A reminder of the excellent detail interwoven with contemplation by the Great Rememberer. Great to hear this having first read the follow up much earlier, Desolation Angels.
Desolation Angels apparently is sequentially after Dharma Bums, and the Zen themes run through out both.
Excellent organization, writing and reading performance of the subject matter. There is so much to enjoy about this book and the reading of it. Clive Mantle adopts at least 2 dozen character voices when reading quoted passages, and adds verve and feeling when appropriate. Mark Lewisohn has written with the utmost respect for the material, which is nothing less than the history and evolution of rock music from its various roots. Plus, he paints wonderful pictures of Liverpool, its language, expressions, idioms, manners of speech and lifestyle. Details about The Beatles early groundbreaking tours to Hamburg are fascinating, as well as the many peripheral characters connected to the lives of the Fab Four. Looking forward to reading and listening to Volumes 2 and 3, which I imagine are staggering tasks of writing, judging from the research done on Volume 1.
As with Dharma Bums, Tom Parker's reading performance of Kerouac's later work in Big Sur enlivens and adds great nuance and animation to the material. I've found this one to be a surprising unknown gem, with Kerouac revisiting old pals, wrestling with celebrity and alcohol and his own monkey mind. It's wonderfully human and frustrating to read of Jack gradually abandoning the hard to attain dharma principles, and drinking himself to death.
There's the uncomfortable hot tub gathering in Big Sur, and his stay with Willamine "Billie" at her apartment in SF.
I dig the ups and downs of the whole darn thing, man.
Honest, Intense, Uncompromising
Huckleberry Finn came to mind while listening to the story of Miles Davis. "Miles: The Autobiography" is far more relevant and real than the romantic Americana tale by Mark Twain. Tales of coming of age with racism and racial profiling, spoken in the language of a black man, is far more powerful and striking than the white country boy anecdotes of fictional Huck Finn. Huck Finn is a gentle summer rain and Miles is a thundering downpour.
When Miles first arrives in NYC after leaving East St. Louis at age 18 is pretty amazing stuff.
Miles' struggle and descent into the depths of heroin addiction and his eventual recovery is quite a frightening ride.
Tales of playing music with jazz greats like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, Thelonius Monk and Billy Eckstine filled in a number of gaps in my knowledge of Miles and these musicians as well. Some funny road stories too. This is one of my favorite audiobooks so far!
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