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And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks by…
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And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks (edition 2009)

by William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac

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6002116,314 (3.51)1 / 21
Member:LBIBookBoy
Title:And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks
Authors:William S. Burroughs
Other authors:Jack Kerouac
Info:Grove Press (2009), Edition: First Trade Paper Edition, Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Beat Generation, NYC, 1940s, Columbia University, Lucien Carr

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And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks by William S. Burroughs

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English (19)  Dutch (2)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
I remember reading about this time period and the central incident in Vanity of Duluoz (and in Kerouac biographies), but it was sort of interesting to read the early writing of Kerouac and Burroughs. There was a lot of that aimless "we did this for awhile and then we did that and then we stopped for a drink" without the reflection or digging into the empty center that would characterize Kerouac's later work. And I have to say the troubling aspects of the relationship and murder at the center of the plot seemed to be ignored, not only in the book, but in all of the writing about the book and the incident that I've read so far. Maybe the new movie--Kill Your Darlings--will change that...and maybe not. I look forward to reading Vanity of Duluoz again some day. The first Kerouac I ever read, even though it was one of his last works. ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
I really enjoyed reading this! Quite a snapshot of the life and beginnings of the Beats! But boy oh boy were they a bunch of moochers! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 23, 2016 |
Well, this was my first Beat novel and I read it because my interest was peaked by a podcast on This American Life, featuring William S. Burroughs as told by Iggy Pop.

This book was interesting because it was written in 1945 but not published until 2008 (after all persons the story was based on were dead). Also because alternating chapters were written by Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs, and it was based on a true life murder in which they were both indicted for knowing the killer and the victim. Many say the murder led to the beginning of the Beat movement? I wouldn't be qualified to even guess at that, being a Beat "virgin" prior to this book, but I may be willing to try a few more novels.

I've heard a lot of the names mentioned in the Afterword in the past, but never gave the Beat movement much thought - except what I saw in movies as a generation who smoked heavily in underground bars, read strange poetry to a conga drum beating in the background, dressed in black turtlenecks, pegged black pants, black berets and thick black glasses. Also, I always thought the Beatniks were part of the 1960s. I didn't realize they started in the 1940s. I also learned that author Caleb Carr ( [The Alienist] ) is the son of Lucian Carr - the murderer the story is based on. I learn so much when I read..... ( )
  morningwalker | Feb 9, 2015 |
Finally, my first Beat novel! It's been a long time coming, though I'd always assumed On the Road would be my first... but whatever. I got this one from the library right after I bought Kill Your Darlings on DVD and realised that the book was essentially a thinly-veiled novelisation of the real events depicted in the film. Labelled a 'crime noir', I actually didn't think it felt that way at all; the murder is a fleeting thing right near the end of the book. It's incredibly easy to read, filled with tiny mundane details that build up a picture of a bohemian alcohol-fuelled lifestyle largely consisting of bar hopping and drifting in and out of each other's homes to eat, sleep, love, talk and dream. I also liked the insight into how boys would 'ship out' to work at sea, and how that process worked. An odd one, this, in that I didn't rank it THAT highly, yet I'd really like to reread it and have my own copy at some point in the near future. ( )
  elliepotten | Oct 24, 2014 |
I really enjoyed reading this! Quite a snapshot of the life and beginnings of the Beats! But boy oh boy were they a bunch of moochers! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | May 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Burroughs, William S.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kerouac, JackAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Grauerholz, JamesAfterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Porter, RayNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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2008 ( [1945])
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The bars close at three A.M. on Saturday nights so I got home about 3:45 after eating breakfast at Riker's on the corner of Christopher Street and Seventh Avenue.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802144349, Paperback)

In the summer of 1944, a shocking murder rocked the fledgling Beats. William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, both still unknown, we inspired by the crime to collaborate on a novel, a hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and art, obsession and brutality, with scenes and characters drawn from their own lives. Finally published after more than sixty years, this is a captivating read, and incomparable literary artifact, and a window into the lives and art of two of the twentieth century’s most influential writers.


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:48 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and obsession, art and violence, that brings to life a shocking murder at the dawn of the Beat Generation.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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