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  • halbaum

Dharma Bums by Jack Keroac (1958)

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

Finished: 5/19/20

Grade: A-

An autobiographical (it's labelled fiction, but who are we kidding) account of Jack Kerouac's continued adventures bumming around the US, climbing mountains, and hanging out with his beatnik poet friends. Most of the novel centers around his friendship with Japhy Ryder (based on real life human: Gary Snyder) an outdoorsman and scholar of Chinese poetry.

Kerouac is so earnest about everything it's almost nauseating and sometimes it feels like he's too busy poeticizing about ham and eggs to notice the heavier things happening around him, BUT at it's core this is a novel about the beauty of close male friendships and I think that's great.

Favorite line: "the little flowers grew everywhere around the rocks, and no one had asked them to grow, or me to grow"

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