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Boy Gang

Peter Prince, 19 January 1984

Minor Characters 
by Joyce Johnson.
Collins, 262 pp., £7.95, May 1983, 0 00 272511 8
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Neurotica: The Authentic Voice of the Beat Generation 1948-1951 
edited by Jay Landesman and G. Legman.
Jay Landesman, 535 pp., £19.95, July 1981, 0 905150 26 0
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Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac 
by Gerald Nicosia.
Grove, 767 pp., £14.95, October 1983, 0 394 52270 2
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... sensitivity and sweetness. Her insight is confirmed by the portrait of Kerouac that emerges from Gerald Nicosia’s long and absorbing biography, even though Nicosia is unsparing in his description of his subject’s prolonged alcoholic downfall – what a newspaper in his lifetime termed ‘the Celtic Twilight of ...

Mad to Be Saved

Thomas Powers: The Kerouac Years, 25 October 2012

The Voice Is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac 
by Joyce Johnson.
Viking, 489 pp., £25, September 2012, 978 0 670 02510 7
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... problems and pitiful dependence on his mother for all the other biographers. Chief among them is Gerald Nicosia, whose Memory Babe is savagely complete. What Glassman/Johnson wanted to explain was how Kerouac learned to write On the Road. The result is a measured, powerful book which recognises Kerouac’s unique gift for putting into words the chaotic ...

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