And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks

And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks

3.8 26
by William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In the summer of 1944, a shocking murder rocked the fledgling Beats. William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, both still unknown, we inspired by the crime to collaborate on a novel, a hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and art, obsession and brutality, with scenes and characters drawn from their own lives. Finally published after

Overview

In the summer of 1944, a shocking murder rocked the fledgling Beats. William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, both still unknown, we inspired by the crime to collaborate on a novel, a hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and art, obsession and brutality, with scenes and characters drawn from their own lives. Finally published after more than sixty years, this is a captivating read, and incomparable literary artifact, and a window into the lives and art of two of the twentieth century’s most influential writers.


Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A potboiler by two noted authors written in 1945, long before they were famous, and published now for the first time. In alternating chapters, Burroughs (then known as William Lee and writing in the persona of Will Dennison) and Kerouac (then bearing the first name John and writing in the persona of Mike Ryko) serve up a noir vision of Manhattan as it might have appeared if Edward Hopper had had only dark pencils at his disposal. Its spirit is more Spillane than Hammett, its opening very much a signal of things to come: "The bars close at 3:00 A.M. on Saturday nights so I got home about 3:45 after eating breakfast at Riker's on the corner of Christopher Street and Seventh Avenue." Taking their title from a true incident involving a zoo fire, the authors proceed to deliver a tale of booze-soaked weirdness that culminates in a murder that has some echoes with another real-life event, when proto-Beat Lucien Carr stabbed a suitor to death and was packed off to an asylum. Of the two, Kerouac, then in his early 20s, is the more developed writer, though Burroughs, an absolute beginner, already shows some of the interests and obsessions that will turn up in Naked Lunch and elsewhere, to say nothing of an obviously field-tested understanding of how syringes work ("I let the solution cool, then sucked it up into the hypodermic, fitted on the needle, and started looking around for a high vein on my arm"). For his part, Kerouac recounts wartime experiences in the Merchant Marine, along with notes on the bar scene that would do Bukowski proud. When the manuscript made the rounds back in 1945, it found no publisher, for reasons that will soon become apparent to the reader, and ended up in a filingcabinet. Its publication will (possibly) benefit American literature. More likely it will benefit agents and estates. More of interest as a literary curio than as a work of art, though shrewd neobopsters will probably want to be seen with copies in hand.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802198891
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
11/10/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
522,368
File size:
2 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
MrPotter07 More than 1 year ago
I try my best not to read the backs of books before I read them. I often find that they give away too much information before I even open the front cover. This book was the opposite. Let me quote, "A combination hard-boiled murder mystery and existentialist lament..." Well, I agree with that sencond part. In that regard it was brilliant. It kind of reminded me of "Rebel Without a Cause" in that it was a group of people living by a certian ideal then it just got out of hand, but in a subtle kind of way, if that makes sense. I was struck by the fact that even though they were more or less hoodlums, they were very cultured. They read books and went to French films, etc. What bothered me was that this book is in no way, shape or form a murder mystery. There is a murder, but it doesn't happen until the second to last chapter and we know exactly who did it and why he did it. When I realized this was the case (about half way though the book) I began to enjoy it a lot more. It was, however, and interesting journey getting there. I didn't know who the victim would be and it was fun trying to guess. I had theories, and I wasn't far off, but I didn't guess it. Please don't read it expecting a murder mystery. Read it expecting an itersting portrayal of a generation. I imagine it's a pretty accurate portrayal, as the authors lived during that time and could have been among that crowd. It's a great read, although a quick read, and I would recommend it any bibliofile! :)
thecatsmeowCC More than 1 year ago
I adore William S. Burroughs! His writing style may not be for everyone & many may think this book may be a little dry but this is an easy read & enjoyable. Having Kerouac & Burroughs together is any readers dream.
Wordzmind More than 1 year ago
And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks by William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac was a true pleasure to read. I would not say that the book was a true thriller but it did have it's moments. Al's love for the heterosexual Phillip did lead to some interesting scenarios. What I really enjoyed about And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks was that it was a mirror into the world of the writers (the story is based on a fact) and how the party culture took center stage but did not dominate the story. Burroughs and Kerouac centered the story around six friends who would drink, eat and do drugs when they were not working or trying to work. I lived those days so I could relate. This story also makes the point that friendships do not always lead to positive situations (fights happen). Basically this story is told with the reality of human nature. Definately recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I guess the title drew me in and then my eyes did the rest! I wish there was some murder mystery in it. I didnt like Phillip though for some reason. It was just his character. The rest of the book was amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a little slow at the beginning, but I thought it came together nicely. Loved it! I especially loved the back story behind the book. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shawn_Noir More than 1 year ago
It's such a good read, there is a mixture of both Jack and William in each chapter....... A must read for beat fans
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hank_Chinaski More than 1 year ago
Kerouac and Burroughs write alternating chapters in this long lost novel. Any fan of Beat writers or the generation I would definitely recommend. The books plot has roots in factual events, which add to the mystique. I personally loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago