Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful biography of iconic writer, March 8, 2011
This review is from: Kerouac: The Definitive Biography (Hardcover)
The thing which surprised me about this biography is its sheer length. It's over 500 pages, which is pretty good going even in the wordy genre of literary biography. However, thanks to Paul Maher's passion for his subject and his journalistic skill it makes for fascinating reading and I hardly skipped a paragraph.

Maher claims his main motivation for writing this life is that he shares Kerouac's home town of Lowell, Massachusetts. It's all the more surprising then that the tome doesn't really hit its stride until he starts describing the author's decision to leave for NY and start writing his epic adventure, "On the Road". Maher is particularly skilled at describing the creative process, perhaps one of the hardest aspect of a writer's life to capture.

Kerouac emerges as a complex and contradictory character, who craved solititude but was famed for his beat lifestyle and drinking binges and as someone who sought refuge in living with his mother but refused to recognise his own daughter. There is a wonderful, poignant contrast between Kerouac's early days trying to get published and his subsequent descent into alcoholism as he tries to avoid tabloid notoriety.

This book makes other biographies of Kerouac look rather puny. Maher has cemented his own place in US literature with this work and I look forward to his future projects.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Berkshire, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,633,012