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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions
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on September 4, 2016
Don't Waste Your Money! Pure Crap!
2 people found this helpful
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on November 25, 2015
I was expecting more ..... and some of the suggestions in this book are bad ideas ..... sorry I spent the money .....
3 people found this helpful
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on October 27, 2015
Wanna be more beatific? Do you wish to live more “in the moment,” ignoring a conventional life-style with all its limiting rules, materialistic values, jaded notions of success, and what it means “to live?”
Then Rick Dale’s The Beat Handbook, 100 days of Kerouactions is for you.
Rick is an unabashed advocate for Jack Kerouac and all things Kerouac. Kerouac, of course, was a leader in the “beat” generation of the mid-1950s and forward. And Rick Dale, a former professional colleague of mine, has “mined” the life of the first real hippie in America.
So, Rick’s book is organized around the writings and actions of Kerouac, short extrapolations of Jack Kerouac’s travels and actions. Without pretense or affectation, Dale reports “What Jack did or would do in myriad situations,” and briefly, comments on them.
That is all well and good. But Dale cannot escape his own educational background. For educators, a story, an example, an episode, is really an opportunity to hone in on “that teachable moment.” In each short chapter, Rick uses “a Kerouaction” to lead readers to possible activities, each intended to be more beatific than the social norm. In essence, Rick says, “If you like Jack Kerouac, try something he might do.”
That makes for an interesting read all by itself. An easy admission is that Kerouac is truly an interesting focus for a book. But Dale’s analysis and application of “Kerouactions” provides the reader with interactive, focused, and poignant suggestions. A perfect example is on P. 117. While Kerouac advocates drinking over work, Dale simply asks the reader this: Of your list of current priorities, set side by side with “beat” ones, what changes in one’s life are possible?
Most ironically, I find that the mysteries that are Kerouac and the suggestions by Rick Dale are perhaps best revealed in a very “non-beat” poet on Page 109: John Greenleaf Whittier. “For all the sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these: “It might have been.”
I enjoyed The Beat Handbook. It set off self-reflection and live journey possibilities that few other books have stirred. I recommend it to others.
Ed Frye
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on May 1, 2013
stick this little gem of a book into your backpack before you hit the road, my friend. you will be very glad that you did. a great little book.
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on February 6, 2013
The book was in great shape but the text was a bit simple and the author was a bit too into himself.
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on March 26, 2010
Sometimes a book comes along at just the right time. In my wandering pack of experiences, I find they often do.

Enter The Beat Handbook by Rick Dale. Subtitled 100 Days of Kerouactions, the author reminds us that even in these times of political showdowns with lots of folks worried about losing their rights and freedoms or complaining that they've never had any, freedom is right out your back door.

Designed as a free-living companion book, Dale asks the daily question "What would Jack do? (That is, Jack Kerouac, for you Beat novices.) His advice, drawn mainly from Kerouac's signature novels, On the Road and Dharma Bums, and sprinkled with Zen-Buddhist mysticism and references to other mystics, pivots from the practical to the spiritual and back again.

One day the author recommends following what some of us call our gut instincts and others call our true selves, quieting those inner voices that hold us back from action. A few days later he advises making "slumgullion," a mixture of home fries and scrambled eggs. (Oh yes I tried it! Throw some green pepper in there for a little kick!)

Advice follows on hitchhiking, food to take with you on the road, gift-giving from the heart, breaking the law from time to time, meditation on the go, taking chances, and freeing oneself from the consumerist impulse. The list goes on.

My personal favorite is the advice to drive over the speed limit enough that a whole trip averages an illegal speed -- I AM a lead-foot, after all, and nothing recalls Kerouac's writing to my mind more than to picture Dean Moriarty at the wheel with his foot to the floor weaving around slow-poke half-dead travelers on a mountain road. No mountains in Michigan, but I can approximate!

Which brings us to another of the main elements in the Beat Handbook. This is, throughout, a tribute to Jack Kerouac and a corresponding call to imagine a more free existence than the ones most of us live. Some folks will object to many of the suggestions found inside, but they'll also be missing the point. It's a point Rick Dale makes admirably, even crucially, for our time.

I see it like this: Even Sal (who is really Jack) walks away from Dean and the road life. This walking away is a necessary element, a balance to Dean's complete inability to act as a responsible adult. But Sal brings with him the memory of those wild rides and with those memories something vital, something our safety-first culture tends to miss.

My advice: pick up a copy and build some of your own Beat memories to live on before it's too late. Pick up a copy of On the Road while you're at it. And don't forget to "go go go!"
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on January 1, 2009
I have read all that Kerouac has to offer and I can say that this book offers a Fantastic View into the lifestyle of the "Modern Beat."

Ever wonder What Kerouac would do Today if.............?

Rick Dale guides you through a fantastic maze of excerpts from 2 of Kerouacs' classic books, The Road and Dharma Bums. Rick offers up wonderful, and in some cases life changing, activities (or as Rick calls them "Kerouactivities")to participate in!

Take my advice, read the book once, take a few notes along the way, then on your second read do as many of the Kerouactivities you can!

You may find yourself doing something as fulfilling as making a list of places you need to visit, listing your life priorities, giving away your favorite material possession or doing something as fun and liberating as peeing in your backyard or eating a homemade piece of apple pie and ice cream at a great roadside diner you have never been to before!
This book is for everyone not just Kerouac Fans.
Buy this book, read it at least twice, do at least half of the Kerouactivities, and pass the book on to someone else to enjoy..Recycle this book, or do what I do and carry it with you in your new used canvas rucksack (read the book and you will know what I mean!)
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on October 28, 2008
The perfect companion for a road trip or life's journey. Rick Dale combines the many experiences of Kerouac with his own to imbue the reader with the true spirit of a "beat". No matter the conundrum, there is sure to be an entry that will address your quandary. A must read for anyone tired of living in a world fueled by stuff!
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on October 4, 2008
Sage like wisdom that brings an age old perspective to modern times. A real gem of a book
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on October 1, 2008
Not being entirely familiar with the "beat generation," (other than the most commonly read Kerouac), I was a little skeptical about whether or not I would "get" this book. I've met the author in person, and sometimes I felt lost in his company, as if I had missed something vitally important about life.

Now, I know what I was missing.

The Beat Handbook combines many different philosophies in a way that not only makes it feel inclusive but also accessible. Traditionally "beat," some passages call for the tossing away of convention and restriction. Others encourage us to think or act or just be content with what we have right now. Its part journal, part conversation, and part wisdom dispensed through a brilliant prose that feels like you're sitting across the table from an old friend.

Highly recommended!
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