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The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
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The Dharma Bums (1958)

by Jack Kerouac

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6,05357975 (3.89)59
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» See also 59 mentions

English (54)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (57)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
I never liked On the Road in the three ish times I read it or tried to read it. Pretentious, self-indulgent, boring.

I gave the audiobook of Dharma Bums a shot because it's free from the library, so why not?

Because it was everything that was terrible about On the Road, but with more faux Buddism. ( )
1 vote jscape2000 | Nov 28, 2017 |
This is my second Kerouac after On The Road, which I really liked. I was hoping for something that would mirror my own love of being outdoors and climbing mountains, but instead got a silly story, with some mountain/nature loving, but also a lot of wanting to be free of sex and a bunch of silly buddhism/religion stuff/nonsense and back to mountain love. I liked it, though, over all. I was reminded of the better Mark Vonnegut book The Eden Express, which I recommend.
I also recommend people to check out the chapter Iron from Primo Levi's The Periodic Table. ( )
1 vote weberam2 | Nov 24, 2017 |
Jack Kerouac said that "On the Road" was just the story of two Catholic boys searching for God. Maybe so, but it is a bastardized homo-erotic version of Catholicism (more so in the original 'scroll' edition). Not content to bastardize Christianity, Kerouac tells this tale of his exploration of Buddhism (semi-autobiographical novel).

I liked this book better than "On the Road." It is less rambling and more crafted. Of course Kerouac is trite and simplistic in his characterization of Buddhism. He is as misogynist as ever here. But I think this is the better novel and I appreciated somethings about it.

First of all, I think that what stands out to me is Kerouac's descriptions of people. Kerouac's protagonist (based on himself), is accepting and appreciative of most of the people he meets (if they are men, otherwise they tend to be playthings). I enjoyed the dialogue and some of Kerouac's descriptions of his surroundings. There is mountain climbing, hiking, hitchhiking, train rides and lots of conversation. The characters here, perhaps fueled by their spiritual explorations are less self absorbed than Kerouac's descriptions of On the Road (also an autobiographical novel).

So what of the Buddhism? I am absolutely fascinated by America's fascination with Buddhism. This novel kind of typifies the American Buddhist experience. They love how exotic it is, how wise it sounds, and love the longing for transcendence and the connection of all things. And then American Buddhists make Buddhism into what they want it to be (yet I know this is an over generalization). The sense is that whatever may actually be Buddhist is repackaged as Buddhism lite. This is the sort of thing you get here.

But one of the things I appreciated about Kerouac is he seems pretty aware of the contradictions in his 'Buddhism.' His characters preach detachment and enlightenment all the while using too much drugs, drinking too much and using women. This doesn't make their 'spiritual experiences' inauthentic, but it does prove that while these travelling dharma bums may be in some sense pilgrims, they don't make a lot of progress. The fact that Ray's big moment of enlightenment happens while he longs for a Hershey Bar, tells you that this is the American Consumer version of the whole Buddhist experience. ( )
1 vote Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
I liked it a bit less than "On the road", but still a great book. Not exceptional and awesome and brilliant, but definitely one of the better ones I've read in my life.
Left me with a lot of bits to think about and a lot of very vivid ideas. I love when books do that. ( )
  pchr8 | May 11, 2017 |
In this 1958 novel, Jack Kerouac explores Zen Buddhism. The novel is based on semi-autobiographical accounts of Jack Kerouac’s life after the success of his first novel, On The Road.
This story follows characters Ray Smith (based on Jack Kerouac) and Japhy Ryder (based on Gary Snyder) as they explore Zen Buddhism. Ray Smith and Japhy Ryder shift between the bustle of “city-life,” drunken parties, and Buddhist rituals to the serenity and tranquility of the outdoors and nature. Follow Ray Smith and Japhy Ryder as they travel around America in search of what it means to find peace through Zen Buddhism.

This was the first book I read by Jack Kerouac. After reading this book I became hooked on all literature from the Beat Generation. ( )
  ccarey2 | Nov 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
I Dharma Bums jagter hovedpersonen og Kerouacs alter ego, Ray Smith, friheden i sandheden. Helten i ”Dharma Bums” er rykket naturen og Østens filosofi nærmere i søgen efter et liv, der hæver sig over den almindelig amerikansk konformisme og småborgerlighed. Det er denne turen på afveje, der har gjort Jack Kerouac til helgen og hans bøger til bibler for ensomme ulve i alle aldre ... Med sin messende, prisning af det enkle liv – visdommen i en bjergskrænt, en skål varm suppe, det lægende i den kølige morgenbrise og så videre – er Dharma Bums en hyldest til et liv hævet over materielt begær. Ray Smiths fortællertone er lige så slentrende, tilbagelænet og lige ud ad landevejen som det trip, han er ude på. Værsgo! – beretningen om en drifters vej til sandheden, nøgternt registrerende og uden domme, præcis som buddhismen foreskriver. Det er fedt.
added by 2810michael | editBørsen, Christa Leve Poulsen
 
Arne Herløv Petersens oversættelse af Kerouacs prosa glider ubesværet fremad i lange glidende bevægelser.
added by 2810michael | editWeekendavisen, Nikolaj M. Lassen
 
Sproglig er romanen fantastisk og ikke til at sætte en finger på overhovedet, et sanseligt og detaljerigt sprog, der kun kan sammenlignes med de store forfattere, Dostojevskij, Hamsun og man kommer også til at tænke på H. C. Andersen i alle de her myldrende beskrivelser, hvor alt er levende og hvor naturen i høj grad besynges og besjæles.
added by 2810michael | editDR Kulturnyt, Michael Halskov Christensen
 
Man kan glæde sig over, at Roskilde Bogcafé nu omsider har gjort dette hovedværk tilgængeligt for alle, der ønsker et indblik i beatgenerationens flirt med østlig filosofi.
added by 2810michael | editInformation, Lars Movin
 
Det er en stor og vigtig begivenhed, når det brave lille forlag Roskilde Bogcafé - med 42 års forsinkelse - udsender en af beatforfatteren Jack Kerouacs smukkeste, lettest tilgængelige og mest profetiske romaner på dansk ... Arne Herløv Petersen står bag denne fine fordanskning af Kerouacs saftige naturlyrik, swingende sproglige flow, rundtossede zen-lommefilosofi og heftige metaforiske energi.
added by 2810michael | editBerlingske Tidende, Henrik List
 

» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jack Kerouacprimary authorall editionscalculated
Phillips, BaryeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vandenbergh, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedicated to Han Shan
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Hopping a freight out of Los Angeles at high noon one day in late September 1955 I got on a gondola and lay down with my duffel bag under my head and my knees crossed and contemplated the clouds as we rolled north to Santa Barbara.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140042520, Paperback)

One of the best and most popular of Kerouac's autobiographical novels, The Dharma Bums is based on experiences the writer had during the mid-1950s while living in California, after he'd become interested in Buddhism's spiritual mode of understanding. One of the book's main characters, Japhy Ryder, is based on the real poet Gary Snyder, who was a close friend and whose interest in Buddhism influenced Kerouac. This book is a must-read for any serious Kerouac fan.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:21 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"Kerouac living his dream as a Zen Lunatic and rucksack wanderer on the fabled golden shores of West Coast America" Ann Charters from the bookjacket.

» see all 6 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141184884, 0143039601

 

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