'Jack Kerouac died in 1969 at the age of forty-seven ...Most of his friends survived him. Our idea was to seek them out and talk with them about Jack's life and their own lives. The final result, we hoped, would be a big, transcontinental conversation, complete with interruptions, contradictions, old grudges and bright memories, all of them providing a reading of the man himself through the people he chose to populate his work.' In this kaleidoscopic portrait of Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Carolyn Cassady, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Gore Vidal and many others talk, argue and reminisce about their times with him. But alongside these luminaries of the Beat generation are the voices of those who knew a different side of Kerouac: the working men, the childhood friends, the bar companions, the lovers. Fascinating, honest and richer than any orthodox biography could be, Jack's Book documents Kerouac's genius in its full, tragic, contradictory glory.
If you're interested in listening to what the talk of the Fifties sounded like, and if you believe that literature may just have something to do with life, then read this book. - National Review