The Subterraneans
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The Subterraneans

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Regarded by many as Jack Kerouac's most touching works, The Subterraneans and Pic are an evocative and poignant pair of novels from the author of On the Road. This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an introduction by Ann Douglas. Leo Percepied, aspiring writer and self-styled free-wheeling bum, gravitates to the Subterraneans, impoverished intellectuals who haunt the bars and clubs of San Francisco, surviving on a diet of booze and benzedrine, Proust and Verlaine. Living among them is Mardou Fox, beautiful and a little crazy, whose dark eyes, full of suffering and sweetness, find recognition in Leo. But, afraid of his growing involvement, Leo sets out to destroy their love. Exuberant and melancholy, Kerouac's spontaneous prose flows across the pages. Written in three days, The Subterraneans is, like all Kerouac's work, closely related to his own life while encapsulating his great vision of America. Also included here is the novel Pic, the story of a young black boy who makes his own journey on the road. Jack Kerouac (1922-69) was an American novelist, poet, artist and part of the Beat Generation. His first published novel, The Town and the City, appeared in 1950, but it was On the Road, published in 1957, that made Kerouac famous. Publication of his many other books followed, among them The Subterraneans, Big Sur, and The Dharma Bums. Kerouac died in Florida at the age of forty-seven. If you enjoyed The Subterraneans and Pic, you might like Kerouac's Maggie Cassidy, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'The tender and achingly poetic account of a love affair' Lester Bangs, Rolling Stoneshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 126 x 194 x 14mm | 99.79g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141184892
  • 9780141184890
  • 30,300

Review Text

..... live in the alleys of San Francisco- smoking tea- and talking of Wolfe and Baudelaire and Pound and peote- and listening to bop. And this is the Joycean and/or junk-induced free-for-all recall of one of them, an "unself-confident egomaniac" Leo Percepied (Canuck) and his involvement with the Negro (part Cherokee) Mardou Fox whose "glittering glee eyes" reveal that she'd flipped and is still under therapy but whose warm brown body and feet "in thongs of sandals of such sexuality- looking-greatness" make him want to make her, which he does, so that he drinks less and stops writing altogether until he loses her when he goes on to writing this which in all the giddy gratification and laceration of words in also foully phallic and probably as good an example of how far you can go in print without the benefit of punctuation let alone taste. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

About Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac wrote a number of highly influential and popular novels - most famously the international best-seller ON THE ROAD - and is remembered as one of the key figures of the legendary Beat generation. As much as anything, he came to represent a philosophy, a way of life.show more