The new book chronicling beat generation writers and artists Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, and William S. Burroughs by the authors of The Trials of Lenny Bruce has just hit stores. Mania: The Story of the Outraged & Outrageous Lives That Launched a Cultural Revolution by Ron Collins and David Skover is the result of eight years of research that spans “from the killing of David Kammerer to the car crash that led to Ginsberg’s committal to an asylum, to the publication of John Clellon Holmes’ Go, Kerouac’s On the Road, Burroughs’ Junky and Naked Lunch, up to the 6 Gallery reading and publication of Ginsberg’s Howl and the obscenity trial of bookseller/publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti that followed.”
Details on Mania:
“By the time Lucien Carr stabbed David Kammerer to death on the banks of the Hudson River in August 1944, it was clear that the hard-partying teenage companion to Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs might need to reevaluate his life. A two-year stint in a reformatory straightened out the wayward youth but did little to curb the wild ways of his friends.
They were a remarkable group of writers who strained against the conformity of postwar America—experimenting with drink, drugs, sex, jazz, and literature—and who yearned to be heard, to remake art and society in their own libertine image. There was Herbert Huncke (rhymes with junkie), who introduced Burroughs to heroin and the rest to the ‘beat’ lifestyle—beat in every sense of the word. There was Bill Cannastra and Neal Cassady, two men who burned to live, one who suffered the consequences of his own reckless antics, and one who never seemed to suffer the consequences of anything.
From New York to New Orleans, Mexico City to Morocco, Denver to San Francisco, they were mad to live and lived to create. And they created some of the 20th century’s most enduring works of literature, bringing their countercultural ethos into the mainstream and becoming stars in the process. America would never be the same again.”
—Shop for ‘Mania’ on Amazon
Source: Top Five Books, LLC
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