A story of the quest for truth, The Dharma Bums is one of Jack Kerouac’s most powerful and influential novels. Two ebullient young men search for Dharma the Zen way, heading off to the high Sierras to seek the lesson of solitude. But in wildly Bohemian San Francisco, with its marathon drinking bouts, poetry jam sessions, and “yabyum” experiments, they find the ascetic route hard to follow. Full of brilliant descriptions of nature, a cast of refreshingly naïve and sophisticated characters, and the classic wit and philosophy of Kerouac, The Dharma Bums is a heroic odyssey for the Beat generation.
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Kerouac, Jack. The Dharma Bums: 50th Anniversary Edition. Viking. 2008. 187p. F~Kerouac followed up the 1957 smash On the Road with this novel. Though not as successful as Road, Bums introduced Buddhism and its ideas to the Beats, many of whom began following its traditions. This edition sports Ann Douglas's intro to the 2006 Penguin Classics paperback. Viking also is releasing a hardback of Jack's Wake Up: A Life of Buddha (see below).--Mike Rogers, LJ/LJX.