And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks

By Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs
Read by Ray Porter

4.33 Hours 11/11/2008 unabridged
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More than sixty years ago, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, two novice writers at the dawn of their careers, sat down to write a novel about the summer of 1944, when one of their friends killed another in a moment of brutal and tragic bloodshed. Alternating chapters, they pieced together a hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and obsession, art and violence. The manuscript, named after a line from a news story about a fire at a circus, was rejected by publishers and confined to a filing cabinet for decades. Now, for the first time, this legendary collaboration between two of the twentieth century’s most influential writers is being released. Both a fascinating piece of American literary history and an engrossing, atmospheric novel, it brings to life a shocking murder at the dawn of the Beat Generation.

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Summary

Summary

Selected for the December 2008 Indie Next List

More than sixty years ago, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, two novice writers at the dawn of their careers, sat down to write a novel about the summer of 1944, when one of their friends killed another in a moment of brutal and tragic bloodshed. Alternating chapters, they pieced together a hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and obsession, art and violence. The manuscript, named after a line from a news story about a fire at a circus, was rejected by publishers and confined to a filing cabinet for decades. Now, for the first time, this legendary collaboration between two of the twentieth century’s most influential writers is being released. Both a fascinating piece of American literary history and an engrossing, atmospheric novel, it brings to life a shocking murder at the dawn of the Beat Generation.

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac (1922–1969) was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1922. He attended local Catholic schools and eventually Columbia University, becoming in the late 1940s and early 1950s a member of what was soon to be called “the beat generation.” His first novel appeared in 1950, but it was On the Road, published in 1957, that epitomized to the world the beat philosophy. This novel created a sensation by chronicling a spontaneous and wandering way of life in a style that seemed founded both on jazz and on drug-induced visions. Kerouac published several novels, and Mexico City Blues is a volume of his poetry. 

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Author Bio: William S. Burroughs

William S. Burroughs (1914–1997) was an American author, painter, and spoken-word performer who has had a wide-ranging influence on American culture. Jack Kerouac called him the “greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift.” Norman Mailer declared him “the only American writer who may be conceivably possessed by genius.” A postmodernist and a key figure of the beat generation, he focused his art on a relentless subversion of the moral, political, and economic conventions of modern American society, as reflected in his often darkly humorous and sardonic satire. He wrote eighteen novels and novellas, six short-story collections, and four collections of essays. No fewer than five books of his interviews and correspondence have been published. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians and made many appearances in films. He was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1983 and in the following year was appointed to the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 4.33
Audience: Adult
Language: English