The Dharma Bums: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

( 87 )

Overview

The Dharma Bums was published one year after On the Road made Jack Kerouac a celebrity and a spokesperson for the Beat Generation. Sparked by his contagious zest for life, the novel relates the adventures of an ebullient group of Beatnik seekers in a freewheeling exploration of Buddhism and the search for Truth.

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The Dharma Bums

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Overview

The Dharma Bums was published one year after On the Road made Jack Kerouac a celebrity and a spokesperson for the Beat Generation. Sparked by his contagious zest for life, the novel relates the adventures of an ebullient group of Beatnik seekers in a freewheeling exploration of Buddhism and the search for Truth.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
These six very different titles are the latest crop of Penguin's redesigned "Classics Deluxe Editions" Each volume features kick-ass covers drawn by some of today's top graphic artists, including Frank Miller, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Thomas Ott, Chester Brown, and Tomer Hanuka, with introductions by the likes of Jonathan Lethem and Doris Lessing. Note that the de Sade cover features some nudity and the Lawrence graphics include comics using the F-word and depicting sex acts, so proceed with caution (you'll laugh, but some of your patrons may not). Nonetheless, all beauties. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143039600
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/31/2006
  • Series: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition Series
  • Edition description: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 71,170
  • Product dimensions: 8.38 (w) x 10.86 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Kerouac(1922-1969), the central figure of the Beat Generation, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922 and died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969. Among his many novels are On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, and Visions of Cody.

Ann Douglas teaches English at Columbia University. Her books include Terrible Honesty: Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920s and The Feminization of American Culture.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 87 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(48)

4 Star

(24)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 87 Customer Reviews
  • 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 May 12, 2003

    A Great Book On Zen & Adventure.

    I read Kerouac¿s novel The Dharma Bums & I must say I liked it very much! The story is about two young men as they set out in search of truth. They are Ray Smith and Japhy Ryder (Jack Kerouac & Gary Snyder). These two meet up in San Francisco, California at Berkeley. They attend a bohemia party and poetry jamming (The Gallery Six Reading). This was the beat generation of the 50s & 60s. Japhy Ryder liked reading Zen books such as Diamond Sutra and also works by D.T.Suzuki. He was seeking his Bodhisattvas in everyone he met. Japhy would often quote Buddha: (¿All life is suffering'.) Their goal was to climb Desolation Peak. The solitude was their Satori. Dharma Bums is a great story of adventurer. I also recommend On The Road by Jack Kerouac as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2013

    Dharma bums

    Not as good as on the road, in fact its more like leftovers from the authors files. If you like kerouac or are interested in era check out this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2012

    Yes.

    "The taste of rain, why kneel?"

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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.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    But overall good story!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    Terrible

    As someone who enjoyed On The Road and based on the other reviews, I thought this would be a fun read - it's absolutely not. In fact, it is almost indescribably bad. The worst parts of the book are the idiotic conversations these people had. In fact, I am done with this review. I've already wasted enough time and money on it. Rent it or borrow it, but don't waste your money.

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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 September 2, 2008

    Wonderful

    A totally enchanting book! My favorite of all the Kerouac books that I have read. A great story, beautifully written. A must read for anyone!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2006

    His best

    I liked this book so much better than ON THE ROAD, which I did like, but thought it rambled a bit. DHARMA BUMS is by far the best thing Kerouac has written and it should be receiving a wider audience.

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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 January 17, 2006

    blown away, a life changer

    This book changed my life. Im in highschool and i finished 'on the road' half satisfied. I decided to give his writing another shot, so I picked thi one up, because it looked overall interesting. let me tell you that it was, like the title says a life changer. I started to drink tea and go by other eastern religious things because of this book, and it gave me a new perspective on life, and nature. great one kerouac, God Bless!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2004

    Lana Renwick

    This book is Kerouac's best. Finer than On the Road, finer than Mexico City Blues, and certainly finer than Desolation Angels, which is godawful. This book is a culmination of all things Kerouac, endowed with that vibrant insatiable energy for absorbing all life's inscrutable heights and abysses, conflated with the oft naive but galvanizing Buddhist strivings of his 20s. The prose is also more precise and richer than On the Road, without losing any of its rambling spontaneity. The conclusion is bittersweet and bouyant and awe-inspiring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2003

    Were we ever really this innocent?

    When I reread this book after so many years I found myself wondering if we were ever really like this. The innocence, the lack of pretention, the sincerity - it is so totally alien from what this society has become. Sure Jack Kerouac had his problems with booze and relationships, but at his core there was somehow this absolutely blinding glare of innocent purity. Here was a man whose primary concerns were always the meaning of life, the nature of god, the suffering of innocents, whether he was boozing it up in a bar, hopping a freight, or hold up in a look-out cabin on top of a mountain. Jack Kerouac was a true poet in a world were poetry was in abysmal decline both before and after. Jack Kerouac's life was a spontaneous living poem- the dionysian poem of the living holy fool. This is my favorite of all Kerouac's novels. I've had people comment about how I must have patterned a huge part of my early life on this book. I remember thinking so too, except all my wandering and wondering took place before I even heard of Jack or his books....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2002

    Beautiful, bluntly

    This is my favorite book. Absolutely amazing. Every time I've read this it has changed my life for the better, has given me a clearer perspective on everything and reaffirmed my faith in existence. Read it, love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2002

    A Book I will re-read many times

    Just halfway through my first read ever and I know I will be living with this book like a soul tattoo. Kerouac's prose burns so beautifully, leaving impressions that return in my dreams. Sad funny mystical dark brightness shimmer looking searching aching... I do not want this book to end!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2001

    'The Dharma Bums' sheds optimistic light on idealism

    When I read 'The Dharma Bums' for the first time I became less ashamed of my idealistic view of the world and how things should be. Jack Karouac as an almost middle-aged man sought out to find the true meaning, showing that not everyone becomes bitter and reluctant toward change as they age. His account of the events and experiences he had on the way to finding true peace makes you feel restless to find the same. I found myself being almost too restless to finish the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2001

    DHARMA BUMS rivals ON THE ROAD for Kerouac's best

    The Dharma Bums is yet another classic Kerouac novel. It takes the reader into the mountains and through the buddist side of Kerouac's complex brain. In no way is he preaching Buddism he is just narrating one of the craziest chapters of his amazing life. Personally I thought it was more captivating and fun than On The Road his most famous novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2001

    JOIN THE REVOLUTION

    The most inspirational book i have ever read. I want to quit school, buy a pack...and go to the mountains. i am fascinated with his writing style..runnons and whatnot..but makes for a great pondering session. i wanna go do everything he did...now. JOIN THE RUCKSACK REVOLUTION DOWN WITH BOURJIOUS AMERICA!

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 87 Customer Reviews

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