or hopes. These are no less than his actual unexpurgated nightly dreams written in classic Kerouac prose. His style flourishes in what you might label short fictions of the night. Long rambling structures uninhibited by standard literary conventions, Book of dreams could in fact be one of his purest works. Perfect for his long `stream of consciousness' writing that Kerouac adopted early to mid in his career, his dreams change from scene to disconnected scene filled with all the characters of his semi autobiographical works stretching from Carlo Marx & Cody right back to GJ & Scotty of his days in Doctor Sax. He also meets along the way W.C fields & someone who might be Marlene Dietrich! The uninhibited retelling of his dreams is often hilarious, sometimes raw, exposing Jacks vulnerabilities & always highly interesting. If there is any criticism I have, it is only that due to the nature of dreams, it is difficult at times to keep your focus on them, (I lost my bookmark half way through & couldn't remember what I had read!) so fluid & morphing are these dream experiences he writes about. Above all though, it is a chance to get `into his head' & find out a little more about Kerouac, however you find that his dreams & his life as lived vicariously through his books were not all that different. Book of dreams wouldn't have been half as fun had I not been acquainted with the collection of books that make up the Dolouz legend; therefore as a first Kerouac book I'd recommend reading something else, but a must for anybody who loves his work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sean Coleman on November 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read aloud in one sitting the BOLD beginnings of every dream in the book and felt it was almost impossible to turn the reading experience into an educational experience. It was entertaining and got my mind flowing, but I did not remember any of the dreams. It was just hoards of scrambledy written dreams about bizarre personal experiences in Kerouac's life, written with incongruous images and carry ons (as Kerouac often does and this review does) and it is a hard to follow book. It did make me try the same experiment in taking down my dreams, but I was jealous I could not take my dreams down as vividly with as much creativity as Jack did. It is poetic and I like that the subjects of each beginning of the dreams are different and it seems he must have embellished some of his dream chronicles. Uhmm, the writing again shows Kerouac had a great sense of humor about the reality that readers would probably not make it through many of the details of the book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Book Of Dreams is Jack Kerouac's written record of his dream life, a kind of parallel autobiography of his soul. A writer whose novels, beginning with On The Road, spoke for and to a whole generation of young men and women, Jack Kerouac was a man who, awake or asleep, struggled with the problems that beset all human relationships, and that makes his writings (and his dreams) as meaningful and compelling today as they were half a century ago. This new and expanded City Lights addition is the first full publication of the complete manuscript as Jack Kerouac intended it to be. The unabridged edition of Kerouac's Book Of Dreams is an essential addition for academic collections, and "must" reading for all Jack Kerouac fans and enthusiasts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maria on January 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read many of Kerouac's works so I understand his writing. I understand the book is a dream journal, I just didn't much care for it. It was a refreshing change from his other works that "stories"/scenarios ended quickly however by the end of the book, I felt like I had just wasted a lot of time. Some say that this book gives you a better insight into his life, but it's just a dream journal and I walked away not feeling like I gained any insight. I'd skip it unless you're a Kerouac fan and want to read everything he wrote.
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