- Paperback: 769 pages
- Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1st paperback ed edition (December 1, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312112637
- ISBN-13: 978-0312112639
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,667,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dharma Lion: A Critical Biography of Allen Ginsberg Paperback – December 1, 1994
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school in my home town. I invited the author, Michael Schumacher, to meet with my students and me at a coffee shop
near to our school. My reasons for inviting him were his availability, but also the detailed work he had done on
Ginsberg's life. Here was a biographer who had done a thorough job! Both the students and I benefited. You
will too if you read this book. He is a charming man and a thorough author.
I read this bio immediately after reading Michael Schumacher's bio of Phil Ochs. The Phil Ochs bio
was lean and mean and riveting. Michael Schumacher took another route with this book, and made
it long and detailed. It's often boring, but you really get immersed in the subject. Allen Ginsberg was
a role model for me as a gay man, and as a person who has been fearlessly open about who he is. I
admire him more after reading this book. An abridgement might be desirable for the general reader.
There are just too many exerpts from journals. The author cuts out after 1980. I would go back to
1970 as the cutoff date. The early years, the ones that made Ginsberg famous, are the fascinating
ones. The years after Chicago demonstration seem repetitious.
Aside from Ginsberg, Kerouac, Burroughs, and Cassady, the "secondary" characters, like Gregory Corso and Carolyn Cassady, likewise are seen to be extraordinary in their own right, and even a spear carrier, like Dusty Moreland, is given a luminosity that takes one's breath away.
I think it's a bit clear that I was entirely captivated - transported? - by this book. I can't recommend it highly enough.