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Free Beer: Kicks and Truth with Jack Kerouac & other strong drinks Paperback – Black & White, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Happyport Productions Inc.; 1st edition (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977049507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977049509
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,302,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cliff Anderson has worn many different hats through his life and has had many varied interests. He has been a musician, truck driver, college student (B.A. in English),journeyman carpenter, teacher, program specialist at a day treatment center for disabled retarded adults, ski bum, sailor and writer.

Cliff wrote Free Beer: Kicks & Truth with Jack Kerouac to stand up for him against the unfair critics that surfaced after his untimely death. Cliff met Kerouac (King of the Beatniks) by accident in a St. Petersburg, Florida bar. Free Beer opens with a raucous description of this meeting and shows the beginning of his friendship with Kerouac and a vignette co-authored with Kerouac is featured in the book. One hat Cliff wore with pride is that he was Kerouac's driver. A story in Free Beer, The Present, shows that he had at least on one occasion a way with fast cars to rival the great driver of On the Road fame Dean Moriarty (Neil Cassady).

Cliff is presently sailing his boat Mystica and celebrating the release of his new book, Jack Learns to Play the Gypsy Guitar, an instruction book for young people.

Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jim Mulligan on January 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
Years ago,I had read a magazine article about Jack Kerouac which basically portrayed Kerouac as a falling down drunk and worst of all, a totally unsympathetic character. This writer, a young man with no life experience and nothing risked as yet, passing judgment on an American classic author! I had read DHARMA BUMS in high school and was fascinated by Kerouac's stream of consciousness monologues. It spoke to my wandering youth and left me with a deep respect for his easy, off the cuff writing style. Needless to say, the magazine article left me feeling a bit empty-another hero bites the dust.

It was such a joy and relief, to pick up FREE BEER and hear a much more hopeful story regarding Kerouac's last years. The author,Cliff Anderson, was a close fiend, drinking buddy and budding author in Tampa, FL in the sixties, spending many years in his company and his acquaintance. Free Beer, the title short story is a revved up,laughing kick which gives great insight into Kerouac's intelligence and wit. It left me with the impression that Kerouac was even more of a genius than I had imagined. One hysterical event in the story not to be missed is Cliff and Jack's visit to Mike Fowler, a sportswriter for the ST. PETERSBURG INDEPENDENT. In an effort to hasten their departure to beach bar partying, Kerouac bangs out a column for Fowler in minutes. Anderson's telling of the tale leaves you chuckling and realizing Kerouac was magic in person as well as on the printed page.

The other short stories in the volume show that some of Kerouac's style, wit and directness was absorbed by Anderson. There's even a joint effort by both authors, an obvious effort by Kerouac to encourage Anderson's writing spirit.

Worth the price, especially to restore a tarnished image to its proper shine and light. Kerouac lives and there still are a few heroes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. E. Mantel on September 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Cliff Anderson was a close pal of Jack Kerouac during his final years in Florida and in a very pragmatic sense relates this experience during an interview with (my good buddy, great guy!) Rod Anstee of Ottawa, Ontario (author of a well-known Kerouac bootleg bibliography) -- very interesting to say the least and given my interest in Jack K., the highlight of the book.

But it also contains a nice collage of Mr. Anderson's own works which are quite entertaining in their own right.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Denise R. on February 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
Free Beer: Kicks & Truth with Jack Kerouac, and other strong drinks" is a collection of twelve stories, as well as Kerouac scholar Rod Anstee's 1990 interview with Anderson, titled "Dare to be Kind."

In the tale that gives this collection its title, "Free Beer," Anderson recounts his friendship with Jack Kerouac, which began in St. Petersburg, Florida and spawned many entertaining adventures over the course of several years in the nineteen-sixties. This tale, along with the interview, is the heart of the book.

After an accidental encounter with a drunken Kerouac at the Tic-Toc Whiskey Bar in St. Petersburg, Florida, the two quickly became friends.

Their adventures together include Anderson bailing Jack out of jail for peeing in public, wild nights at the Wild Boar tavern ("a bum's Camelot"), encounters with the local press and Jack's family, among others. There's also a drunken road trip to see Allen Ginsberg and John Clellon Holmes, and Lowell, Jack's hometown.

Others have painted Kerouac as an unpleasant, desperately sad character toward the end of his life; in "Free Beer" Cliff Anderson shows him instead as a brilliant man, full of life, human moods and complexity (Anderson labels his alternating moods "Jeckyll" and "Hyde").

The short story Anderson and Jack wrote together, "The Bottom Drawer Affairs of Woolie Williams or Kicks and Truth," is also included.

Rod Anstee's interview with Anderson offers further enlightenment, and spans a wide range of topics.

The 11 additional stories are fun to read, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Reis Hawkes on February 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Free Beer offers insight into Jack Kerouac's Jekyll and Hyde personality as well as many great examples of Anderson's ability as a writer of both short stories and tall tales.
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