Visions of Gerard: A Novel

Visions of Gerard: A Novel

by Jack Kerouac
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Visions of Gerard: A Novel by Jack Kerouac

"My best most serious sad and true book yet." —Jack Kerouac

"His life . . . ended when he was nine and the nuns of St. Louis de France Parochial School were at his bedside to take down his dying workds becase they'd heard his astonishing revelations of heaven delivered in catechism on no more encouragement than it was his turn to speak. . . ."

Unique among Jack Kerouac's novels, Visions of Gerard focuses on the scenes and sensations of childhood—the wisdom, anguish, intensity, innocence, evil, insight, suffering, delight, and shock—as they were revealed in the short tragic-happy life of his saintly brother, Gerard. Set in Kerouac's hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts, it is an unsettling, beautiful, and sad exploration of the meaning and precariousness of existence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140144529
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/28/1991
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 555,972
Product dimensions: 5.14(w) x 7.78(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.

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Visions of Gerard 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Timhrk More than 1 year ago
Along with Portrait of An Artist as A Young Man, this book made me no longer ashamed of going to Catholic School. It's probably my favorite Kerouac, and one of his sweetest novels. Certainly the best of his childhood memoirs (Dr. Sax, Maggie Cassidy and The Town And The City are others. ) Also, the idea of a kid having mystical visions made me appreciate the Catholic side of mysticism. I swear, if it wasn't for Kerouac, all those idiot bastards of nuns and sisters who tried to ruin my childhood would have destroyed any appreciation of Catholicism for me. Also, the brother thing. Let us not forget Elvis and his obsession with his dead twin. My relationship my father and my brothers-flawed role models without question-were critical to the formation of my world view. Visions of Gerard made understand that influence a whole lot better. Please visit:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the earliest chapter in Kerouacs autobiography/novel series. It is a novel that celebrates childhood but not innocence. There is a sense that Kerouac believes, like William Blake, that innocence cannot truly exist on this plane of existence without being destroyed. His brother is portrayed as a Christ of sorts who touches everyone around him with an aura of goodness. As usual for Kerouac, there is no plot summary that does justice to this book. The problem with most Kerouac novels is that the narrator is so prevalent that no other characters seem to develop or have consciousness outside of his viewpoint. But this novel does not suffer from this weakness. Also, with Kerouac, there is always the joy in life coupled with the sadness that we must die. The only complaint about the book is its shortness. I guess this goes double for life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read a few of Kerouac's works, and the thing that has impressed me most in them about his thinking (as separated from his WRITING) is his deep, simple belief in compassion. Through Kerouac's struggles with religions and philosophies, it seems the only core that brings them all together is the plain idea of kindness to others. Gerard, Kerouac's older brother, died a 9-year old saint who embodies Jack's ideals of the only thing worth spending your life for--care toward others. 'Gerard is dead and the soul is dead and the world is dead and dead is dead'--this is a quote from the book, and only Kerouac could make it a triumphant statement.