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About the book
  • Published: 26 October 2009
  • ISBN: 9780141189673
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $22.99

And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks


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In alternating chapters that reveal a nascent period in their development as two of the twentieth century's most influential writers, Beat Generation icons William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac's And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks is an electrifying true-life mystery, including afterword by James Grauerholtz in Penguin Modern Classics.
This is a hardboiled crime novel, and a true story. In 1944, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs, then still unknown writers, were both arrested following a murder: one of their friends had stabbed another and then come to them for advice - neither had told the police. Later they wrote this fictionalised account of that summer - of a group of friends in wartime New York, moving through each other's apartments, drinking, necking, talking and taking drugs and haphazardly drifting towards a bloody crime. Unpublished for years, And the Hippos were Boiled in their Tanks is a remarkable insight into the lives and literary development of two great writers.
If you enjoyed And the Hippos were Boiled in their Tanks, you might like Kerouac's On the Road, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
'The novel that kicked it all off'
Independent
'An insight into Kerouac before he went on the road and Burroughs before his drug use spiralled out of control, this is a major literary event'
GQ

  • Pub date: 26 October 2009
  • ISBN: 9780141189673
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $22.99

About the Authors

William S Burroughs

William S. Burroughs was born in 1914. His first published novel was the largely autobiographical Junky, which remains a classic depiction of the constant cycle of drug dependency, cures and relapses he was victim to for most of his life. In 1951, in a drunken William Tell stunt, he accidentally shot and killed his common-law wife. He is most famous for his use of the 'cut-up' technique of writing and the novel Naked Lunch. His other major works included Queer, Exterminator! The 'Nova Trilogy' (The Soft Machine, Nova Express and The Ticket That Exploded) and the 'Red Night Trilogy' (Cities of the Red Night, The Place of Dead Roads and The Western Lands). He died in 1997.

Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1922. In 1947, enthused by bebop, the rebel attitude of his friend Neal Cassidy, and the throng of hobos, drug addicts and hustlers he encountered in New York, he decided to discover America and hitchhhike across the country. His writing was openly autobiographical and he developed a style he referred to as 'spontaneous prose' which he used to record the experiences of the Beat Generation. Among his many novels are On the Road, Maggie Cassidy, The Subterraneans, The Dharma Bums and Big Sur. He died in 1969.


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