The Dharma Bums

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, Jul 21, 2011 - Fiction - 224 pages
26 Reviews

THE DHARMA BUMS appeared just one year after the author's explosive ON THE ROAD had put the Beat Generation on the literary map and Kerouac on the best-seller list. The same expansiveness, humour and contagious zest for life that sparked the earlier novels sparks this one too, but through a more cohesive story. The books follow two young men engaged in a passionate search for dharma or truth. Their major adventure is the pursuit of the Zen way, which takes them climbing into the high sierras to seek the lesson of solitude.

With an Introduction by Kerouac expert, Ann Douglas.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dbsovereign - LibraryThing

A sort of sequel to _On the Road_, this one tells of his encounters with Gary Snyder (the poet) and also recounts the tale of Ginsberg's reading of "HOWL." The outdoors in his life is at conflict with his indoor delvings into the drunkeness of city life. Do we write poetry or do we just enjoy life? Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - trilliams - LibraryThing

For the entirety of this book I had an image looping in my head of M. Night Shyamalan saying "What if we're all Buddhas?" I was more interested in '50s Berkeley than the Buddhist elements of this book. Is it bad if Dharma Bums made me want to get a job? Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Jack Kerouac wrote a number of hugely influential and popular novels. He is remembered as one of the key figures of the legendary Beat generation. As much as anything, he came to represent a philosophy, a way of life.


Ann Douglas is Professor of Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She has published numerous essays, articles and book reviews on American culture in papers and periodicals such as The New York Times, The Nation and Slate, and introductions for Little Women, Uncle Tom's Cabin and The Subterraneans among others. Prof. Douglas teaches twentieth-century American literature, film, music, and politics, with an emphasis on the Cold War era, African-American culture, and post-colonial approaches. She is currently at work on a book, Noir Nation: Cold War U.S. Culture 1945-1960.

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