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Maggie Cassidy Paperback – August 1, 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
When I was much younger and had experienced my first brutal betrayal in life, this novel was my greatest comfort. Kerouac had uncanny vision into the human heart, and was capable of expressing the awful paradox of young love, the joy and pain of it, it terms that were never sentimental, and often quietly heroic.
A poetic, lovely book.
This is Kerouac before the drugs and the jazz. It's him in high school as a quarterback. Its amazing because I felt a lot of similarities in the feelings and experiences I had in my hometown, which was also small.
The book was an odd contrast between idolisation and disappointment. Nobody seemed to know what they really wanted. It did a good job of capturing the frustration of youth. While I prefer Kerouac going on a bender with because his cat died, or failing at relationships because of his alcoholism, it was a sweet touching story and really really well written. This one, a one of the lesser known works in the opus, truly resonated with me. It almost seemed as if Lowell was my little town for awhile there and Maggie someone I knew extremely well. A truly sad but also deeply evocative book.
It's nice to know that it's completely autobiographical, even without knowing it really, you get the feeling that the only way it could be so real and so surreal is if it actually happened to him, exactly the way his insane mind processed it.
Possibly not my favourite book and not one of the best pieces I've ever read. I however loved the constant nostalgia and wistfullness that permeates the novella, and there is a tenderness in the characters that seems to come from Kerouac's warm memories of his youth.
Life is not sanitized and easy. Kerouac knew this from hard-bitten experience. The amazing thing about Jack was that when it was over, he could always sing about it in his books. he does so here in "Maggie Cassidy."
I have felt the kind of stuff Jack talks about in this book. The illusion of teen "love" is one of the most wretched feelings in all the world...its elation is too high...too painful. Its ending is wrenching of the soul...usually quickly followed by the joy of illusory freedom. Still, it sticks your head for years after like an annoying song that won't go away--Keroauc gets all this down in one hundred and ninety-four pages...amazing.
Get this book. I recommend it highly to all who've been stung by what they thought was love when they were young.
And then there are the descriptions that Kerouac gives. It's often been said that his books are poetry and that is most certainly true in this case. The way he describes the snowy New England nights is absolutely beautiful and the way he portrays Maggie you can tell he genuinely felt for her. There are always nuggets of wisdom to be found in Kerouac's book, some insight that he sticks in the middle of his prose/poetry, and there is one in here. He is watching the clock in his living room and what he says is amazing; I won't spoil it for you, you'll just have to read it yourself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good book but not my favorite time period for Kerouac. A lot of teenage angst. No so much intriguing thought on life and the world.Published 3 months ago by ercbeer
On the Road, Visions of Cody, Tristessa, Dharma Bums, well maybe not Dharma Bums, that was a good book.... haven't got a thing on Maggie Cassidy. Read morePublished 17 months ago by John Malkovich
Maggie Cassidy is a bookend piece to Dr. Sax as both deal autobiographically with Jack Kerouac's young days in Lowell, Mass. Dr. Read morePublished 21 months ago by M. Buzalka
I found this book disjointed and repetitive, and it didn't draw me in. Seemed as if Kerouac wrote a love letter to his youth, an idea of itself that could've been a great read, I'm... Read morePublished on August 24, 2013 by Richard Bon
Maggie Cassidy was written in the mid-fifties, but wasn't published until 1959,after "On The Road" had made Jack Kerouac famous, and certainly well recognized by all the youth who... Read morePublished on March 19, 2013 by Joyce Metzger
Nice to see Kerouac's writing of his younger days, pre-Neal Cassady and his life on the road. It's a relatively short novel and explores his relationship with his first serious... Read morePublished on January 28, 2013 by Maria
This novel, the third installment of the Duluoz Legend, is one of the most mainstream books written back Jack Kerouac. Read morePublished on January 13, 2011 by LADB
As I have explained in another entry in this space in reviewing the DVD of "The Life And Times Of Allen Ginsberg", recently I have been in a "beat" generation literary frame of... Read morePublished on September 21, 2009 by Alfred Johnson