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Empty Phantoms: Interviews and Encounters with Jack Kerouac Paperback – September 22, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press; First Edition edition (September 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560256583
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560256588
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,198,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Maher, Jr., is one of the young lions of Kerouac scholarship; what's more, many of Kerouac’s family, friends, and contemporaries (including John Sampas and David Amram) endorse Maher. Maher served as editor of The Kerouac Quarterly, to which he contributed, and wrote "The Seeds of Galloway: Jack Kerouac’s Lowell" (Eastern National, 1999), published for America’s National Parks system. He also teaches a course on Kerouac at Middlesex Community College.

Maher’s "Kerouac: The Definitive Biography" (Taylor Trade Publishing, June 2004), based entirely on primary sources, is the most thoroughly researched and comprehensive life of Kerouac to date. It's been selected by both "Biography" magazine and "Vanity Fair" for their "Hot Lists." It's also received endorsements from Kerouac's literary executor John Sampas, composer David Amram (author of "Offbeat: Collaborating with Kerouac"), and historian Douglas Brinkley (author of "Rosa Parks;" "The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter’s Journey beyond the White House;" and "American Heritage's History of the United States"). UPDATE: In April '05, "Kerouac" was named a finalist for the Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award in the category of biography.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G. E. Mantel on August 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
I haven't read Maher's bio of Kerouac (and may pass on it in lieu of Brinkley's anticipated work) but this book is indeed a nicely-assembled collection of articles on & interviews of Jack Kerouac spanning his entire "public" life.

Nice to have all of this rarely-seen stuff under one cover.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bobby K. Daugherty on June 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
There are those who feel that Kerouac was underrated and those who feel he is overrated. Perhaps we are looking into his work for the wrong reasons. I will always revere Jack as my favorite writer, because aside from whatever personal problems may be attributed to him. He reminds me of what a true writer is capable of, he reminds me that life is never mediocre or mundane it always holds promise. There are several glimpses into the man laid out in this book, but for me the real essence of his legacy is put forth by John Clellon Holmes in the end of the book as he describes Jack's funeral.
I feel that to dismiss Kerouac as the writer that was only a stage in our youth is to disregard a part of our youth that had awakened to independence, and to dismiss him as a mere "typewriter" as Capote did is to acknowledge a mere lack of imagination as well as appreciation for such a gifted writer. Kerouac was a writer in the truest sense as he experimented with various styles and never had to write about sensationalism or something as vulgar as murder ( i.e. "In Cold Blood" by Capote) to capture his audience. Kerouac made the open road as well as America beautiful and exciting and kept it honest. To dismiss him is to expose a severe flaw in one's personality.
This book is an interesting glimpse at Jack, but much like Lenny Bruce he poured his heart and soul into his work and had little left over when he was through.
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