Beat writers, and that

Obviously we all had at least a brief dalliance with them books in our teens and are probably all tory snobs about it now, but without getting all insecure about people not viewing you as a proper adult, do you think any of the books have literary merit?

Feel a bit split on the matter. I picked up a copy of On the Road recently, probably my favourite book at one point. Utter rubbish. At the same time, i find some of the blanket dismissals of some of the writers and books as sort of unintellectual a bit…crass and unecessary. Gateway books serve a purpose like gateway records do.

Also, as much as i think his other books are probably a bit shit i read Junky/Junk by Burroughs recently and while it probably does glamourise taking smack a bit i was surprised how much i enjoyed it.

(I predict some seriously sphinctery replies to this bad boy).

This. Got no desire to revisit any of them but enjoyed lots of it when I read them for the first time


Fante and Anderson still hold up. Bukowski and Kerouac great gateway authors. Carver is indestructible


Bukowski the only one I see as a bit embarrassing now

Burroughs is great

Faulkner is righteously cool although not of same ilk

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I used to listen to the jack kerouac and Steve Allen albums at sixth form (while smoking rollies, obviously). Definitely a bit embarrassing


went through a big pink floyd/bob dylan/fugazi phase at sixth form. was this close to buying one of these t shirts

I think something about people of our/current generations reading around that whole scene is akin to first hearing something like Grace, in terms of it’s effect on the mind of what it means to be young and to an extent male

On the Road is absolutely awful, it’s cult status is embarassing. I actually quite like Dharma Bums mind.

Plenty of the writers have merit. I like some of Burroughs’ stuff. Some of Bukowski’s poetry is great, Love is a Dog from Hell is my favourite collection. Not sure if Hunter Thompson quite overlaps into this world but his best work is his journalism, especially Kingdom of Fear and Hell’s Angels.

There’s a Penguin anthology called The Portable Beat Reader which has plenty of worthwhile stuff in and some lesser-celebrated names.

Just wanted to pop in to say that I despise On the Road.

Not being a Tory, it’s just shit isn’t it. (I am not a proper adult)

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Grace is still a soaring work of genius and I won’t hear a bad word about it. Live in Chicago is even better


I fully agree. Just have it as a landmark moment and reading some of those authors for the first time had a similarly massive effect

holy fuck is this another thing we share

Reckon the outsider was the big one for me. Still really like it though and reckon it’s better than a lot of people give it credit for.
Would file kerouac etc. Alongside salinger and death cab for stuff I liked and was good for me at a particular age but won’t look back on massively fondly

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Hey now Transatlanticism holds up

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Gregory Corso is pretty great. Can’t remember seeing much of his work, but I’ve got a book on Brion Gysin that’s fairly interesting. And William Carlos Williams is one of my favourite poets and was something of a proto-Beat and mentor to them all too.

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Took me a while deciding what band would guarantee me a bite


I actually quite liked On The Road when I read it. I’m not too sure what I’d think about it now mind.

Didn’t really garner much from Naked Lunch aside from the the collection of essays about narcotics, mental health and addiction which was probably more interesting than main book.

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i mean i can’t stress enough that anything post that record needs to be dropkicked into pigshit obv

I’m gonna fire up live in chicago tonight. kudos.

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