• Maggie Cassidy (Original Manuscript)

  • By: Jack Kerouac
  • Narrated by: Mike Dennis
  • Length: 5 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In 1959, Avon Books published Jack Kerouac's tender look back at his high school years in Lowell, Massachusetts, Maggie Cassidy. One particular passage in the book, written in the form of a letter, contained certain thermo-uclear profanities that weren't widely accepted in literature, even Beat literature, of that time period. As soon as Maggie Cassidy hit the shelves, it upset bookstore owners and book distributors enough that the book was pulled, the passages rewritten, and a new, more politely correct version was issued and republished over the decades to come. The original manuscript has not been republished until Devault-Graves learned of the original version that Kerouac is said to have fought for before the decision was made to excise and rewrite those passages. Devault-Graves now proudly restores the original novel, complete and uncensored.

In Jack Kerouac's teenage years, his friends gave him a nickname that was prescient and stuck with him throughout his life - Memory Babe. Kerouac was able to conjure up scenes from his childhood and adolescence that astounded his friends with their precision and detail. This talent was to serve him well as a novelist, enabling him to recall long segments of conversation that he could instantly pound out on his typewriter.

Maggie Cassidy is one of Kerouac's most nostalgic recollections of his past, focusing on his first true love when he was a high school senior and a local star athlete. Filled with the sweet innocence of youth and the daily heartbreak of quarrels and unfulfilled sexual yearnings, Kerouac employs his stylishly Beat observations toward the bygone era of pre-World War II Lowell, Massachusetts, when he was torn between the companionship of his gang of buddies and the sirens' call of the opposite sex.

©2013 The Devault-Graves Agency, LLC (P)2016 The Devault-Graves Agency, LLC

What listeners say about Maggie Cassidy (Original Manuscript)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Kerouac simply tells as was.

"Never dreaming, was I, poor Jack Duluoz, that the soul is dead. That from Heaven grace descends, the ministers thereof . . . No Doctor Pisspot Poorpail to tell me; no example inside my first and only skin. That love is the heritage, and cousin to death. That the only love can only be the first love, the only death the last, the only life within, and the only word . . . choked forever."

At first, I was rather underwhelmed by the story. I was wondering when that overly sentimental, dramatic, and theatrical love stuff is going to come. But it did not come. It would never come. To fully embrace and appreciate this story, one has to reexamine all of those biases that centuries of a certain kind of portrayal of love and romance in literature have made us so accustomed to.

This is an honest account. Here, Kerouac simply tells as was. With all the childish fervor, confusion, apathy, and pettiness. There is a game. It is not straightforward. There is someone else. Yet, you love her. Same goes for her. But, in the end, you do not even feel the growing distance. It sneaks up on you. And all it is left is just a merciless idea of that person you once so painstakingly loved.

Raw, man. Got me right into feels.

1 person found this helpful

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Great, but accents are incorrect

I grew up in Lowell, so I really enjoyed this novel. My criticism of the narration is that neither Jack nor his friends who were all born in Lowell would have spoken with a French Canadian accent. Their parents would have spoken with an accent, but not the high school kids. The high school kids would all have spoken with a "Boston" accent, as Maggie does in this narration. "Worcester" is repeatedly mispronounced. And anybody who grew up in Lowell would find the mispronunciation of the department store, the "Bon Marche", annoying. otherwise an extremely enjoyable narration.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-22-16

Young Love of Kerouac

Poetic, rolling style of story as ever with Kerouac. Worth listening to for an intriguing love story and a glimpse of Jack's early days and background. Narrator didn't seem to nail the accents, though did differentiate characters well.

1 person found this helpful