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There is surely no want for works treating the life of the Buddha; biographies and fictionalized accounts abound, including many better than this as literature (e.g., Herman Hesse's Siddhartha), as history (e.g., Karen Armstrong's Buddha), or as theology. Nevertheless, fans of the Beats and students of Kerouac in particular will welcome, long after his death in 1969, this apparent first publication, in book form, of his interpretation of "Gotama Buddha's life as represented in Asvhaghosha's 'Buddha-Charita' and in Narasu's 'Life of the Historic Buddha' with adornments and re-arrangements." Kerouac and his fellow Beats identified closely with those inhabiting society's margins. Buddhism's inherent sympathies doubtless influenced Kerouac in his explorations of the lives of the downtrodden in his On the Road and The Subterraneans, evidenced by a substantial literature including Ellis Amburn's Subterranean Kerouac: The Hidden Life of Jack Kerouac. Though not a particularly pleasant or straightforward read, as the Buddha occasionally sounds a bit like Yoda, this book is highly recommended to join Kerouac's oeuvre, including his other book on Buddhism, Some of the Dharma, in academic libraries and the literature collections of larger public libraries.
—James R. Kuhlman