And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks
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And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks

3.72 (12,027 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In 1944, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs were charged as accessories to murder. One of their friends, Lucien Carr, had stabbed another, David Kammerrer, whose sexual advances he'd seemingly grown tired of rejecting. Carr, still in bloodstained clothes, had come to each of them and confessed; Kerouac helped him get rid of the weapon - neither told the police. For this failing they were arrested.

Months later the two writers - unpublished at the time - collaborated on And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, a fictionalized account of the summer of the killing. They wrote alternating chapters - Burroughs writing as sometime bartender and workaday detective Will Dennison, Kerouac as Mike Ryko, an Irish merchant seaman.

From this intensely personal material they made a hardboiled account of a group of friends moving through each other's apartments, killing time drinking, necking, talking and taking drugs, and haphazardly drifting towards a bloody crime - flabby, likeable Ramsey Allen trailing after the beautiful Phillip Tourian, constantly angering him with his endless desire to please. Unpublished until now, this is a kind of crime novel of humans stewing in their inactivity, and a remarkable insight into the lives and literary development of two great writers.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 24mm | 361g
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1846141648
  • 9781846141645
  • 572,774

About Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922. Educated by Jesuit brothers in Lowell, he decided to become a writer at age seventeen and developed his own writing style, which he called 'spontaneous prose'. He used this technique to record the life of the American 'traveler' and the experiences of the Beat Generation, most memorably in On the Road and also in The Subterraneans and The Dharma Bums. His other works include Big Sur, Desolation Angels, Lonesome Traveler, Visions of Gerard, Tristessa, and a book of poetry called Mexico City Blues. Jack Kerouac died in 1969. William S. Burroughs was born on February 5, 1914 in St Louis. In work and in life Burroughs expressed a lifelong subversion of the morality, politics and economics of modern America. To escape those conditions, and in particular his treatment as a homosexual and a drug-user, Burroughs left his homeland in 1950, and soon after began writing. By the time of his death he was widely recognised as one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the twentieth century. His numerous books include Naked Lunch, Junky, Queer, Nova Express, Interzone, The Wild Boys, The Ticket That Exploded and The Soft Machine. After living in Mexico City, Tangier, Paris, and London, Burroughs finally returned to America in 1974. He died in 1997.
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Rating details

12,027 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 21% (2,527)
4 39% (4,744)
3 31% (3,736)
2 7% (845)
1 1% (175)
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