The Scribbler

the new writing blog for exciting contemporary writers

Early Beat collaboration novel finally released

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Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac

Two of the beat generation‘s shining lights are having one of their earliest collaborations published. A young William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac were linked to murder which shocked New York; this unpleasant episode led the pair to write a debut which remained unpublished for years.

The book has been Beatnik‘s holy grail for many generations. It is seen as the book that started it all; bringing together two of the best beat writers. The book, named And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks, tells the tale of male friendship, gay obsession and murder, which went on to fascinate and inspire future generations of authors.

The reason it has taken over 60 years to be published fully is down to the man who was found guilty of the murder that shook New York. Lucian Carr was found guilty and after serving his prison sentence he re-invented himself as Lou Carr how got a job at the UPI news service and got married and started a family.

Kerouac always scared Lou Carr with attempts to get the book published. Kerouac wrote a fictional account of events using fictional names and then after his death his biographer Ann Charters brought up the murder in her book on Kerouac. In 1976 an article in New York Magazine included extracts from the book.

William Burroughs decided to help his friend sue the magazine and gain controlling rights over the book, after Burroughs died in 1997 his executor James Grauerholz visited Carr promising that the account won’t be published whilst Carr was alive. Lou car died in 2005 and after 60 long years waiting the book can finally be published.

And The Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks has been one of the eagerly anticipated releases in a long while. Although the story surrounding the books release may over shadow the book itself there is no doubt this will be met with baited breath by many beat generation fans cross the globe.

Watch Johnny Depp reading Jack Kerouac below:

Words: Seamus Swords


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  1. […] As previously reported on The Scribbler a long delayed novel co-written by beatnik founding-fathers Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs is finally available to buy. […]

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