New York City, 1995: Harry Charity is a sensitive young loner haunted by a disastrous affair when he meets Jay Bishop, an outgoing poet and former Marine. Propelled by a shared fascination with the unfettered lives of Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation, the two are irresistibly drawn together, even as Jay's girlfriend, Zahra, senses something deeper developing.
Reveling in their discovery of the legendary scroll manuscript of Kerouac's On the Road in the vaults of the New York Public Library, Harry and Jay embark on a nicotine-and-caffeine-fueled journey into New York's smoky jazz joints, dusty rare-book shops and thriving poetry scene of slams and open-mike nights.
An encounter with "Howl" poet Allen Ginsberg shatters their notions of what it means to be Beat but ultimately and unexpectedly leads them into their own hearts where they're forced to confront the same questions that confounded their heroes: What do you do when you fall for someone who can't fall for you? What do you do when you're the object of affection? What must you each give up to keep the other in your life?
Beatitude features two previously unpublished poems by Allen Ginsberg.
|Publisher:||Rebel Satori Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Larry Closs is a New Yorker who often wanders far from home.
What People are Saying About This
There is a thrill when you read something so real, so true, that you're never taken out of the moment by a contrived line or joke. You're there, in that moment with the characters, living that life. That's why we read in the first place. (Conor Grennan, author of the international bestseller Little Princes)
A daring, honest writer with a gritty urban flair. (David Amram, composer, conductor, musician)
A sharp, smart novel with a human voice, driven by a dialogue that is convincing and engaging. It's an authentic contemporary account, enlightened by appealing details about the Beat Generation writers. (Dr. Simon Warner, editor of Howl for Now)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I wanted to like this book, however I didn't. I loved it on many intricate levels. How a writer can pull a reader through a book, delivering timeless messages, interwoven story lines, guide emotions until the last word and leave the reader astonished and gasping for more is beyond me. Beatitude is writing and art at its highest. This is a masterfully presented story as universal as the sun and offers a look inside ourselves, exposing the reality and complexity of life, friendship and love. I felt Harry's or Jay's gender could have been changed at any point in any potential combination and the book would have been equally poignant, touching and haunting. Personally, I was at the end of the book feeling that I had a read only 10 pages thanks to a dialog-driven narrative that magically dispensed the entire story in one fantastically 'scrolling' novel. Not unlike some movies, this is one of those rare books that leave you breathless and in awe of the beauty within the message. I do hope this book finds an audience because it is meant to be read and passed on. What's your road, man?
I sat and read this book in 2 sittings. The storyline and narrative theme of the writing drew me in and the characters came to life. I wanted to follow their happenings and see how it resolved. The book intertwines 3 compelling different but parallel stories which made it very interesting and presented the complexity of life and human nature. One thing that struck me is how the main character was drawn to the Beats who were so carefree even as he was so counter to them. I believe his fascination was that they brought him to an ideal place where he wished he could live. The main theme is surprisingly universal. I think we have all had similar experiences that we have had to come to terms with and work through in our lives. 'Beatitude' is a beautiful journey.
When Least Expected, Love I thought Beatitude was beautiful and incredibly honest…if that's a word one can ascribe to a work of fiction. As desperately enticing as it can be to shut down in the face of pain and loss, life has ways of tugging us back again. This story's narrator treads haltingly, with the reader all the time hoping for his success while recognizing how close to impossible it may be to grasp. Amidst the book’s touching, complicated interpersonal relationships, author Larry Closs reveals his own sweet love affair with New York City and with the iconic writers of a not-so-distant generation. A brave and beautiful story.
Review: When I first picked up this book I honestly had no idea what the Beat Generation was. I had heard of Kerouac's novels and poetry, but had never really read anything he authored; however, after a little research, I was ready to dive into Beatitude, (clever title, beat + attitude). Jay, Harry,and Zahra's everyday lives and complicated relationships are chronicled throughout an emotion-fueled dialogue. What would happen if you found your soul-mate in someone you could never have? The interactions between Harry and Jay describe the depth of this conundrum from the beginnings of an innocent friendship to the eventual depression following unrequited love. I was pulled into the reality of their lives as soon as I "met" them, their characters fully-developed and easy-to-relate to. Everyone has their secret loves, suspicions, and fears, and sometimes those feelings can drive us to our most vulnerable points - this is evidenced in Larry Closs' novel. His writing style captivates the reader, making them a part of the characters' lives. The subplot about Kerouac and the beat generation adds to the overall tone; a welcome and interesting addition to the novel. I definitely saw some parallels between the lifestyles of Kerouac/Ginsberg and the main characters. Beatitude brought a generation that I had never heard of back to life. I would not call this book "gay fiction", it describes more of a deep male-to-male friendship that could possibly become something more, but there is a lot of tension, awkward moments, and envy between the friends. Overall, Beatitude is a well-researched and artfully-written novel about love, obsession, jealousy, and the experiences that make us human. I would have loved a couple more chapters, but hopefully Closs plans to write more in the future. Recommended for fiction aficionados and those interested in the Beat Generation. Rating: On the Run (4.5/5) * I received this book from the author (BookShots) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Love and Love Amos Lassen When I was a college undergraduate, one of the books that we all read was Jack Kerouac¿s ¿On the Road¿ and the book almost gained Biblical status. There was something about the Beat generation that was magical and even though we knew we could not emulate it, we could at least read about it. Larry Closs¿s new and first novel is inspired by that age and it is great fun to remember how it was. Harry and Jay both work at ¿Element¿ magazine and they both love Kerouac¿s book. They would spend their lunch hours talking about it and they even went to the library to see the original book. The two men became fast friends as a result of the book but Jay¿s girlfriend, Zahra, feels that Harry is entering their world and she is not happy. Harry has had two bad relationships but he is not about to give up his friend just as Jay is not willing to do. The men are connected emotionally and the love they feel for each other is obvious. Harry really tries to dump the feelings of having been burned in the past, not once but twice and he comes to Jay¿s rescue by explaining to his girlfriend that the love they share is a love of life and not sexual. As Harry and Jay begin their journey to visit book stores and bars, jazz clubs and poetry readings their feelings for each other continue to heighten. When they meet Allen Ginsberg, they learn what being a ¿beatnik¿ all was about and they are broken when they see that they had an idealized view of the way things were. Harry especially has to consider how to handle loving someone who cannot return the love and Jay has to come to terms with being the object of Harry¿s love. Closs exposes life and love along with reality and friendship. Closs is a masterful writer and each sentence is a gem as we are led to self-reflection as we read. Here is a story of a ¿bromance¿ that begins purely and without the hassles that usually come along with relationships. Of course, that changes as the men realize what is happening to them. Closs sends us messages throughout the text and even though there is a lot to take in, I felt that I wanted even more. Closs masterfully uses dialogue to give us his story and it is dialogue that is filled with passion and the joy of the men discovering a mutual attraction for a time gone by and for each other. We look at fascination for the ideal, the place where we want to be able to be even though we know we may never reach it. I really loved seeing everything fall into place and the way Closs is able to relate that we suffer from wanting what cannot be. This is a human story that is gorgeously rendered and it shows the vulnerability that we all face. Most important is the idea that love is everywhere and it can be ours if we are willing to have it.