Title: And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks.
Author: Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs.
Genre: Fiction, mystery, multiple narratives.
Publication Date: 1945.
Summary: In the summer of 1944, a shocking murder rocked the fledgling Beats. William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, both still unknown, were inspired by the crime to collaborate on a novel, a hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and art, obsession and brutality, with scenes and characters drawn from their own lives.
My rating: 7.5/10
♥ Phillip was twelve at the time and very much flattered that an older man should take the trouble to see him constantly and take him to cinemas, amusement parks, and museums. Phillip’s mother would no doubt have been suspicious, except that nothing concerned her anymore but her illnesses, which were gradually taking organic form under the compulsion of her strong will to die. She had heart trouble and essential hypertension.
...The negotiations took longer than he had planned. While they were still in progress, Mrs. Tourian died in Istanbul. For seven days she lay in bed looking sullenly at the ceiling as though resenting the death she had cultivated for so many years. Like some people who cannot vomit despite horrible nausea, she lay there unable to die, resisting death as she had resisted life, frozen with resentment of the process and change. Finally, as Phillip put it, “She sort of petrified.”
♥ I began to get a familiar feeling to me from my bartending days of being the only sane man in a nuthouse. It doesn't make you feel superior but depressed and scared, because there is nobody you can contact. Right then and there I decided to go home.
♥ I had the feeling that all over America such stupid arguments were taking place on street corners and in bars and restaurants. All over America, people were pulling credentials out of their pockets and sticking them under someone else’s nose to prove they had been somewhere or done something. And I thought someday everyone in America will suddenly jump up and say “I don’t take any shit!” and start pushing and cursing and clawing at the man next to him.
♥ Mike was telling about the sinking of the S.S. American Star, a troopship, in the North Atlantic. He’d heard this story from a survivor, one night in a bar in Chicago.
“It was a terrible thing,” the survivor had said. “It was all dark and you couldn’t see anything. I was on a life raft with a nigger cook, and all around me I could hear those drowning soldiers calling for their mothers.”