PIC by Jack Kerouac

PIC

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This will be a sad last sentimental trek for those who remember Kerouac as their generation's oracular road guide. Written in his last years when he'd broken with the friends and scenes that fed his earlier novels, this rather painfully suggests the price he paid to drop back in or perhaps the imaginative exhaustion that led him to that choice, It's the story, for want of a better word, of a ten-year-old black North Carolina farm boy named Pictorial Review Jackson -- a fair sample of the cute spot effects Kerouac was going in for at this point -- told from Pic's own point of view in an insistent if not quite recognizable dialect. When his good old Grandpa gets sick he's taken to live with Aunt Gastonia where blind Grandpa Jelky tries to slap a curse on him; then his brother Slim, awfully innocuous for a hipster horn-player, comes and with all the good will in the world kidnaps him to New York. There he lives for a time in a bourgeoisified version of a penniless, jobless Harlem household. It's a tough life, sure, but nothing to get offensive about -- just momentarily happy or sad as they take off again, to California, skating over a road that's almost worn through to the yellow brick. For old times' sake.
Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1971
ISBN: 2710303477
Page count: 153pp
Publisher: Grove
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1971




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