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Immortalized as Dean Moriarty by Jack Kerouac in his epic novel, On the Road, Neal Cassady was infamous for his unstoppable energy and his overwhelming charm, his savvy hustle and his devil-may-care attitude. A treasured friend and traveling companion of Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Ken Kesey, to name just some of his cohorts on the beatnik path, Cassady lived life to the fullest, ready for inspiration at any turn.
Before he died in Mexico in 1968, just four days shy of his forty-second birthday, Cassady had written the jacket blurb for this book: “Seldom has there been a story of a man so balled up. No doubt many readers will not believe the veracity of the author, but I assure these doubting Thomases that every incident, as such, is true."
As Ferlingetti writes in his editor’s note, Cassady was “an early prototype of the urban cowboy who a hundred years ago might have been an outlaw on the range.” Here are his autobiographical writings, the rambling American saga of a truly free individual.
Posted April 10, 2001
This book starts with Cassady's autobio of his childhood years, and a brief history of his ancestors. while the prologue was interesting, because of where neal came from, it wasn't as exciting as the actual text of the first third, which was excellent, and why i gave this four stars. it was written in a style very much similar to kerouac. i only wish he had completed the manuscript. following the first third is a selection of NC's unfinished writings, which i have to say was a dissapointment. it isn't much of a surprise that he wrote nothing, and that kerouac is the primary figure of the beats. next follow a few of neal's letters to kerouac, which are a great insight to the mind of one of the central figures of the beats (in fact, one of the letters discussed an incident that i recognize from on the road). the final selection is a letter to ken kesey. i'm sure there are much better letters to chose from, this one was boring and one of the weaker selections. the letters seem to have no particular reason for being here, just to fill the book with cassady's writings. still, a valuable book to have for any fan of the beats.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 27, 2000
Buy this book It is a wonderful description of the first third of Neal Cassady's life. Neal was the mythical idol that everyone dreamed of. Everyone needs someone like Neal Cassady in their lives. Cassady wrote this very wellWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 18, 2009
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