The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
Reviewed by Steve Rudd
He doesn't need any money... all he needs is his rucksack.
There really was no end to Jack's writing talents after all! This is the fifth book of his that I've had the pleasure of reading, and it is by far and away my favourite.
When you get to the top of a mountain, keep climbing.
Packed with all the excitement of his classic masterpiece On The Road, this follows Jack on the road in a similarly enthralling manner that makes the reader want above all else to join him on his journeys of self-discovery.
The Dharma Bums has Jack closely chronicle yet more travelling adventures, and in particular
a prolonged stretch of solitary confinement that he put himself through atop Desolation Peak, when
he worked up in the mountains as a fire lookout in case a blaze ripped through the forests below.
He also makes mention to such a time in his Lonesome Traveller collection of short
I see, somewhat breathlessly said Jack, a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of
young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children
laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier.
Much of this book focuses on how he got hooked on being a spiritual man and life-enhancingly
philosophical, as he brazenly indulges in meditation and the like - all in the name of chilling out.
In his best poetic voice, Jack excites the senses with his unabashed enthusiasm for living life to the full without fail. His writing style quite simply is utterly spellbinding.
Sociability is just a big smile. That may be. But one thing that is for sure is the fact that
Jack Kerouac really does seem to have been one of the most truly incredible writers of the 20th Century.
First published in 1958. ISBN 0-14-004252-0
Reviews, Books - I'm a Teacher Get Me Out of Here by Francis Gilbert (Short Books) Reviewed By Cathy Walker
As I am about to change career to become a primary school teacher, I picked up
I'm A Teacher Get Me Out Of Here with a little trepidation. I'd heard that it presents the
reality of working in a 'tough school', of what a hard and challenging job being a teacher truly is.
I can't wait to become a teacher and I didn't want
Reviews, Events - Nights Out - Tuesday 24th May 05 - Benny Hill Preservation Society By Adam Atkinson
My utter fascination with all things Benny started as early as the age of three, when I by
chance happened upon some irrelevant sketch involving the Benster dressed as a cardiac
surgeon examining some saucy minx. 12 years later I would see my own Uncle Frank arrested for the very same thing.
Reviews, Books - In The Winter Dark by Tim Winton Reviewed by Steve Rudd
A menacing short story from the ever-interesting Australian writer Tim Winton,
this is a thrilling venture into dark and macabre territory that focuses on a few
people who live in a secluded valley that seems to also be inhabited by a mysterious
creature that preys both on their animals and their worst fears.
Reviews, Books - The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan Reviewed by Steve Rudd
First published way, way back in 1915, this is the story that inspired the infamous movie of
the same name that was directed by the king of noir, old Alfred Hitchcock.
I have it on good authority that the film version does in fact differ to quite a large extent to this novel, but what the hell.
I can't imagine the book being any less suspenseful or tense
Reviews, Books - Junky by William S. Burroughs Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Where to start with a man of William's legendary literary standing?
Born in 1914, in his own time he came to be regarded as one of the most
important American writers of the Sixties Beat generation - during which
time his writing was revered in the same way that the work of
Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg was.
Reviews, Books - The Long Rain by Peter Gadol Reviewed By Steve Rudd
After I had walked around the winery, I climbed back in my truck and continued driving farther up
into the foothills, and some nights I did make it as far as the mountain road.
I wanted to cross the Diablo range.
I wanted to keep driving clear across the state and into the desert, deep into the American
vastness, where I knew no one and no one knew me.
Reviews, Books - Goodbye, Hessle Road by Daphne Glazer Reviewed By Cathy Walker
Goodbye Hessle Road is the new novel by local writer Daphne Glazer, set in and around Hull.
It focuses on the lives of Donna, her mum and grandmother Ruby and features many local landmarks
from the leafy suburbs of the Avenues to the inside of Hull Prison.
Donna is a drugs worker at Hull prison; she is portrayed as a strong woman, with
attitude and hidden vulnerability.
Reviews, Books - Jack Ruby's Kitchen Sink by Tom Miller Reviewed by Steve Rudd
I have long longed to visit the South-Western states of the USA, and the beautifully majestic Arizona in particular.
In this fascinating and factual book, Tom - who himself lives in Tucson, Arizona - recounts
all sorts of weird and wonderful tales from the region, and also presents tall tales from
Reviews, Books - The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger Reviewed By Cathy Walker
thisisUll.com readers may have seen The Time Traveller's Wife featured
as part of Richard and Judy's Bookclub.
If you're not a fan of the teatime TV couple do not be deterred; this is likely to
be one of the most unusual and original pieces of fiction
Reviews, Books -One For New York by John A Williams Reviewed By Steve Rudd
A remarkable novel in every respect, this is a classic piece of literature from an
incredibly gifted writer who expressed exactly how it felt to be a black man
growing up in the United States early on in the last Century.
This book focuses on his
Reviews, Books - Dr. Sax by Jack Kerouac Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Even hardcore fans of this legendary author might be in two minds about how much they
like this novel of his.
Jack is best-known for his travel-trained adventures back and forth across the
USA (in On The Road, Big Sur and The Dharma Bums for example), and further
Reviews, Books - Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear Reviewed By Cathy Walker
Can you name a female private detective? Your answer might be Miss Marple or
Mma Ramotswe of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, but thanks to
Jacqueline Winspear, Maisie Dobbs is another name to add to that list.
Initially it seems that
Reviews, Books - Strange Angels by Andy Bull Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Books come no more riveting than this mini-masterpiece that reads both as an eye-opening
travelogue and close analysis of the lives - and deaths - of four all-American icons.
Marilyn Monroe. Elvis Presley. James Dean. JFK.
Reviews, Books - Blackpool Highflyer by Andrew Martin (Faber and Faber Ltd.) Reviewed By Cathy Walker
A novel about a Yorkshireman who is nuts about the railways and his adventures as an engine driver...
Admittedly this sounds like something that might appeal just to trainspotters, but in the
Blackpool Highflyer:, Andrew Martin:
Reviews, Books - The Pastures of Heaven by John Steinbeck Reviewed by Steve Rudd
After the bare requisites to living and reproducing, man wants most to leave some
record of himself, a proof, perhaps, that he has really existed.
He leaves his proof on wood, on stone or on the lives of other people.
This deep desire exists in everyone, from the boy Read more...
Reviews, Theatre - 15th February 05 - The Woman in White at the Palace Theatre, London By Steve Rudd
The Woman in White is the latest box-office-busting musical extravaganza from
Andrew Lloyd Webber,
based on the famous Victorian novel of the same name that was published way, way back in
1860 by the distinguished and understandably