Customer Reviews for

The Dharma Bums: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Average Rating 4.5
( 87 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted December 19, 2011

    For Kerouac Fans Only

    This is not the place to start with Kerouac. If you are a newbie, then you need to start with On the Road. Dharma Bums makes sense if you've read OtR first. If not, it is difficult to make sense of this book. However, Dharma Bums is interesting to read. Kerouac's take on Buddhism may not be straight out of the Shambala Center but it is close to how many Westerners are introduced to Buddhism. Plus, the story is fun to follow. The guy can tell a story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2012

    I read this book because I wanted to have a basic understanding

    I read this book because I wanted to have a basic understanding of Jack Kerouac’s style of writing and I came away from it enlightened on the big ideas of Buddhism. Recognized as one of Jack Kerouac’s most famous books, The Dharma Bums chronicles the Buddhist wanderer Raymond Smith as he travels around the country searching for spiritual truth and wisdom. Smith Hitchhikes his way from San Francisco to his hometown in North Carolina and all along the way breaking away from the conformity of middle-class America. Through the practice of spending as little money as possible, Smith learns that it is unnecessary to slip into the average everyday routines and grows deeper into his understanding that his role on Earth is only temporary. Once spring time came around, Smith began his trek westward to the shores of California to reunite in a small cabin with his spiritual mentor Japhy Ryder. I found it very interesting to get into the mind of Jack Kerouac and have a glimpse into how he was living in the 1950s. The Buddhist perspective presented in this book offers insight into how simply a life can be lived. This book is a great book to take your time on and enjoy slowly while learning the simple lessons that is offered throughout the book. What I took from this story is that God is found in the simplest forms. The closer you can get to the raw elements of nature, the more real the truth becomes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    To children and the innocent it's all the same.

    Spiritually a little over the top, for me. Philosophically, on par. The adventures that led Smith to 'freedom' keep the reader focused, and have a wonderful way of building on themselves. I just have one burning question, 'Are Smith and Japhy the same person?'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    Good story, but too quick...

    I like the main characters perspective of life, but all his experiences and traveling go wayy to fast. Like all in one page, he somehow travels across like three states.

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    But overall good story!

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    A classical read for the adventurous mind

    Kerouac successfully creates a tale of intrigue, adventure, and unbound thought in this wonderful yarn. Although not a "thriller" in the modern sense, you are taken through sweeping natural landscapes and the landscapes of the minds of the men in the Beat era. An enjoyable read to escape the modern world with characters that remain irreverent and relevant throughout the decades.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2006

    Come on, it's Kerouac.

    Kerouac was a vagabond hero of the rucksack wanderers. his dabbling in Buddhism became a literary event, and his poetic run-on sentences changed many souls in a lost generation. His importance in literature cannot be denied, and his spontaneous, stream of consciousness style is the predecessor to Gonzo and many other artistic movements in personal journalism. While being slightly overrated, one cannot deny the sparkling, sizzling truths Jack exposes, seemingly on accident, within this optimistic account of hitchhiking, travelling, religion, and friendship. He documents barbershop lyricism and the beauty of a rainbow. He illustrates the fun of a naked bonfire and the sadness of a great friend who leaves. He writes about the wisdom of Buddhism and how tempting it is to fall out of its indoctrinations. In the romantic world of Ray Smith (the protagonist) there are parties with easy on the eyes women that go on for three days, there are shacks that act as solace against a world of superficiality. The ending scene that describes Mount Desolation is worth the price of the book alone. The sweeping excitement of this heart and soul prose plants a seed in the reader to wander the landscape of sixties America, a world that has escaped my parents' and will never visit the public again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2001

    awesome;

    it was a wonderful book, full of inspiring insights. i love this guy, all his books are wondeful, its totally worth time to not only read this, but meditate and think about it...

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