Sunday, September 16, 2012

Maggie Cassidy by Jack Kerouac

I just finished reading (for the first time) Maggie Cassidy by Jack Kerouac. Considered one of the "Lowell novels"* because of its setting in Kerouac's Massachusetts hometown, and part of "The Duluoz Legend,"** Maggie Cassidy tells the story of the author's school days, focused around his on-again/off-again relationship with an Irish girl from the other side of the tracks. According to Dave Moore's Character Key to Kerouac's Duluoz Legend, here's a picture of the real-life Maggie, Mary Carney.

Typical of Kerouac, the prose is at times more something to experience than to comprehend, taking the reader on a wild ride (Jack's descriptive memories of Lowell are priceless) through adolescent angst over love, sex, sports, friendships, and figuring out one's passions as well as where to fit into the adult world to come. As Kerouac's biggest living fan, and someone enamored of Lowell, I admit bias when I say . . . I loved it.

I only wish my copy had the above cover . . . .

*Can you name all five?

**Kerouac's novels that comprise one vast book (like Proust) telling the story of his life.


Jackofallhobbies said...

I just picked this one up from the library (and no, I didn't get that cover either). I enjoyed it, but I think I would like to hear it more. I am not sure if it had ever been recorded, but that would have been fantastic. The voices and the vernacular done by Jack himself would have been great.

Thanks for the post.

Jackofallhobbies said...

Wow, I just looked at the date of this post and I am surprised that no one had commented before. I came here because I was looking for a picture so I could put it up on my own bog (under the books I am reading section).
Lucky accident, I guess. (you don't have to post this one if you don't want to--I blog on Wordpress, so I will "follow" this blog, but that's on my blogger account--which I don't check that often.