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Picks by Christine Brenneman (CB) and Jessica Ylvisaker (EC)

The Rolling Stone Book of the Beats

The Rolling Stone Book of the Beats: The Beat Generation and American Culture
Edited by Holly George-Warren
Hyperion, 452 pages, $27.50

Is there some important date we missed? The emerald anniversary of the introduction of Jack Kerouac to William S. Burroughs, perhaps? Is a Beatnik revival on the way? And if so, why is Rolling Stone trumpeting its arrival? Timeliness and relevance aside, newly inducted Beat aficionados and longtime Ginsberg disciples alike will find their curiosities piqued by what editor Holly George-Warren calls "yet another dimension of the Beat experience." This new dimension seems to rely on a conversational, extemporized reaction to the Beat legacy, an often impromptu, personal tone of which the founding fathers of the movement might well have approved. The collection includes older pieces originally penned by the Beats for Rolling Stone and new essays by contributors ranging from Beat insiders like Neal Cassady's widow, Carolyn, and Hunter S. Thompson, to Beat-influenced celebrities of today like Lee Ranaldo and Johnny Depp, to scholars like Ann Charters and Ann Douglas. (JY)


All the Wrong Men and One Perfect Boy

All the Wrong Men and One Perfect Boy
By Spike Gillespie
Simon & Schuster, 272 pages, $23

Reading All the Wrong Men and One Perfect Boy often feels like an illicit sneak at someone's wild and uninhibited diary entries. This thrill wears off quickly, however, when it becomes evident that author Spike Gillespie's experience is far from unusual. In fact, this could be the memoir of any number of stifled Catholic girls who have issues with their fathers and no prospect of finding a good enough man. All that said, somehow out of the mire of a normal existence, Gillespie manages to evoke the pain of growing up and exhibit her straightforward and expressive writing style. As the title not-so-gently alludes, Gillespie comes into her own and is finally satisfied by that one event that is said to make any empty woman feel whole--motherhood. By some divine providence, she gives birth to a boy, the only male thus far in her life to love her as unconditionally as she wants to be loved. Trite as the subject matter may seem, Gillespie infuses her story with heart. (CB)


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From the August 30, 1999, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.




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