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The Town and the City av Jack Kerouac
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The Town and the City (urspr publ 1950; utgåvan 1970)

av Jack Kerouac (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
7341022,265 (3.78)15
A quintessential American family is pulled apart by war and the rapidly changing tides of society in Jack Kerouac's captivating first novel Published seven years before his iconic On the Road, Jack Kerouac's debut novel follows the experiences of one family as they navigate the seismic cultural shifts following World War II. Inspired by Kerouac's own New England youth, the eight Martin children enjoy an idyllic upbringing in a small Massachusetts mill-town. Middle son Peter, a budding intellectual and promising athlete, most strongly feels the lure of the future. When war breaks out, the siblings' lives are interrupted by military service; their parents must sell their house after the family business goes bankrupt; and Peter, eager to see the world, voyages overseas as a Merchant Marine. After returning home, Peter is drawn to the kinetic energy of New York City and the progressive, bohemian ideas springing from its denizen young poets, writers, and artists. His new friends are fictionalized versions of Kerouac's contemporaries: Allen Ginsberg (as Leon Levinsky), Lucien Carr (as Kenneth Wood), and William Burroughs (as Will Dennison), and other members of the Beat Generation. Seen by Peter's parents as hoodlums and junkies, the Beats challenge conventional American ideas of everything from authority and religion to marriage and domestic life.… (mer)
Medlem:AnneShearer
Titel:The Town and the City
Författare:Jack Kerouac (Författare)
Info:Mariner Books (1970), Edition: 9/21/70, 508 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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The Town and the City av Jack Kerouac (1950)

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The Town and the City: A Novel by Jack Kerouac is Kerouac's first novel and writing in a semi-autobiographical form. Kerouac needs no introduction to most readers. Everyone has read On the Road or at least, said they have read it. I found Kerouac difficult at first and the writing did not seem to flow right. A friend suggested I read it like the beat performers spoke and suddenly On the Road was very readable. The Town and the City: A Novel needs no special reading and is an excellent place to start for a reader wanting to pick up Kerouac. It flows well and tells the story Peter Martin a local boy who was unsure of himself until a day at football practice changes him. Peter (Jack Kerouac) is compared and contrasted with his brothers. Joe is the easy going trucking driving, beer drinking older brother who makes no more of his life than what it is and is content with it. Francis the wine drinking intellectual who longs for bigger and better things who finds himself in "his own cocoon of tormented adolescence." He does, however, have one of the most emotional encounters in the book.

Kerouac in his earlier days loved to compare and contrast. In The Town and the City it is not only the brothers that are examined but the town of Galloway, Massachusetts and New York City. Also compared are the character in both Galloway and New York. In New York Kerouac, as always, remembers his friends. Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs are present with a host of renamed beat friends. War and bankruptcy help drive the story.

Kerouac's earlier work is much different from his more well-known later works. The writing is much more standard in format and the storytelling is more traditional than his later works. In a previously unreleased book, The Sea is my Brother (1940) many of the same writing mannerisms can be found. In The Sea is my Brother two brothers are compared and outgoing one and a safe one. They make a composite of Kerouac. In The Town and the City we can also see this in Peter who like Kerouac was a football play and merchant marine. In Joe, we see a bit of the Dharma Bum and traveler. In Francis, we see the wine drinking cynic. There may even be a bit of Ginsberg in Francis who voluntarily commits himself to avoid an unpleasant alternative. Kerouac, even in his early fiction, writes about what he knows and lives. He lived an interesting life with interesting friends and what was not interesting could be changed by writing. The Town and the City provides not only a great story but insight into the so to be famous writer and Beat generation icon. ( )
  evil_cyclist | Mar 16, 2020 |
“In the strong autumnal winds he rushed along ignoring the new dark knowledge he now half-understood - that to triumph was also to wreak havoc.”

Big Kerouac fan here! And I've finally read his first! I enjoyed it and felt like it was a big epic, one that took me a while to consume. It's all about the Martin family, pre and post WWII, and seemingly all over the world.

The football scenes with Peter are wonderfully described! As are the real feelings of people regarding WWII. I also enjoyed the fishing scene with the three brothers near the end. I didn't enjoy much of the discussions and arguments. They were so abstract and random feeling. And the same goes for some of the characters' feelings. They often felt whinny and disconnected to actual, real problems. I know things were really changing then, especially with the war, but so much of the issues seemed self-absorbed and trivial.

Still, I really enjoyed this book. It felt like a very real taste of America at that time. And it seemed to me that Kerouac, even though most say he is the Peter character, is actually three of the brothers - Peter, Joe, and Francis. Just my opinion, but I saw a lot of him in all of them. And I feel like it ends with a nice dovetail into "On the Road", though the books themselves are so different.
Good last line:
"He put up the collar of his jacket, and bowed his head, and hurried along." ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jun 26, 2019 |
This was an amazing first book on Kerouac that delves into his life and, ultimately, begins his entry into the literary world (and his own world) as the foundation of being a writer. I was amazed by his use of language and the way that he seamlessly blended fiction into non-fiction and then back again. Kerouac's style, here, is fleeting and poetic, lucid and far-reaching. I've read On the Road, but I never thought this one would be so impressive as well.

4 stars- rightfully earned. ( )
  DanielSTJ | May 22, 2019 |
While not Kerouac's strongest novel it is certainly important and a compelling story. I am glad I read it and I think it is worth a detour. Obviously it pales next to his ON THE ROAD. ( )
  SigmundFraud | Mar 14, 2016 |
The Town and the City is essentially an autobiographical novel, though less directly so than most of his other works. The Town and the City was written in a conventional manner over a period of years, and much more novelistic license was taken with this work than after Kerouac's adoption of quickly written "spontaneous prose". The Town and the City was written before Kerouac had developed his own style, and it is heavily influenced by Thomas Wolfe (even down to the title, reminiscent of Wolfe titles such as The Web and the Rock).

The novel is focused on two locations (as suggested by the title): one, the early Beat Generation circle of New York in the late 1940s, the other, the nearly rural small town of Galloway, Massachusetts that the main character comes from, before going off to college on a football scholarship. The experiences of the young "Peter Martin" struggling for success on the high school football team are largely those of Jack Kerouac (he returns to the subject again in his last work Vanity of Duluoz, published in 1968).

The "city" represents a number of figures of the early beat circle: Allen Ginsberg (as Leon Levinsky), Lucien Carr (as Kenneth Wood), William Burroughs (as Will Dennison), Herbert Huncke (as Junky), David Kammerer (as Waldo Meister), Edie Parker (as Judie Smith) and also Joan Vollmer (as Mary Dennison) -- though she essentially has a non-speaking role (however some of her ideas are quoted by the Ginsberg-figure). Near the end of the novel, the Waldo Meister character dies by falling from the window of Kenneth Wood's apartment (a distant echo of the real event: David Kammerer knifed by Lucien Carr, possibly in self-defense). In the novel the police largely just accept this as a suicide. A version of the events closer to the truth can be found in Vanity of Duluoz, where Carr was arrested and eventually accepted a plea of manslaughter and a prison sentence; and Kerouac was arrested and held briefly as an accessory after the fact.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Jack Kerouacprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Armando, BrunoÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Brinkley, DouglasInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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A quintessential American family is pulled apart by war and the rapidly changing tides of society in Jack Kerouac's captivating first novel Published seven years before his iconic On the Road, Jack Kerouac's debut novel follows the experiences of one family as they navigate the seismic cultural shifts following World War II. Inspired by Kerouac's own New England youth, the eight Martin children enjoy an idyllic upbringing in a small Massachusetts mill-town. Middle son Peter, a budding intellectual and promising athlete, most strongly feels the lure of the future. When war breaks out, the siblings' lives are interrupted by military service; their parents must sell their house after the family business goes bankrupt; and Peter, eager to see the world, voyages overseas as a Merchant Marine. After returning home, Peter is drawn to the kinetic energy of New York City and the progressive, bohemian ideas springing from its denizen young poets, writers, and artists. His new friends are fictionalized versions of Kerouac's contemporaries: Allen Ginsberg (as Leon Levinsky), Lucien Carr (as Kenneth Wood), and William Burroughs (as Will Dennison), and other members of the Beat Generation. Seen by Peter's parents as hoodlums and junkies, the Beats challenge conventional American ideas of everything from authority and religion to marriage and domestic life.

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