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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » Literary Collections

And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks

By William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, James Grauerholz

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Format: Paperback, 214 pages
Other Information: Illustrated
Published In: United States, 15 October 2009
More than sixty years ago, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac sat down in New York City to write a novel about the summer of 1944, when one of their friends killed another in a moment of brutal and tragic bloodshed. The two authors were then at the dawn of their careers, having yet to write anything of note. Alternating chapters and narrators, Burroughs and Kerouac pieced together a hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and obsession, art and violence. The manuscript, called "And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks" after a line from a news story about a fire at a circus, was submitted to publishing houses but rejected and confined to a filing cabinet for decades. First published in 2008, And The Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks is a remarkable piece of American literary history, a fascinating window into the lives of its authors, and an engaging novel, a fast-paced read that brings to life a shocking murder at the dawn of the Beat Generation.

Reviews

"Reveal[s] two giants-to-be in the development stages of their craft.... With its evocative rendition of now-vanished saloons, bygone diners, and other landmarks of yesteryear, Burroughs and Kerouac may have inadvertently done for 1944 Greenwich Village what Joyce did for 1904 Dublin." -- George Kimball "A combination hard-boiled murder mystery and existentialist lament on the meaninglessness of modern life--think Dashiell Hammett meets Albert Camus ... an essential document of the Beat Generation--filled with precise details and precisely recorded dialogue from a place and period, pre-Atomic Age America, now almost irretrievably lost to us. But Hippos is more than just a debunking of the standard histories of the period. It contains the first clear expression of the core Beat vision of America as insane and morally corrupt--a vision as apt and accurate today as it was when these outcasts and marginal outlaws began to emerge from their societal exile some sixty years ago." -- Gerald Nicosia "[A] persuasive portrait of la vie boheme in all its aimlessness and squalor." -- Amanda Heller "Illuminates the links between Sam Spade and Sal Paradise, noir nihilism and Beat exuberance." -- Timothy Hodler "Spellbinding.... with spot-on dialogue and descriptions of seedy bars and jam-packed apartments, the authors serve up a fascinating look at a time of late night parties, casual sex and a devil-may-care approach to life." -- Jackie Crosby "A fascinating snapshot from a lost era. If you're looking for the link between Hemingway's impotent postwar drifters in The Sun Also Rises, the barflies and Tralalas of Last Exit to Brooklyn and the zonked-out kids of Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero, look no further." -- John Walsh "Eccentric, engaging, and readable ... What makes the novel particularly fascinating, however, is its ability to provide a window into the early autobiographical styles of both Burroughs and Kerouac as emerging, unpublished writers." -- Marcus Niski The legendary novel whose true events inspired the film KILL YOUR DARLINGS "A combination hard-boiled murder mystery and existentialist lament- think Dashiell Hammett meets Albert Camus...an essential document of the Beat Generation." -Gerald Nicosia, San Francisco Chronicle "[A] persuasive portrait of la vie boheme in all its aimlessness and squalor." -Amanda Heller, The Boston Globe "A literary curiosity, a genuine collectible." -Carolyn See, The Washington Post "Reveals two giants-to-be in the development stages of their craft...With its evocative rendition of now-vanished saloons, bygone diners, and other landmarks of yesteryear, Burroughs and Kerouac may have inadvertently done for 1944 Greenwich Village what Joyce did for 1904 Dublin." -George Kimball, The Phoenix (Boston) "The appearance in print of And the Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks by William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac is a literary event, not only because it drew two of the three leading Beat writers into confederacy, but because the book told a story - of male friendship, gay obsession, and murder - that came to fascinate a score of American authors... It's a fascinating snapshot from a lost era. If you're looking for the link between Hemingway's impotent post-war drifters in The Sun Also Rises, the barflies and Tralalas of Last Exit to Brooklyn and the zonked-out kids of Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero, look no further." --John Walsh, The Independent "In alternating chapters, Burroughs and Kerouac serve up a noir vision of Manhattan... Of the two, Kerouac, then in his early 20s, is the more developed writer, though Burroughs, an absolute beginner, already shows some of the interests and obsessions that will turn up in Naked Lunch and elsewhere, to say nothing of an obviously field-tested understanding of how syringes work... For his part, Kerouac recounts wartime experiences in the Merchant Marine, along with notes on the bar scene that would do Bukowski proud."--Kirkus Reviews "[Hippos] significantly predates Kerouac's major novels and illuminates his dynamic and productive literary friendship with William S. Burroughs. ... it is very charming. ... The conceit of switching back and forth between narrators every chapter also keeps things speeding along--it creates the illusion that one is listening to a radio broadcast from one station, only to have the frequency changed every few minutes, with the narrative sometimes overlapping and the two voices bleeding into another."--Andrew Martin, Open Letters Monthly "Illuminates the links between Sam Spade and Sal Paradise, noir nihilism and Beat exuberance." --Timothy Hodler, Details "If you care about either of these beat masters ... I don't see how you can fail to enjoy [And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks]. Slight as it may seem at first glance, it's an invaluable document of literary history, glimmering with nascent genius."--Craig Seligman, Bloomberg News "Naughtily sexual and emotionally grimy, written is a prose style that is deadpan-dry and larded with hardboiled atmosphere. This oddly titled novel is an engaging literary and historical curio." --Richard Labone, Between the Lines "Spellbinding. ...with spot-on dialogue and descriptions of seedy bars and jam-packed apartments, the authors serve up a fascinating look at a time of late night parties, casual sex and a devil-may-care approach to life." --Jackie Crosby, Minneapolis Star-Tribune "An eccentric, engaging, and readable novel... What makes the novel particularly fascinating, however, is its ability to provide a window into the early autobiographical styles of both Burroughs and Kerouac as emerging, unpublished writers."--Marcus Niski, The Sydney Morning Herald "As an insight into the formative years of the Beats, it's fascinating."--Nick Rennison, The Sunday Times (London) The legendary novel whose true events inspired the film KILL YOUR DARLINGS A combination hard-boiled murder mystery and existentialist lament think Dashiell Hammett meets Albert Camusan essential document of the Beat Generation. Gerald Nicosia, "San Francisco Chronicle" [A] persuasive portrait of "la vie boheme" in all its aimlessness and squalor. Amanda Heller, "The Boston Globe" A literary curiosity, a genuine collectible. Carolyn See, "The Washington Post" Reveals two giants-to-be in the development stages of their craftWith its evocative rendition of now-vanished saloons, bygone diners, and other landmarks of yesteryear, Burroughs and Kerouac may have inadvertently done for 1944 Greenwich Village what Joyce did for 1904 Dublin. George Kimball, "The Phoenix" (Boston) "The appearance in print of And the Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks by William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac is a literary event, not only because it drew two of the three leading Beat writers into confederacy, but because the book told a story of male friendship, gay obsession, and murder that came to fascinate a score of American authors It s a fascinating snapshot from a lost era. If you re looking for the link between Hemingway s impotent post-war drifters in The Sun Also Rises, the barflies and Tralalas of Last Exit to Brooklyn and the zonked-out kids of Bret Easton Ellis s Less Than Zero, look no further. John Walsh, "The Independent" In alternating chapters, Burroughs and Kerouac serve up a noir vision of Manhattan Of the two, Kerouac, then in his early 20s, is the more developed writer, though Burroughs, an absolute beginner, already shows some of the interests and obsessions that will turn up in Naked Lunch and elsewhere, to say nothing of an obviously field-tested understanding of how syringes work For his part, Kerouac recounts wartime experiences in the Merchant Marine, along with notes on the bar scene that would do Bukowski proud. "Kirkus Reviews" [Hippos] significantly predates Kerouac s major novels and illuminates his dynamic and productive literary friendship with William S. Burroughs. it is very charming. The conceit of switching back and forth between narrators every chapter also keeps things speeding alongit creates the illusion that one is listening to a radio broadcast from one station, only to have the frequency changed every few minutes, with the narrative sometimes overlapping and the two voices bleeding into another. Andrew Martin, "Open Letters Monthly" Illuminates the links between Sam Spade and Sal Paradise, noir nihilism and Beat exuberance. Timothy Hodler, "Details" If you care about either of these beat masters I don t see how you can fail to enjoy [And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks]. Slight as it may seem at first glance, it s an invaluable document of literary history, glimmering with nascent genius. Craig Seligman, "Bloomberg News" Naughtily sexual and emotionally grimy, written is a prose style that is deadpan-dry and larded with hardboiled atmosphere. This oddly titled novel is an engaging literary and historical curio. Richard Labone, "Between the Lines" Spellbinding. with spot-on dialogue and descriptions of seedy bars and jam-packed apartments, the authors serve up a fascinating look at a time of late night parties, casual sex and a devil-may-care approach to life. Jackie Crosby, "Minneapolis Star-Tribune" An eccentric, engaging, and readable novel What makes the novel particularly fascinating, however, is its ability to provide a window into the early autobiographical styles of both Burroughs and Kerouac as emerging, unpublished writers. Marcus Niski, "The Sydney Morning Herald" As an insight into the formative years of the Beats, it s fascinating. Nick Rennison, "The Sunday Times" (London)" "A combination hard-boiled murder mystery and existentialist lament- think Dashiell Hammett meets Albert Camus...an essential document of the Beat Generation." -Gerald Nicosia, "San Francisco Chronicle" "[A] persuasive portrait of "la vie boheme" in all its aimlessness and squalor." -Amanda Heller, "The Boston Globe" "A literary curiosity, a genuine collectible." -Carolyn See, "The Washington Post" "Reveals two giants-to-be in the development stages of their craft...With its evocative rendition of now-vanished saloons, bygone diners, and other landmarks of yesteryear, Burroughs and Kerouac may have inadvertently done for 1944 Greenwich Village what Joyce did for 1904 Dublin." -George Kimball, "The Phoenix" (Boston) "The appearance in print of And the Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks by William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac is a literary event, not only because it drew two of the three leading Beat writers into confederacy, but because the book told a story - of male friendship, gay obsession, and murder - that came to fascinate a score of American authors... It's a fascinating snapshot from a lost era. If you're looking for the link between Hemingway's impotent post-war drifters in The Sun Also Rises, the barflies and Tralalas of Last Exit to Brooklyn and the zonked-out kids of Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero, look no further." --John Walsh, "The Independent" "In alternating chapters, Burroughs and Kerouac serve up a noir vision of Manhattan... Of the two, Kerouac, then in his early 20s, is the more developed writer, though Burroughs, an absolute beginner, already shows some of the interests and obsessions that will turn up in Naked Lunch and elsewhere, to say nothing of an obviously field-tested understanding of how syringes work... For his part, Kerouac recounts wartime experiences in the Merchant Marine, along with notes on the bar scene that would do Bukowski proud."--"Kirkus Reviews" "[Hippos] significantly pred

EAN: 9780802144348
ISBN: 0802144349
Publisher: Grove Press
Dimensions: 24.13 x 14.43 x 1.5 centimetres (0.18 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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