VISIONS OF CODY by Jack Kerouac

VISIONS OF CODY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another posthumous novel by the late subculture hero-author of On the Road, The Dharma Burns, etc., a combination novel-elegy about the beloved Neal Cassady, alias Cody Pomeray, a grand Coloradoan with whom Kerouac (alias lack Deluoscz) drank, smoked, traveled, and endlessly chatted during the late '40's and early '50's, before Cassady died, when Kerouac was first starting to write. The book is part letter, part tape transcription, part associative memory, full of "tail"sounding tales about the semi-comic-heroic exploits of some incredibly enthusiastic guys on the loose -- in New York, California, and Mexico -- and the gradual slowing down, at least on Cody's part, after too many marriages and cross-country chases which seem to go nowhere. Underneath it all is that elusive Dream, tougher than Gatsby's but every bit as American -- of jazz, booze, and the camaraderie of men remembered with greater love than the women with whom they exclusively (and in retrospect, somewhat wistfully) shared their beds. A sad book, powerfully written (overwritten?) in Kerouac's rolling style, in which the endless sentence is never quite long enough to contain the whole thought -- for in the poetry of mind memories glide into one another without period or comma. Kerouac's failure to encompass "it" all within that sentence becomes a poignant corollary of that failure of life implicit within the grandiose chronicles of actions without purpose -- except their own beauty -- of necessity larger than life because life, marvelous as it was, never was quite all it was cracked up to be.
Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1972
ISBN: 0140179070
Page count: 430pp
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1972




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