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Written in 1953, published in 1959 (after the 1957 publication of Kerouac's On the Road made him famous overnight) and long out of print, this touching novel of adolescent love in a New England mill town is one of Kerouac's most accessible works.
Posted October 12, 2006
Ah, the highs and lows of the beat generation. Kerouac, THE representative of that group, is at his peak once again with MAGGIE CASSIDY. Why 'On the Road' gets so much attention when books like this are so much better, is beyond me. Marketing, I suppose. MC is, for the most part, a love story, the way his 'Tristessa' is, but this one centers more around the teenage years and all the foibles that come with that territory. And there are a lot. The characters seem original and fresh, even after all these years, the way McCrae's 'Katzenjammer' does, or the way some of Burrough's writing is. The big reason I liked this book so much was not the story, however, but the style in which it was written. Descriptions are great, full, and fecund, and the tone is bittersweet, with a haunting quality probably due to its setting--the 1930s. I highly recommend this book, along with another great book I just read: Katzenjammer by McCrae. You can't go wrong with Kerouac, however.
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Posted November 28, 2000
Posted February 10, 2009
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