Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Curation #2 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Jack Kerouac Collection 3-CD Set

The top of my Kerouac bookshelf

We are already at the second item on my Kerouac bookshelf in this curation series. As you can see above, underneath the pile of books on the left is an item labeled The Jack Kerouac Collection 3-CD Set (well, you can't read all of that in the picture so you'll have to trust me). It's still available from Amazon (see below) for $33.99. I don't remember what I paid for mine or how long I've had it (it's been years).

The cover

The CDs and the accompanying booklet

Sadly, CDs are just about extinct, as are CD players. Do new cars even have them anymore?

Nevertheless, this collection is audio gold for Kerouac fans, including  3 CDs: Poetry for the Beat Generation; Blues and Haikus; and Readings by Jack Kerouac on The Beat Generation. It includes a great booklet stuffed full of information about the set, starting with a reflection by Jack's daughter, Jan Kerouac, and moving through instructive pieces (some long, some short) by David Perry, Allen Ginsberg, Gerald Nicosia (2 pieces), Jerry Garcia, Stephan Ronan, Ann Charters, Steve Allen, William Burroughs, Michael C. Ford, Robert Frank, Ray Manzarek, Edie Kerouac Parker, Michael McClure, and Harvey Robert Kubernik. It concludes with a sessionography, bibliography, and a producer's note. It includes pictures throughout.

This booklet is worth the price of the set, but it's really about the recordings. Below is a picture of the sessionography that you'll likely have to enlarge to read. As I intimated above, it's a Kerouac gold mine. Everything here is Jack reading Jack.


Hence, what are you waiting for if you are a Kerouac fan and don't have this collection? I know I need to revisit the insert and listen to the CDs again -- it's that valuable and entertaining. And I would go so far as to say you don't even need to be a Kerouac fan to enjoy the recordings. Jack reading Jack is a thing all unto itself. Mellifluous is a word that comes to mind.

While we don't have nearly enough audio of Jack, at least a chunk of it is in this collection.

Happy listening.

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